Rudra Mehta hails from Mumbai, the New York City of India and a world away from suburban Detroit. But studying at UM-Dearborn was a natural choice. He has a bachelor’s in automotive engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, and when he was looking for a master’s program, it seemed like a great fit to relocate to one of America’s hubs for mobility research. “I wanted to be a pilot when I was little, and I started diving into all sorts of aircraft and their engines,” he says. “From there, I got interested in automobiles and their engines, and that sparked something in me. Like, these things, they are incredible. I just wanted to study more about them.”
He loves anything and everything related to soccer and has pledged his allegiance to FC Barcelona. In his free time, he likes to game on his PC, compose music, and play the guitar and the keyboard. He loves rock music and is an avid Linkin Park fan, his favorite song being “What I’ve Done.” He also reads books, only hardcover, and is a huge Potterhead. The last book he read was “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning French.” Mehta attributes his inquisitive nature to reading a lot of encyclopedias growing up and is super curious about the working principles behind almost everything. This has also made him quite detail oriented.
Since moving to Dearborn, he has already made many friends, though this being his first international trip, he misses his family. It helps that he has enough things on his Google Calendar to keep him occupied for 30 hours a day. Mehta loves walking to get places — “this cold snowy weather adds to the fun of walking,” he says — and he enjoys taking in the scenes along downtown Dearborn’s stretches of Michigan Ave. He is not much of a foodie but loves to get ice cream at La Gelati. When he wants to get away from the concrete landscape, his favorite places are the Rouge River trail and the Henry Ford Estate.
As anyone who meets Mehta will figure out in a minute, he stands for kindness and inclusivity. “Diversity is obviously required but inclusivity is more important to me, as you can be as diverse as you want but it doesn't matter unless everyone is accepted,” he says. He can speak nine languages and has recently started learning American Sign Language.
He is quite excited about this new job as the editorial assistant at the Department of External Relations, where he writes about anything and everything that happens around the campus. He also looks forward to being part of the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, the UM-Dearborn Racing-Electric team, and the Michigan Journal.
Story by Ruthvik Sankar