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How to find a problem for starting PhD work?

Date: 08 Dec 2015   Posted By: B.Avinash     Group: Education    Category: Professional Courses   

I am working as a Assistant Professor in a private engineering college. I am planning to start my PhD work next year, but I have no idea how to identify a problem for my research work. I am in Mechanical Engineering field. Experts: kindly provide guidance in this regard.

Are you aspiring to do PhD? Wondering how to find a problem? Find responses from experts on this page.

Author: Seema Shah    09 Dec 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

Identify your area of interest for research. Carry out literature survey in the area of interest.
Find the gaps, disadvantages in a particular method, model, process or product. This is the problem.
But, you will also need to search for a good guide for PhD. The problem is typically chosen in consultation with the guide. Since it is important that the guide has expertise in that area.

Author: Sadanandam N    09 Dec 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 8  (Rs 8)    Voting Score: 0

First step to find a problem for doing Ph.D in any field is literature survey. What is literature? Publishing the results of scientific investigation in the form of technical report or project report or a journal or conference paper or a patent is generally called as literature. The crucial step in the advancement of science and technology is communicating the research work in the form of literature.

When you go through the literatures, you can find a set of observations in the research field. From the set of observations, you can come up with a research question or the problem that you want to work on. Once you define the question or problem, again you have to go back to the literature and see what has been done so far and what else can be done. Based on the knowledge you gained from the literature survey, you will come up with a new research problem and you will proceed your Ph.D work.
After completing Ph.D work, you will come up with the prediction or solution based on mathematical modeling and computer software simulations or some set of experiments.

For scientific literature survey, you can use some of the search engines like Scopus, Citebase, ISI Web of knowledge, Engineering Index, Google Scholar, Yahoo Mindset, Free patent, Wikipedia, etc. for finding articles or journals.

You can also find a research problem by looking into some specific journals known as Review Journals. These journals summarizes research problems from the starting point to upto date. You can also use key words for searching specific literatures you want.

Final option to fix a research topic is to approach a expert Research Advisor or Guide . Since he is already in research field for the long time, he will be in a position to inform you some of the research topics from which you can select your topic or problem for Ph.D work.

All the best.

Author: Kailash Kumar    09 Dec 2015      Member Level: Platinum     Points : 4  (Rs 4)    Voting Score: 0

It is not made clear by the author as to whether he is still planning for doing Ph.D. or has taken some steps also in this direction. The quality of his research will depend on the university where he is able to secure admission. The reputed universities are likely to have better professors also who will act as guide for the research project. Generally experienced professors have many ongoing projects in their hand and engage the newly joined students in one of the such projects. Therefore the main target of the author should be to secure admission in as reputed university as possible. Also since Ph.D. is done after M.Tech., it is expected that the student have come across many such topics, during their serious studies for M.Tech. course, on which research can be taken up.

Author: Partha Kansabanik    09 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 5  (Rs 5)    Voting Score: 0

My suggestions are as under:-

(a) First introspect and shortlist some areas of interest in Mechanical Engineering, or in inter-disciplinary fields.
(b) After short-listing the areas, read some academic articles on these areas. You may collect these topics.
(c) Then you have to find a guide (preferably a Professor of renowned Universities/Engineering Colleges) who teaches in these particular fields. Being a faculty-member yourself, you should not have much problem in this regard. If needed, you may discuss the matter with other faculty-members or your own Professors.
(d) Meet the guide and after detailed discussion with him, chose a topic in your shortlisted areas of interest.
(e) Then, with the help of guide, prepare a research proposal in 5000 words, and fine-tune it.
(f) Thereafter, take admission in a recognized University when the advertisement in this regard is published.

Author: [Anonymous]    09 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

PhD. registration need following steps:-
1. First thing is to make your stiff decision of pursuing PhD, because it is very long duration course and one need to be highly dedicated for the same.

2. Select your field of interest in Mechanical Engineering line.

3. Approach scientists of the same field and share your wish to pursue your PhD. under his /her guidance.

4. After some hard work, you will get an approved guide. Then there will be following cases:-
A. Either he or she will be holding one project which will be shared with your for your PhD. work.
B. He will ask you topic of interest. In this case you will need to study lots of literature. You may also read the thesis of old students and can continue their work where they have left.
C. You guide will give you a topic of his or her interest and you are bound to do that.

In all the cases, you must have interest for the topic because to work for 4-5 years, you cannot drag something without interest.

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