Dhumane, Rohit

Research Topic: 

Robotic Cooling


Story by Francesca Pascual

Rohit Dhumane is part of the team that works on RoCo, the ARPA-E funded personal HVAC systems.  He spent the last several months using dynamic modeling to improve its performance. Additionally, his work involved using transient modeling to assess cooling mechanisms. “For this project, I had to learn dynamic modeling to create models for RoCo’s behavior,” he says. This includes modeling to adjust the heating and cooling output based on personal preferences and the surrounding environment.

Aims to be a 'Socially Savvy Engineer'

Dhumane hopes that his new modeling skills will prepare him for a future in industry work, ideally in a research lab. “I am looking forward to contributing my own research to the scientific community someday,” Dhumane remarks. Prior to coming to CEEE, he worked at Godrej Appliances as a design manager, creating models to determine if new technology could be applied to the refrigerators that the company produced. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in Mumbai, India. However, Dhumane expanded his interests beyond engineering, and took classes in other fields, such Human Computer Interaction and Psychology. “I earned a Bachelor of Technology instead of a Bachelor of Science. I want to be a socially-savvy engineer,” he says decidedly.

Undergrad Advisor was a CEEE Alumni

He became interested in CEEE after working extensively with his Master’s advisor, Prof. Milind Rane, who was once a Ph.D. student at CEEE. He recommended CEEE highly. Dhumane also attended a CEEE consortium meeting, and was impressed by the research opportunities and relationships with industry members. He was also interested in conducting experiments based upon his own interests. “CEEE is a leader in air conditioning and refrigeration technology. This was the best place for me to expand my knowledge in those fields,” he explains.

The diversity surrounding the University of Maryland’s campus also appealed to Dhumane. “I was hoping that the mix of people would open my mind to new ways of thinking, and I was right,” he states.

Dhumane has many plans for the future, and is looking forward to the educational career that he still has ahead of him. Since coming to CEEE in August 2014, he has been consistently impressed by his colleagues and professors. “Everyone here is hard-working and accomplished. You have so many opportunities to learn from them,” Dhumane says. He has also found his experiences at the 2015 Fall Consortium valuable, where he presented his research and met sponsors.

Though he did not have any experience with publishing his work before coming to CEEE, he had some experience with the patent process. “I currently have one patent application,” he states. The patent involves a multipurpose extruded heat exchanger which can be used as a standalone radiant panel. This heat exchanger effectively creates a comfortable environment without requiring an additional dehumidifying setup.

Multi-disciplinary interests, travel, make for a well-rounded life

Dhumane also had some experience presenting research, first during his undergraduate years, then at Godrej Applications. However most of his presentation background stems from Barcamp, Mumbai, which is a forum for people to introduce new ideas. There, he was able to share his ideas on topics that interested him, such as how to use online resources to learn about various topics like guitar and tennis. He also discussed how the color of people’s clothes affects other’s perception of them.

He studied this phenomenon when he developed an interest in psychology, which stemmed from poor card-playing skills. “I was tired of losing to my friends all the time, so I read about body language and how to understand others,” he says with a laugh.  Dhumane left his card-playing life in India. Currently, he is taking a Cuban salsa class. Additionally, he is learning how to ice skate backwards, though he’s already mastered gliding quickly across the ice and making sharp turns.

Dhumane is also exceptionally well traveled; he has visited New York, California, multiple countries in the United Kingdom, South Korea, and many other places. He also lived in Germany for three months during an internship as an undergrad. When asked which vacation was his favorite, he struggled to pick just one. “I guess I would have to say the Himalayas. There are many different types of landscapes in close proximity. You could be in a desert one day and on a snowy mountain top the next day,” he says, reminiscing. However, Dhumane is taking a break from traveling: “It is an expensive hobby.” Now, he mainly takes trips over the weekend to places in the surrounding area.