Mechanical engineering student Ani Tangirala prepares student organization vehicle for national competition and excels in internships

Sri Venkata Anirudh Tangirala, or Ani, is a third-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of California, Riverside from Hyderabad, India and Woodland Hills, CA. His goals are to complete a concentration in design and manufacturing and launch his career in the aerospace industry. Ani first became interested in mechanical engineering as a high school student while taking an introduction to engineering and design class. The class projects sparked his curiosity and his teacher encouraged him to continue pursuing engineering in college. 

 Ani sanding a resin coated foam wing mold in preparation for carbon fiber coating for the Highlander Racing, FSAE car.
Ani sanding a resin coated foam wing mold in preparation for carbon fiber coating for the Highlander Racing, FSAE car.

Once enrolled at the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE), Ani learned about project-based teams and saw how that approach led to success for both student professional organizations and alumni. At the beginning of freshman year, Ani discovered the student organization Highlander Racing, Formula SAE, which annually plans, designs, finances and builds a bespoke vehicle for a national competition with universities from around the world. Two years of hard work later, he was recognized by the previous Aerodynamics team lead and given the opportunity to lead the team this year. His responsibilities include the design, analysis, manufacturing, and sponsorship of the vehicle’s aerodynamic package. He is developing expertise in using MATLAB and Solidworks software packages to develop and analyze the wing profiles of the car.

As Ani gained experience applying his classroom knowledge to real world challenges, he became a stronger candidate for internships. He reached out to the alumni network within FSAE for help with his resume and for career advice. Since then, Ani has enjoyed rewarding experiences in multiple internships. Last summer, he was a technical intern at Chenbro Micom, where he designed components for a server PCa chassis in accordance with industry standards and used Creo Parametric to create drawing files for manufacturing. He then tested the components in a thermal chamber and created proposals with renders of the components. 

Beyond technical skills, he strengthened his professional skills by presenting his proposals to a sales team and contacting vendors to manufacture the components he designed. Those skills helped him get an internship at Howmet Aerospace for this summer. Reflecting back on this experience, Ani says that “internships helped me discover the importance of exploration into different fields and gaining new experiences”

When asked for advice regarding internships and the application process, Ani strongly encourages BCOE students to start applying as early as the fall quarter for summer internships. He also points out that applying is a time consuming process and suggests making a spreadsheet to track your application process for different positions; “it is also helpful to do mock interviews with the UCR Career Center and other students on campus to prepare.” As Ani learned, students who maximize their opportunities and network on and off campus are the ones who become best prepared for their future, whether it be in academia or in industry.

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