If you could teach one class outside of your discipline, what would it be?Calculus and tricks in mathematics.
What is your favorite quote or motto?Motto: Live and let live. Be. Quote: I am.
If you weren’t a professor, what job would you have?A professional vocalist in Carnatic music (South Indian Classical Music).
What is one thing you want to do or a place you’d like to visit?I definitely want to visit the Serengeti; and then as many countries as possible to experience the varied cultures and the common thread that binds us all.
What is your favorite movie?Shawshank Redemption.
What is your favorite book?Any P.G. Wodehouse book.
What are your hobbies and interests?Carnatic music, reading and card tricks.
University Faculty Spotlight:
Dr. Jay Boyalakuntla
Title: Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Teaches: All thermal fluids related courses in mechanical engineering including Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics I and II, Heat Transfer, Power Plant Engineering and Senior Capstone Design I and II.
About Dr. Boyalakuntla
Dr. Boyalakuntla is an expert in CFD, thermo-fluids systems, renewable energy and power plant engineering. His scholarly research is focused on modeling and simulation of granular flows, electronics packaging and nuclear fuel development. His work experience includes academia and national labs research. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. from BITS Pilani, India, all three in mechanical engineering.
His areas of expertise are Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Thermal Fluid Systems and Energy Conversion. His research so far has focused on CFD applications to granular flows – developing code to similar gas-solid flows using discrete particle approach, electronics packaging – developed compact models to analyze chips and next generation nuclear fuel development – developed the modeling and simulation of coating the TRISO fuel particle. He is also working toward developing research in the area of CFD for biomedical applications.
I always wanted to be a professor since childhood as I was inspired by my teachers who shared their knowledge with me. Teaching is a noble profession. I was always good at math and science and engineering seemed a natural choice given my skills. Also, my grandfather was an engineer and my elder brother became a mechanical engineer while I was in high school. So learning from him what mechanical engineers do, the breadth of the field and potential to contribute to society inspired me to choose mechanical engineering as my profession.
Earning my Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University – I am the only Ph.D. holder in my family.
I find that irrespective of the course I teach, the basis for effective teaching lies in maintaining a relaxed environment in the class, which enhances student participation and learning. I do not like to just lecture on a topic; instead I try to promote discussion with students and encourage interaction. I conduct my classes in a Q&A format where I try to guide their thinking by asking questions and encouraging the students to come up with the solutions. This method also keeps them very invested and engaged in the class proceedings. And the key to do this successfully is to make the students really comfortable in answering and making mistakes in the classroom. I tell all my students that it is their right as students to make mistakes in the classroom. I share with them my belief that realizing mistakes is just as useful as finding the correct answer. Students already have the built-in potential to succeed. I only need to facilitate that in the classroom and outside.
Favorite Part of Job
Being in a classroom in front of the students, exchanging ideas, encouraging critical thinking and sharing knowledge and realizing the potential sitting in front of me – the young minds brimming with ideas and imagination. To have this opportunity to guide their understanding and help spark their interests is what I look forward to each day. It motivates me.
Favorite Spot on Campus
The KHIC Library. I find its architecture very unique – state of the art, spacious, well-lit, staggered levels and the foyer with flags representing various countries. I like libraries because they are quiet and filled with books, but KHIC is very intriguing because every time I visit, I feel like there is something new that I had not noticed before. To me, KHIC indicates the vast knowledge we offer to our students and the bright future that lies ahead for them as well as for the university.
I believe that Mount’s focus on an education grounded in liberal arts in a unique feature. This provides students of all majors an added dimension above and beyond their major. It provides a better appreciation of life, arts, culture, politics and in general enhances their world view. I feel proud to be a part of the faculty body, which has a strong commitment to provide the best education to our students. At Mount, we truly live by our mission statement of preparing students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. I say this to everyone I know, that Mount is truly a hidden treasure in terms of faculty and staff, facilities, extracurricular activities, the student body and future potential.
Mechanical Engineering as a Profession
The mechanical engineering program is in general a very broad field of education which could lead into various career paths such as in automotive industry, manufacturing, HVAC, electronics cooling or power generation to name a few. Professional mechanical engineers have an opportunity to design and build next generation products to enhance technology and contribute to society. They have numerous job opportunities and good earning potential.The mechanical engineering program at Mount Union aims at producing high quality mechanical engineers ready for the real-world challenges by providing an education steeped in strong fundamentals with a focus on design and hands-on learning.
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
B.E. (Hons), Mechanical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology & Science