INAE Monthly E-News Letter Vol. VIII, Issue 9, September 1, 2017


 (+) Academy Activities

From the Editor’s Desk

There is no better engineered product than life itself

Engineers are using advanced engineering tools and methods, and at the same time are getting familiar with the tools of modern biology. Quantitative and computational approaches are becomi Read more...

Purnendu Ghosh
Chief Editor of Publications

 Editorial Board, INAE
Academy News
 (+) Articles by INAE Fellows

Dr Purnendu Ghosh

Dr Baldev Raj

Dr K V Raghavan

Dr Sanak Mishra

Prof. Indranil Manna

Prof BS Murty

Prof Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Prof Pradip Dutta

Prof Manoj K Tiwari

Prof Sanjay Mittal

Prof Prasun K Roy

Brig Rajan Minocha

 (+) Engineering and Technology Updates
 (+) Engineering Innovation in India
 (+) Previous E-newsletter
 

From the Editor’s Desk

There is no better engineered product than life itself

Engineers are using advanced engineering tools and methods, and at the same time are getting familiar with the tools of modern biology. Quantitative and computational approaches are becoming vitally important in modern biology. We are witnessing the emergence of biology-based-engineering as well as engineering-based biology education. Now engineering schools are joining hands with medical schools to develop different kinds of inter-disciplinary programmes. We are combining the capabilities of engineering and biology to solve molecular and cellular level problems. The fascinating self-assembling, self-repairing and self-replicating ‘nanomachines’ are getting greater attention of engineers. We are asking how best we can address the problems of life sciences to the engineering students. How much biology is enough for engineering students? In this changing world, ‘life’ is assuming a new meaning. ‘Biological carbon’ is becoming the ‘silicon’ of this century.

Biology and engineering have traditionally represented completely different departments, fields, career paths, even philosophies. But of late, these pursuits have begun to merge in several different ways. There is optimism in the world of life technologies. In order to retain this optimism, engineering and life sciences are coming closer to each other. An engineer’s approach to understand complex biological systems is different. Accordingly, life sciences should be taught differently to engineers. There is a view that says that “function-based approach with the idea of nature as the designer and evolution as the design tool” should be followed to teach life sciences to engineers. It means “start with how it works, then talk about the parts.”

In this age of ‘biologism’, biology is very closely interacting with chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, psychology, sociology and economics. There is a major shift in the way life processes are being studied and understood. The purpose is to understand intricate dynamic behaviour of individual components so as to better appreciate their integration with the whole.

The first revolution in the engineering of life sciences was due to the developments in molecular and cellular biology. This was followed by developments in genetic engineering. The ‘cut and paste technology’ allowed researchers to explore inner working of the cells. This enabled researchers to understand diseases at the molecular ‘hardware’ level inside the cells. Genomics is responsible for the second revolution in biology. The purpose of genomic studies is to look into an organism’s entire genome. The second revolution enabled researchers to understand the ‘software’ that drives cell processes. Due to this revolution, it was possible to sequence the human genome as well as the genomes of many other organisms. Due to these revolutions, emerged many interdisciplinary areas—bioinformatics and computational biology, synthetic and systems biology, nanobiology, biomaterials, and tissue engineering. Convergence of life, physical and engineering sciences is hailed as the third revolution. According to a MIT document, this convergence will be the emerging paradigm for how medical, energy, food, climate, and water research will be conducted in the future. The idea of convergence is to bring closer the technical tools as well as the ‘disciplined design approach’ traditional to engineering and physics, and apply them to life sciences. Convergence is truly an “intellectual cross-pollination”. As a result of convergence, several exciting discoveries are shaping into realities. This is possible due to the coming together of various emerging scientific and engineering disciplines.

