The International College of Semiconductor Technology of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) established a joint dual-degree of doctoral program with the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Akhil K Ramesh from India was the first graduate of this program. He first took courses at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, came to Taiwan for subsequent studies in 2019, and graduated with a joint dual doctoral degree within 4 years.
Before coming to Taiwan, Akhil had known about the world-class semiconductor technology in Taiwan and it being a global leader in semiconductor fabrication. He learned from his advisor at the Indian Institutes of Technology, Prof. Pushparaj Singh, that the institute was collaborating with NYCU to launch a joint dual-degree of doctoral program. To advance his knowledge of semiconductors, Akhil applied to this program and came to Taiwan to study.
During his study, he had access to high-technology devices, had a chance to work with the industry, and learned about advanced technologies, all of which made him feel grateful for making the decision to come to study in Taiwan. The research projects he has participated in, including two collaborative projects of NYCU with the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute and with the Industrial Technology Research Institute, provided him with a further understanding of the actual needs of the semiconductor industry. What he learned was not just textbook knowledge but what he could apply in the industry, such as how to reduce damage to semiconductors during fabrication.
Tseng Yuan-chieh, a distinguished professor at the International College of Semiconductor Technology, was Akhil’s advisor. Tseng not only guided him on his research but also provided him with a direction for his dissertation. Despite the fact that Akhil had been in the Ph.D. program for 3 years, he had not published any paper for 1 year after he arrived in Taiwan. He was anxious and turned to Tseng for advice. Under Tseng’s guidance, Akhil published 3 papers in 9 months and later graduated as planned. In addition to passing down knowledge, Tseng also provided Akhil with an emotional shelter. Whenever Akhil was depressed, he would message or call Tseng, and Tseng would spend an afternoon in his office listening to Akhil, alleviating his homesickness, encouraging him, and giving him confidence.
In his spare time in Taiwan, Akhil would cook. He was good at using the Indian spice “masala” and local ingredients from Taiwan to create new dishes. Dumplings were his favorite, and he was also into traveling. Akhil was outgoing and loved to make friends. He also loved to explore new sites and places. He wished that he had enough time to visit every corner of Taiwan to immerse himself in the beauty of this island.
After graduation, Akhil went to Singapore to be a researcher. However, he emphasized that if he had the opportunity in the future, he would come back to Taiwan for work. He was deeply fascinated by the friendliness toward him and the leading semiconductor technology in Taiwan. Therefore, he encouraged NYCU students to apply for this joint dual degree of doctoral program between NYCU and the Indian Institutes of Technology. This program allows students to learn beyond textbook knowledge, familiarize themselves with how the semiconductor industry actually works, and even operate cutting-edge devices. These are all advantages unique to Taiwan!