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An Urgent Appeal for Your Support of My Job Application at COEP's Mechanical Engineering Department

Dear iMechanicians,

I have applied for the job of "Associate Professor" in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at COEP, Pune, India [^]---the same place from where I did my PhD (Mech.) research.

I most earnestly make an appeal to you to provide me with an informal support for my job application by way of a brief email recommendation. My resume may be found here [^].

Time is of essence because the process of short-listing and interviewing has already begun. Please send your emails immediately, preferably within the next 48 hours.

Details:

Today, via informal discussions with both the HoD Mechanical (Dr. Pande) and the Director (Dr. Sahasrabuddhe) of COEP, I came to know that my application at COEP is not being short-listed, because I have my basic degrees (BE and MTech) in Metallurgy even though my PhD is in Mechanical.

The Director, Dr. Sahasrabuddhe, said that personally he was willing to have me, but that his hands are tied because the Mechanical department today feels that with my Metallurgy background, I am not suitable. (The same Mechanical department had shortlisted me last year; I was ranked 2/20+ even if  had no PhD in mechanical last year by their ranking system. I was declined a job subsequently out of the anxiety that my level would be too high for the average COEP students---something which I proved wrong by successfully taking a course on FEM last year.) Today, Dr. Sahasrabuddhe then indicated that if I can arrange for emails/letters of support from leading universities abroad, notably those in the USA and UK, then his "arms will grow stronger."

Please note, COEP is run by the State Government of Maharashtra, India, and as such, broadly speaking, the MPSC (Maharashtra Public Service Commission)'s rules are applicable. The MPSC rules themselves allow even if the bachelor's and master's degrees are not from the same discipline but come from an allied discipline. However, the rules are understandably silent as to what might be considered to be an allied discipline. This is left up to the discretion of the hiring committee(s).

By way of precedents, I can cite several examples. Dr. Y. V. Deshmukh, now retired, had his BE and ME in Metallurgy and PhD in Mechanical (just like in my case), and was allowed to teach both Metallurgy and Mechanical (and also Production Engg.). Dr. P. P. Chikate had his PhD in Mechanical but he retired as HoD of the Production Engg department. One of his PhD students, Dr. B. B. Ahuja, has BE, ME and PhD all in Mechanical, but today he not only heads the Production Engg department at COEP but also currently serves as its Deputy Director. Mr. Sawant, the currently serving HoD of the Computer Science Dept at COEP has both his BE and ME in Electronics and Telecommunications, not in CS, but has taught in the CS department for years as a Full Professor. Similar examples exist at some other notable institutes in India. For instance, Dr. Prashant Date had his BE in Mech, but both his MTech and PhD in Metallurgy, but he has been serving in the Mechanical department of IIT Bombay (today, as a Full Professor). Other similar examples can also be cited, but I restrict myself here only to those persons who I know directly in person. (For example, Dr. Date was my class-mate during our MTech in Metallurgy at IIT Madras, and Dr. Chikate was my first informal guide for the recent PhD, and Dr. Ahuja was on my PhD supervision comittee.)

My field of specialization is Computational Science and Engineering. I have taught a course in FEM to undergraduates in Mechanical last year at COEP, and it was well received. If hired, the cluster of courses that I would teach would be something like: Strength of Materials/Mechanics of Solids (II year UG), Advanced Strength of Materials, FEM (III year UG and also for ME), courses aligned with Numerical Analysis, courses aligned with and CAD, CAM CAE and introductory mechanical design, and possibly, also basic courses such as Heat Transfer. (CFD is an option that I could teach but am not currently very keen on unless I get a few months to develop my notes.)

I now make this appeal to you to show your support for my job application at COEP.

While support from any quarters is perfectly welcome, given the fact that this is more a matter of perceptions than of anything substantial, I especially urge the mechanicians associated with the very top-ranked American schools to provide me with the necessary support.

Thus, your support would be especially relevant and valued if you have had your own education or a post-doc, or currently have a faculty position with, schools such as: MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech, Brown, Cornell, Santa Barbara, UIUC, Purdue, GeorgiaTech, UT Austin, Northwestern, Michigan (Ann Arbor), Duke, VirginiaTech ..., or Cambridge, Oxford ..., or Max Planck Institutes ..., or similarly for others (many of them not mentioned).

(I am separately writing personal emails to my friends and also my PhD thesis evaluators from the faculties of the IITs.)

So, coming back to iMechanica, esp. senior professors who have received high honors and awards, are being most earnestly urged to provide me with a timely support at this juncture of my life.

You may directly write an email in complete confindence to the COEP Director and the HoD at the following addresses: Prof. Dr. Anil Sahasrabuddhe (director@coep.org.in) and Prof. Dr. D. W. Pande (hod@mech.coep.org.in).

You may write your email of support any which way you like. All that I wish to point out here is that even the following paragraph would be quite adequate:

"I write this email following a public post by Dr. Jadhav at iMechanica. I am aware that Dr. Jadhav has had his bachelor's and master's in Metallurgy, and has recently earned his PhD in Mechanical Engg with a special focus on Computational Science and Engineering. As a fellow iMechanician, I support Dr. Jadhav's current job application for the post of Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engg department at COEP for your current cycle of recruitment."


Needless to add, your support for this particular post at COEP, at this point of time, would not be taken by me as a recommendation for a post-doc position abroad some time in future. [As it is, currently, my passport is in the process of renewal; its last renewal had occurred at the Indian Consulate at San Francisco, not in India; therefore, the current renewal would take longer; it would take several months anyway.]

It is true that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Yet I myself wish that the basis of your support, if any, ought to refer solely to such things as: my talent, research, professional work, overall achievements, together with my sense of ethics. My resume may be found here [^].

Time is of essence because the process of short-listing and interviewing has already begun. Please send your emails immediately, preferably within the next 48 hours.

Thanks in advance and regards,

--Ajit
PS: A special request (made by me for the first time here) to iMechanica admins: Please promote this post to the front page at your earliest convenience; thanks in advance. [Update on Dec. 15, 2009: The decision to post this request here has been taken with the foreknowledge of the Director, Dr. Anil D. Sahasrabuddhe, and also of Dr. S. R. Kajale, my guide, with neither of them seeing anything wrong with it because, as one of them put it, this is a public recruitment process. As such, this post may indeed be promoted to the front page for wider circulation on an urgent basis. Thanks in advance.]

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