Global Graduate: Harleen Kaur Sandhu

Harleen Kaur Sandhu, Doctorate in Civil Engineering

About Harleen

Harleen is a PhD student in Civil Engineering (Computing and Systems emphasis) and a student member of the Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures (CNEFS) at NCSU. She received her M.S. in Civil Engineering from NCSU in 2015. Following this, she worked in the industry as a Structural Engineer for three years. During her undergraduate studies at Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, India, she travelled to NCSU in the summer of 2012 for a research internship.

She is a member of Tau Beta Pi honor society at NCSU. She received the Sloan graduate fellowship award from the department of CCEE at NCSU in 2018. She was also recognized as the people’s choice winner at the 3rd Annual CCEE 3MT competition in 2020. In Spring 2015, she won the best presentation award at the 16th SEM Symposium held at NCSU in 2015.

Apart from research, she has served as the Secretary of the Civil Engineering Graduate Student Association, a Junior Instructor-of-record and as a Teaching Assistant for various undergraduate courses at CCEE, NCSU. Her research interests include structural health monitoring, deep learning, digital twin technology for nuclear safety systems, structural dynamics and high performance computing.

How was your experience at NC State University?

Starting from the summer of 2012 as an undergraduate intern and flowing into my masters and doctorate journey here at NCSU, I have always had an amazing and memorable experience. The research laboratories and facilities are state-of-the-art. A range of opportunities have also opened up with the new building of Fitts-Woolard Hall. In addition to a wonderful experience with research and classes, each year, various academic and professional events hosted by the department as well as the university kept me well acquainted with the needs of the current job market. I also made some lasting friendships and created timeless memories at the NCSU campus.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment during your time at NC State?

My biggest accomplishment from my time at NCSU would be my public speaking skills. I joined NCSU as a shy, introvert student from India. After taking workshops and learning from the best here at NCSU, I will be graduating with five presentation awards and multiple presentations made to academic as well as industry folks.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I will be joining the CCEE department at NCSU as a post-doctorate fellow.

Do you have any advice for current or incoming international students?

Become a part of the community by joining various organizations in your department or at the university level. Do not be shy in approaching research faculty with your research oriented goals. Best of all, take a stroll and a deep breath along Lake Raleigh or Lake Johnson.