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Malarvizhi Kaniappan Chinnathai

Malarvizhi Kaniappan Chinnathai Profile Picture

MSE Graduate 2015-2016


"The course opened my eyes to my own potential"  

Malarvizhi Kaniappan Chinnathai 1“I gained my first degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai. My real interest is in automation and robotics though, and the course didn’t focus on those areas.

I decided that taking an MSc would be the best way to move forward. It was actually my dad who first suggested WMG, as he had taken the same course in the 1980s. When I researched the programme, I could see that it would give me the opportunity to build and broaden my understanding of robotics and automation. To be honest, I didn’t look at any other courses. This one seemed to be ideal for me. It would also allow me to change the direction of my specialism in just one year.

Moving to the UK would be a big step for me, as I had never even been outside my home town, but the staff at WMG were excellent before I even came over. They responded to my emails straight away, answering my questions and giving me lots of information. I found out everything I needed, so that made me feel more comfortable about the move.

Malarvizhi Kaniappan Chinnathai 2Research and discovery

When I arrived at Warwick I was able to adapt very quickly. Everything is together on one campus and it is easy to find your way around. The people there helped a lot during my first week and I was able to settle in very smoothly. It was also very exciting to be meeting new people from around the world and experiencing such a technologically advanced learning centre.

The way the course is run surprised me a lot. My first degree was all about being taught what to do with an emphasis on reading and writing. With WMG, it is more about research and discovery. You are given the basic information then it’s down to you to do the research to build on it. You are encouraged to explore new ideas and new ways of doing things.

The visits to industry were also extremely valuable. Through them I was able to see technologies in action in real business environments, and talk to people about their experiences, issues and solutions.

Actual business situations

There were no exams. Instead, for each module, we had a month to complete an assignment. Once again, research was key here and it made me think deeply about each subject and how it relates to actual business situations. You are not just learning facts in order to answer questions. You’re finding out what’s behind those facts and developing a real understanding of the topic.

I did enjoy the group exercises too. Working as a team to solve problems made me think differently – and it replicates life in a working environment. I learned how to be a good team player and this brought out qualities that I never knew I had. There was also the opportunity to develop my presentation skills.

Malarvizhi Kaniappan Chinnathai 3Cutting-edge developments

For my dissertation project, I worked with a major automotive manufacturer on design for the manufacture and assembly of battery modules for electric vehicles. The component was redesigned to increase assembly efficiency and I used virtual process planning to visualise the process. I was absolutely delighted when I was awarded a distinction for the project.

While I was working on this, my supervisor asked me whether I would like to continue my research at WMG after completing my course. This would give me the chance to work at the cutting-edge of technological developments as part of AMPLiFII – a brand new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre. As a Research Assistant, I’m helping the team to implement the project and create new UK automotive supply chain based around this technology.

I’m now planning to work part-time towards a PhD as I continue my research with AMPLiFII. Before joining WMG, I would not have imagined that my career would take me in this direction or that I would have the opportunity to work on such advanced developments. My course opened my eyes to the possibilities ahead of me – and to my own potential.”