Moments Spent At SZABIST – A Student’s Memoir


Being a small-town girl, I had moved to Karachi to start my B.E Mechatronics at SZABIST. I still remember my very first day at the institute; naturally, I was all nervous, numb, and scared. The anxiety only grew when one of the faculty members asked a question in the class, and then pointed to me expecting an answer.

And when did answer, he asked why I didn’t raise my hand if I knew the answer. That gave me a much-needed confidence boost and at the very moment I knew the place was for me. I knew that I could fail but my faculty would do their best to never let me give up.

Today I’m a strong, confident, and independent woman pursuing my Ph.D. from the United States. Our faculty and all of my friends supported each other throughout those 4 years. Whether it was labs or projects, the faculty made sure we got through every milestone successfully.

I was shortlisted for my first internship at English Biscuit Manufacturers in 2013. It was my final year when one of the professors introduced us to Acoustics in the class of Mechanical Vibrations. And that was the moment when I chose Acoustics as a field to build my future on.

Later in 2016, I pursued my Master’s from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (USA), in Electrical Engineering with a major of Acoustics. It was the grades and my B.E experience which made me able to get in this prestigious college and complete my program. I worked for a year as an Acoustic Consultant in Seattle (USA).

Later, in fall 2019, I started my Ph.D. in Music Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) USA. Yes, you read it right – Music Technology! Along with that, I am also working as an Acoustics research assistant at IUPUI. Again, enrolling for a fully-funded Ph.D. was a dream, but SZABIST made me so disciplined and focused that I achieved that milestone as well.

My research topic is Vocal Acoustics which requires me to work on Digital Signal Processing, Fluid Mechanics, and Acoustics all together. I didn’t study Fluids or Digital Signal Processing at SZABIST, but thanks to all the basics that I learned from the BE Mechatronics faculty, I am doing well in my Ph.D.

I wonder what would have happened to my goals had SZABIST not set those challenging grading policies and a non-compromising attitude towards project deadlines. Even today, I am in touch with most of my faculty who are now my mentors.

But education isn’t all that I miss about SZABIST. It was an institute where multiple co-curricular and extracurricular activities allowed us to enjoy our university life as well. Ever since I stepped out of SZABIST, my hunger to do well has never stopped.

Credit goes to everyone: from the lab engineers to the faculty and the management of SZABIST who made me so confident and self-reliant that today I am the exact opposite of a nervous, numb, and scared girl from a small town that I used to be.

Bhawna Rathi

Alumna BE Mechatronic Engineering

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