Dr Pranav Vasanthi

PERCAT Rep for the School of Chemical Engineering

What is your academic background and your current research field? Pranav Vasanthi

I have an unusual academic background. I did my Bachelors (hons) in Biotechnology from India and then went on to do my Masters in the life-science stream of Immunology from the University of Nottingham. I then took the audacious decision of pursuing my PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Aston University despite my background being grounded in biology. This cross-disciplinary platform provided me not just with a great mix of skill-sets but also expand my appreciation of applying engineering principles to solve biological conundrums. After my PhD, I continued my cross-disciplinary research pursuit and came to University of Birmingham to do embark my post-doctoral research in Chemical Engineering. You could call me a ‘Bio-chemical-engineer’ wherein I am exploiting the principles of fluid dynamics within microfluidic devices to investigate circulatory disorders such as blood vessel collapse.

What is your role as a PERCAT Rep and how can postdocs in your school contact you?

My role as a PERCAT rep is first and foremost to be a friendly point of contact for all the post-docs within the Chemical Engineering Schools. I am one of the many potential people to reach out to in case you or anyone you know have any issues or ideas that could enhance the post-doctoral experience at the University. These ideas may range from improving the employability of post-docs by organising career development workships/webinars to enhancing the social/networking life of post-docs via arranging Pot Luck Cafés. I am contactable via email or in person. You can almost always find me at 210 in the School of Chemical Engineering. So, come say hi! 

What do you feel are the benefits of the PERCAT programme for postdocs and what do you feel have been the benefits to you from being a postdoc rep?

I know a lot of Universities that focus on undergraduate, PhD and even the staff but the post-docs are almost always left out and for obvious reasons! The most important benefit of PERCAT in my opinion is the specialised attention it gives to the post-doc community. PERCAT conducts and organises a number of events/workshops that help post-docs become more employable, be it within the university or outside academia all-together. I myself personally enjoyed the Interview Skills workshop, skills from which I have retained and implemented in many places. My time as a PERCAT rep is incredibly short (only about 2 months) in order to elaborate on all the benefits of being a rep. From my experience thus far, being a post-doc rep gives me the chance to meet many brilliant post-docs from others schools of the University (and there are a lot of Schools!) It enables to get experience in organising event, communicating ideas with the team and making friends all along the way. It also increases my visibility within the School. All along, PERCAT is a fun and at the same time an incredibly professional community.