The questions Sruthi Sahebjada wants to answer are about cerebral palsy.
With all four of her limbs affected by the condition causing rigidity in muscle movement, Sruthi is grateful to her parents for ensuring she received the treatment she needed to live independently. However, she is determined to do what she can to make life easier for other sufferers and their parents.
“I grew up in Hyderabad, India. In year 10 I looked online and found a research group at RMIT using engineering to find mechanical solutions for cerebral palsy sufferers. As soon as I finished school I moved to Melbourne to study at RMIT. In 2011, I graduated with a degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering; successfully got exempted from doing my Masters and finally, started my PhD.”
A PhD requires four years of intensive research and Sruthi knew she would be unable to give her undivided attention to investigating neuromuscular disorders and work at the same time. She says she was fortunate to be awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award through RMIT, which covers tuition fees and provides a living stipend for three years.
“I could not have committed to a PhD without the scholarship funding. I’m studying under the guidance of the Professor I first read about back when I was sixteen, which is a dream come true for me.”