Hailing from Hyderabad, Bhargav Boddupalli is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Marine Geophysics from the prestigious UK-based University of Southampton. The youngster, who pursued a five-year Integrated Masters programme in Geophysical Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, talks about how he got the opportunity.
“Geophysics always interested me and I used to research on seismic waves. I began working for an oil company and subsequently explored Ph.D options. I learned that the University of Southampton is doing some phenomenal research in marine sciences in collaboration with the National Oceanography Center Southampton (NOCS), which prompted my interest in the University. They were impressed with my resume and the interview with the panel went well too,” explains Bhargav, who works closely with Professor Tim Minshull of the University’s Ocean and Earth Science Department.
“I work with the best marine geophysics group. My research is on continental rifting. I am focusing on the East African Rift. Another area of my study is West of Iberia — the Galicia margin, in South-western Europe,” says Bhargav, who wants to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the field and then become a scientist.
Talking about his experience at the University, he says, “It has been amazing. We all attend sessions regularly and I’m also a scholarship student. Moreover, all Ph.D. students here receive an annual fund of £1,100 to spend on their research trips. The best part of my Ph.D. is that it is a collaborative project between the Imperial College of London and University of Southampton, which allows me to regularly travel to London and learn from the field experts and students there. The faculty has been very supportive too. We have great laboratories and other facilities here. We also get to take part in extra-curricular activities such as sports and cultural events.”
Despite initial apprehensions, Bhargav says that Southampton has turned out to be a great place with a friendly vibe and joyous atmosphere — an experience to cherish for a lifetime. Talking about his other passions, he says, “I enjoy playing cricket. I had won a lot of medals in the past and had to choose between a career in cricket and geophysics. Though I chose the latter, I still make time to play cricket and stay fit. I also enjoy reading books about politics, history and art. I am currently reading Shashi Tharoor’s An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India.”
Coming from a middle-class family, although Bhargav’s parents were initially apprehensive about research as his career choice, they eventually encouraged him. And he’s certainly making them very proud right now!