On my first day in 6th grade in a new school, my Physics teacher introduced me to astronomy in the form of pictures from NASA. She always went out of her way to introduce us to concepts beyond a planned curriculum. That, coupled with a course on general relativity and a talk by Prof. Bala Iyer on the LIGO detectors, motivated me to pursue a career in gravitational wave astronomy.
Moving my life from India to Germany was one of the biggest career changes for me, and now I’m a postdoc with OzGrav at the Australian National University, in Canberra. I’ve always liked working in a lab so naturally, I chose to work on instrumentation to play around with parameters that are crucial in the design of a gravitational wave detector. For instance, for my PhD, I worked on designing and controlling the Einstein Telescope—a future gravitational wave detector planned in Europe—and now I work on quantum noise-related experiments. I also help out with the design of OzHF: a potential gravitational wave detector planned by the OzGrav community, in Australia.
Having worked with precision interferometry for so long, it’s no surprise what I enjoy doing— baking! In my spare time, I love baking all forms of cakes, cookies and other desserts. When I’m not baking, I enjoy walking and hiking around all sorts of hilly and mountainy terrains!