Ananya Renuka Balakrishna

DPhil Student, Brasenose College

Ananya Renuka BalakrishnaI am a mechanical engineer with a special interest on a set of smart materials called the ferroelectrics. These materials which are characterized by their electromechanical property find wide applications in nano-positioners, sensors, memory devices and energy harvesters. I started my DPhil in October 2012 under the supervision of Dr. John E. Huber in the Solid Mechanics and Materials Research Group. My research involves the application of phase field model to ferroelectrics and in my first year I have employed the mathematical tool to model a ferroelectric nano-actuator. This actuator produces actuation strains which are several times greater than those obtained through piezoelectric effect alone. My graduate study is funded by the Felix scholarship program which is awarded to six Indian students every year.

I graduated from National Institute of Technology Karnataka with a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, a 4-year degree. In my third year of my undergraduate program, I had an opportunity to pursue a research internship at Germany through DAAD-WISE scholarship program. The exposure I received during the internship motivated me to pursue graduate studies and enter the world of research. I also worked as an intern at the Aerospace department in Indian Institute of Science, which is renowned for its quality research work.
In my additional time, I train for the Oxford University Basketball Club (OUBbC) women second team and am also involved with the Brasenose College Boat Club where I cox occasionally.

Although my work is centered on modeling ferroelectric material properties, I am very keen on extending my research knowledge and experience to contribute to all areas of science and technology.