Twin Degrees, Campus Involvement Drive Gajavelli to Success

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Ganesh Gajavelli is graduating with degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science and will soon begin applying those skills as a software validation engineer with Tesla Inc., a clean energy company based in Palo Alto, California.

Ganesh Gajavelli wanted to get the most out his four years as a Rose-Hulman student. So, he developed a list of personal collegiate goals shortly after arriving to campus from Miami, Florida, in the Summer of 2018.

Some of the featured items on his list were:

  • Completing a 5-kilometer run in under 20 minutes
  • Creating a part on a 3D printer
  • Contributing to a competition team
  • Having multiple internship experiences
  • Earning degrees in two academic majors

“I wanted to push myself to find out what I could become. I didn’t want to let any opportunity slip by,” he said.

Gajavelli checked off those goals – and several others – to graduate with degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science, and will soon begin applying those skills as a software validation engineer with Tesla Inc., a clean energy company based in Palo Alto, California. He will be helping develop technology to expand a fleet of electric vehicles across the world.

“My original interest was mechanical engineering, but soon discovered that there was more in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that I was missing,” he remarked during an on-campus interview. “The more I got into my computer science classes, the more I liked that area as well. Then, I looked at ways of putting them together.”

That brought Gajavelli to mechatronics, a multidisciplinary field with necessary skills in mechanics, electronics and computing featured in the advanced automated manufacturing industry. He contributed to a student team that designed a wireless-controlled three-wheeled miniature robot to navigate spaces too small for humans. The robot has two processors, one responsible for moving and preventing crashes and the other providing live video along the way.

“Being able to bring mechanical components to life using basic (computer) programming was really cool,” said Gajavelli. “Through mechatronics, I felt that I could take my skills to another level. It was rewarding to combine my mechanical and computing interests within one project.”

 

Also, rewarding has been Gajavelli’s involvement with the Grand Prix Engineering team that annually designs, develops, and competes with a small formula-style race vehicle against other international college teams in Society of Automotive Engineers’ competitions at the locations such as the Michigan International Speedway. He has contributed to technology that keeps the race cars’ engine cool to provide maximum performance.

“I had little to no experience working with a car and had little knowledge about the Grand Prix team. I just showed up (at the Branam Innovation Center) and they put me to work,” he said. “Before long I was helping put pieces of the car together and watching as the cars were test driven on and around campus. It was all so exciting and kept me coming back for more.”

Other work experiences have come from internships with Walmart Global Tech and RIA Advisory and a six-month co-op with Honeywell Intelligrated.

On campus, Gajavelli also has been a math and science tutor with the AskRose homework help hotline for middle school and high school students, played the clarinet in the Rose Concert Band, been an officer in the Interfraternity Council, and member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and South Asian Student Alliance (his parents are from India).

“I have come out (from Rose-Hulman) with a lot more than I ever expected. It is going to be difficult to walk away (following Commencement on May 28). There are so many great memories,” he admitted. “To think that now I’m able to go to a company (Tesla) that was a dream, I cannot imagine being where I am now. I see myself doing so much more than I ever planned for and I only have my time at Rose to thank for that.”

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