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First PhD awarded by Harper Adams as full university

Posted 13 December 2012

It is my great honour to become the first student to get a PhD from Harper since it got its university title.

Dr Kondhare and Professor Kettlewell

A student from India has become the first to be awarded a PhD at Harper Adams since it gained full university status.

Dr Kirtikumar Kondhare, who is originally from near Mumbai, has spent more than three years researching at the university, which was awarded full university title on Monday, in Edgmond, near Newport.

His thesis, funded by the Home Grown Cereals Authority, was entitled ‘Understanding and regulating pre-maturity alpha amylase (PMAA) in wheat to maintain high Hagberg Falling Number’.

Dr Kondhare said: “It is my great honour to become the first student to get a PhD from Harper since it got its university title.

“It feels great. You feel so happy about getting it done. Doing a PhD is always a difficult time.”

Professor Peter Kettlewell, Professor of Crop Physiology and Research Co-ordinator, said: “It’s about ultimately trying to improve the quality of wheat for making bread. What Kirtikumar has been doing is studying the hormones and enzymes which affect how good the bread is that is made from wheat.

“Kirtikumar has done very well because with a PhD we try and get them to finish in about three years. Most people can’t do it in three years and go on into four years, but Kirtikumar took just two months over three years.”

Dr Kondhare, who has previously studied at the University of Pune in India, where he did his under-graduate degree, and the University of East Anglia, where he did his post-graduate degree, will graduate next year.

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