Hi Srijeeta, how are you doing?

Hello, I am doing very well. I am absolutely at ease in this university.

That’s great. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I am a second-year Bachelor’s student in physics at Adamas University, Kolkata, India, currently doing a two-month summer internship at the Faculty of Physics.  

Tell us three things that you like the most about your hometown.

That’s a tricky question! Kolkata is known as the land of festivals. The people of Kolkata celebrate 13 festivals in 12 months. Of course, I am a big fan of the music and culture of my hometown. And finally, the food – although I am not a foodie, I am a huge fan of the flavors of Kolkata.

What motivated you to take up physics?

As a child, I was fascinated by space but as I grew up, I started to like electromagnetism a lot. I recently learned that light has momentum – which means it can push you, too! And this happens because of the magnetic field. While I was digging deeper into this topic, I discovered particle physics and I liked it very much as well. So, as you can see, numerous aspects of physics interest me and I am highly eager to understand the laws of nature through physics.

How did you learn about ITMO?

My brother is a PhD student at ITMO. Thanks to him, I learned about ITMO’s beautiful campuses, exceptional educational system, and world-class research facilities. I really like the fact that ITMO references pop culture so much. Everyone at ITMO speaks English to some extent, which makes it very convenient for international students like me.

How do you feel here?

I am feeling quite at home, honestly. The Faculty of Physics has such an interesting room planning concept. Each room is named after a celestial body or a constellation. I feel my dreams manifesting as soon as I step inside. 

Tell us something about the project that you are working on.

I'm working on antenna design at the RFID lab. I started designing RFID reader antennas but slowly moved on to investigate super cavity modes. Now I'm looking for super cavity modes in resonators. Resonators are devices like oscillators that generate or trap EM waves of a specific frequency. I am running a lot of simulations every day and looking at color maps of things. That's what I have learned and been doing so far. 

Where can this technology be applied?

This technology is currently being used as a filter of frequencies. But I have also been thinking about a very special application because I'm so particle-physics-headed. I was thinking if we could use these filters for small particles and then we can see what energy they are releasing by looking at their absorption or emission spectra. If we can somehow tune our resonator to this frequency, we might be able to transmit or accept the frequency that a certain source is producing. With the help of it, we might one day be able to identify the frequency of a particle. I'm now just on the surface of this topic and I have to dig deeper. For now, I'm just guessing!

Srijeeta with Ildar Yusopov (left) and Dr. Alexey Slobozhanyuk (right). Photo courtesy of the subject

Srijeeta with Ildar Yusopov (left) and Dr. Alexey Slobozhanyuk (right). Photo courtesy of the subject

Who are your scientific supervisors?

I am working under Dr. Alexey Slobozhanyuk and Mr. Ildar Yusopov, a fourth-year PhD candidate at the Faculty of Physics. In fact, my training started way back in January 2024, when I started learning CST software from Ildar online. Alexey and Ildar have been amazing mentors and supervisors to me. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. I consider myself really lucky.

Do you notice any difference in the education system of Russia compared to that of India?

Yes, education in Russia is more practical-oriented while that of India is mostly theoretical. I recently visited a poster presentation at ITMO, where I saw Bachelor’s students not only presenting their work as posters but also complementing it with 3D working models. Theoretical physics is of more of an interest in India. I really like both the practical and the theoretical aspects. I think they are different flavors of studying physics. 

Are you looking to enroll in a Master’s program at ITMO?

I would love to but presently, the Master’s program in RFID is offered only in Russian. Alexey and Ildar said that they would recommend launching this program in English by the time I finish my Bachelor’s program. The Faculty of Physics also offers a couple of English-taught programs that I might like to join. 

That’s great! Let’s talk about your life beyond ITMO. How are you feeling in St. Petersburg?

I am here with my family and it has been an absolute roller coaster ride! We had to go through a lengthy 4-hour immigration procedure at the Pulkovo airport and by the time we came outside, it was already 1 AM. Luckily for us, we got to experience the incredible white nights right after arrival. Since then, we have been having a wonderful time here in St. Petersburg. The weather and the clean air make me feel many years younger!

Wow! Have you visited some of the famous places here?

I have not yet but I have been spending a lot of time in the parks. St. Petersburg is so lush green. The woodlands are my favorite spots to spend time with nature. Once I was going to the Lakhta Center but I lost my way and ended up reaching the Gulf of Finland! My disappointment turned into joy as I found myself next to river Sestra.

Srijeeta at the Datsan Gunzechoinei. Photo courtesy of the subject

Srijeeta at the Datsan Gunzechoinei. Photo courtesy of the subject

Have you got a hang of the transportation here yet? What’s your favorite mode of transport?

I seem to have grasped the basics of transportation here. Yandex Maps has been my savior. I like the metro the most as it is quick and efficient. I also travel on trams and buses a lot.

Have you tried Russian food?

I have not had the opportunity yet but I am really looking forward to trying Russian salads and soups. For now, I have tasted shawarma, blinis, and cookies. They are absolutely delicious! A special mention goes to Russian ice creams. Unlike India, the ice creams here are more creamy and flavorful.

What are your hobbies?

I am a big enthusiast of ballet and opera. I follow the Mariinsky Theater and the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and learn ballet online. I am a lifelong fan of Mozart, Vivaldi, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 

That’s so impressive! Finally, would you recommend our readers to do an internship at ITMO?

Yes, absolutely! Doing an internship here is a great idea because of the hospitality and warmth one receives from teachers, peers, friends, and even strangers. I would advise them to learn some Russian before they come here, as that will massively improve their overall experience. At ITMO, you can always find helpful people who are kind towards you and ready to support you, no matter what.