Nandika D’Souza

I am a joint professor in the Departments of Mechanical & Energy Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. I have worked here at UNT since my PhD in 1994, becoming an assistant professor starting 1996. It seems like in life and in work, I love bridging and understanding different concepts.

I grew up as a Catholic Christian in Bombay, India and became more personally connected to my faith when I experienced my first few months away from home on arrival at Auburn University in Alabama. Saying familiar prayers and doing familiar rituals surrounded by strangers was a profound experience that gave me a global unity feeling.

I then moved to Texas A&M where I really enjoyed my experience. I was fortunate to have an office in close proximity to Prof. Walter Bradley who proved to be an excellent example of being a professor.

Faith has been a part of my life since birth. My mother and a few generations before hers were raised Catholic. My father was a convert to Christianity and when he passed away early in my life, my mum remarried another converted Christian.

Our family is rooted in faith and the belief that we reflect God in what we do with what he has given us and that we wait and learn what he wishes of us.

One of the sources of great joy at work is watching students evolve and find themselves through their journey to graduation. I recognize many of my own steps and missteps and love to remind all that there is an innate purpose and capability that we each have.

When those two come together, through faith, all can be sustained. Failure need not be the end. We can ask God to give us courage and stand back up again.

I grow daily in my faith. I have generally kept my faith private and not felt called upon to announce it. However, as time has gone by in the University environment I find that academia requires more faculty to step up and identify their faith. Students are at an emotionally vulnerable time in their lives and it seems like the idea that “goodness is not cool” requires some antidote.

I encourage more faculty to declare themselves Christian and let students and faculty know that wanting to follow the example of Jesus is a good way to be.

I prefer to work on improving myself to be more Christian than focusing on converting others. I find example is better than words. I enjoy a query on what gives me the smile I like to walk around with.

I then experience great joy in relating that faith, the living example of my Mum and step-father, the challenges and fortitude God provides lead to a sense of purpose and contentment that abides in my life.

Having two children and a husband who also place God at the head of their lives gives me a sense that all is just right in the world when we live by Him.

My Life

  • Friends describe me
    outgoing, chatty
  • Hobbies
    reading, being in the outdoors
  • Fantasy dinner guests
    Sue Monk Kidd, Charlie Rose, Diane Rehm
  • In college I drove
    bicycle (honestly)
  • Worst school subject
  • College for undergrad degree
    University of Pune, India
  • Best advice I ever got
    Before you get to heaven, you have to die (morbid but a good surrendering thought)
  • Favorite books
    seem to be enjoying anything by Jamie Langston Turner
  • Favorite movies
    Dead Poets Society, Shawshank Redemption
  • Favorite city
    New York
  • Favorite coffee
    Komodo Dragon
  • Nobody knows I
    sing in my office
  • If I were not a professor, I would
    write literature
  • Latest accomplishment
    surviving my last failure.....
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