Mayuri S. Rao

What is your thesis topic or research interest?

My thesis topic is 'On the detection of spectral lines from the Recombination Epoch'. My broad interest is in experimental cosmology and instrumentation.

Where have you come from to join this program?

I am from Bangalore, India. I think it's the best city in the World, but I could be biased !

How did you become interested in Astronomy?

After finishing my Bachelor's degree in electronics engineering, I chanced upon an opportunity to work in radio astronomy at the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore. I got the position, and there has been no looking back. I love that Astronomy combines my love for uncovering the mysteries of the Universe, applying cutting edge technology, science communication and travelling ! I'm hooked.

What experience have you gained while studying at Mt Stromlo?

My most invaluable experience at Mt Stromlo has been interacting with the people here. I’ve found great friends in my peers and role models in the more senior researchers. I have loved having so many opportunities to learn, right from the classes and seminars to the casual discussions over coffee. When I moved to Canberra, it was my first time living away from home, so I’ve learned some important life lessons too.

What has been the highlight of the program for you so far?

‘Opportunities’. Right from learning to writing and speaking workshops, the program has given me so many opportunities to become a well-rounded researcher (I’m not quite there yet, but I’m at a better place than before).

What do you see yourself doing upon completion of your PhD?

I see myself in a research position continuing to work on problems in Astronomy that I find exciting and challenging. I also see myself teaching and promoting science education.

Would you recommend Mt Stromlo to others?

‘Opportunities’. Read my answer above !

What are the benefits of life in Canberra?

Oh, Canberra ! It’s my first home away from home and I love it. Being from a tropical country the first winter was a little ‘chilly’. That said, I really like living here, it feels like home. It’s lovely to bike around, feels extremely safe and cozy and perfect for weekend getaways to Sydney for when you want something more exciting.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Astronomy?

Stay curious and keep at it. I’m sure that applies to almost everything you’d like to do, but it certainly applies to studying astronomy !