What would the odds of you studying aeronautical engineering abroad if you hailed from a small village in Kasaragod, Kerala be? We aren’t sure, but Mohammad Anwar battled each and every one of those odds and today, he is not only preparing for the GRE, but is also gearing up to organise the second edition of the nationallevel aeromodelling competition. Furthermore, his team is participating in three international competitions too. When we ask this graduate from Sahyadri College of Engineering, Mangaluru how he manages this juggling act, he humbly says, “It is all part of the journey.”
The 22-year-old built his fi rst aeromodel in 2013 for a competition at an IIT, where he ended up among the top ten. He returned to Mangaluru and assembled a team of six to seven equally driven members. These birds of the same feather fl ocked together and stormed technical competitions at fi ve IITs, three MITs and several other institutions, including the SAE International Aero Design competition in Texas in 2014. From participating in competitions to organising one, Anwar and his expanded 60-member strong team, who call themselves the Challengers, will be organising the nationallevel aeromodelling competition to spark an interest in anyone who fancies aeronautics. “I always felt that I should have started building aeromodels much earlier. I don’t want anyone else to feel this way,” says Mohammed.
While the previous edition saw 12 teams, this year, the number has been bumped up to 30, with four members each. “Last year, second place was bagged by a class VII student. Can you imagine that?” he adds. Now we know why age is no bar at the event. Over the two days, teams will build an aircraft according to certain specifi cation and manoeuver it as instructed by the organisers. “I want the competition to be the turning point in students’ lives where they start to gather confi dence,” says Anwar. Participants from Dubai and the IITs will compete, and the judges will be professionals from the fi eld, including AerotriX, a renowned aeromodelling team from Bengaluru.
Anwar, commenting on the dismal state of aeronautics in India, says that more such opportunities need to exist and students from all institutes need to be given equal preference. “While Tejas, the best aircraft India has produced recently, is fourth generation, US’s aircraft is on its sixth. That should tell you enough,” he says. It indeed does. “So, dream big. No one can stop you from doing anything except yourself,” says the small-town boy, who dreamt, worked hard and achieved lots.
Reach Out: aerophilia.com