Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Asthma and other respiratory disorders are common all around the world. But how can we diagnose such disorders better? That’s the interesting question Sarla Kumari is exploring for her PhD in biomedical engineering.
“My research focuses on the diagnosis of respiratory disorders like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using new, non-invasive techniques.
“My supervisor – Professor Ahmed Al-Jumaily from AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences who is also the director of the AUT Institute of Biomedical Technologies (IBTec) – gave me this fantastic idea and has offered great support to help me finalise my research theme. We both believe that the research findings will be highly beneficial for the medical sector.”
A supportive research environment
She decided to do her PhD because it offered the opportunity of innovative and interesting research involving engineering and the medical field, Sarla says.
“Working with the AUT Institute of Biomedical Technologies (IBTec) and AUT engineering researchers has been an awesome experience. The energy level and positive attitude of my supervisor has inspired me a lot, and AUT is a highly reputable university and always encouraging its students.”
The supportive university environment is what has impressed Sarla most about her studies at AUT.
“AUT is always a step ahead when it comes to helping students in different situations. For example, in 2019 I had a bit of a house crisis and because of that I wasn’t able to focus on my studies for a time. I felt really feel lucky to have such a supportive supervisor and understanding administration staff. AUT supported me very well and gave me some time to catch up with my work.”
Big plans for the future
Expecting to complete her PhD in 2023, Sarla already has a good idea what she would like to do next.
“Once I finish my doctoral degree, I’d love to further explore this research area as a post-doctoral fellow and do as much research as I can do to help the community and medical industries. I’d also like to help and supervise other students in the same field.”
She has already had a chance to get a taste for life in academia and had the opportunity to share her research at a number of conferences.
“I had the chance to present my research at the 2019 International Health Innovation Conference at Wintec in Hamilton; a conference that was held in partnership with the Praboromarajchanok Institute for Health Workforce Development in Thailand.”