 

ACADEMY ACTIVITIES

INAE Youth Conclave

The INAE Youth Conclave was organized at Birla Institute for Scientific Research (BISR), Jaipur on Aug 11-12, 2017. Dr Purnendu Ghosh, Vice -President, and Chief Editor of Publications, INAE and Executive Director, Birla Institute for Scientific Research (BISR), Jaipur had hosted the event. The general theme of the conclave was engineering excellence, youth leadership and nation building. One of the questions often asked is, What should we do, as a country, to become the real players in a techno-bulged world? Many say, Prepare young innovative leaders.  What must we do – as teachers, mentors and employers – to prepare young minds for the future world? What the young professionals think about the future of engineering profession?  These are a few questions INAE addressed in the Youth Conclave. An INAE Youth Forum has been established with the objective of facilitating the engagement of Indian youth in engineering activities at national level. As a first activity of the Forum, with a view to encourage engineering students; a national online Essay Competition for engineering students on “Towards Technological Self-Reliance and Leadership” was held during the year 2017. The prize winners were felicitated during the INAE Youth Conclave

The Youth Conclave was a new initiative of INAE wherein around 150 engineering students from all over the country and about 50 INAE Fellows participated in the deliberations. The Youth Conclave was inaugurated by The Chief Guest, Dr K Kasturirangan, FNAE, Chairman, Karnataka Knowledge Commission. The proceedings of the Conclave were interactive in nature, wherein engineering students were encouraged to interact with the Fellows of INAE from the Academia, R&D and Industry. The Inaugural Session was followed by 7 sessions on Engineering excellence, youth leadership and nation building; Award Ceremony and Presentations by essay competition winners; Engineering -An Industry Perspective; Engineering education and Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Start up and Panel Discussion and Concluding Session. This Youth Conclave will be held each year during which interactive sessions are planned with senior INAE Fellows to encourage the involvement of youth in contributing to the engineering activities of the nation. The next youth Conclave is planned at IIT Kharagpur wherein Prof PP Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur has kindly consented to host the event.

 

 

Engineers Conclave 2017

The Fifth Engineers Conclave-2017 (EC-2017) is being held jointly with CSIR on September 14-16, 2017 at NAL, Bangalore.  Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Hon’ble Union Minister of Science & Technology, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Earth Sciences has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest to inaugurate the event. INAE had taken an initiative of organizing an annual mega event of engineers as “Engineers Conclave” in the year 2013. The first four Engineers Conclaves, viz., EC-2013 with DRDO, EC-2014 with DOS; EC2015 with DAE and EC2016 with IIT Madras were held at New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai respectively.

The two themes for Engineers Conclave-2017 (EC-2017) are: Theme-I on “Regional Air Connectivity” being coordinated by NAL, Bangalore and Theme-II on “Digital Economy” being coordinated by INAE.  These two important themes will focus on cutting edge solutions and specific recommendations for development by the concerned organisations.  Eminent experts and senior functionaries from National and State Centres/ Departments/ Units, Academia, Industry and INAE are expected to participate to deliberate on the important themes of the EC-2017.  All INAE Fellows and Young Associates have been invited to participate in the Engineers Conclave 2017.

Dr. Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship              

INAE and DST have taken an initiative to institute “Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowships” to outstanding engineers to recognize, encourage and support translational research by individuals to achieve excellence in engineering, innovation and technology development. All areas of engineering, innovation and technology will be covered by this fellowship. A Maximum of 10 Fellowships will be awarded per year. The scheme has been approved and launched recently and nominations sought from the Fellowship.

Annals of INAE

The soft copy of the Annals of the INAE Volume XIV, April 2017 containing the text of the lectures delivered by Life Time Contribution Awardees; newly elected Fellows of the Academy and INAE Young Engineer Awardees 2016 has been uploaded on INAE website under the Publications sub-head. The same can be downloaded from the link given below

http://inae.in/ebook/inae-annals-2017/

INAE on Facebook and Twitter

INAE has created a Facebook and twitter Account to post the news of recent INAE activities in the Social Media. The same can be viewed at the link below.
(a) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indian-National-Academy-of-Engineering/714509531987607?ref=hl
(b) Twitter handle link https://twitter.com/inaehq1

All INAE Fellows are requested to visit and follow the above to increase the visibility of INAE in Social media.

Important Meetings held during August 2017

  • Selection Committee for selection of awardees for INAE Young Engineer Award 2017 based on presentations by shortlisted candidates held on Aug 17, 2017 at New Delhi.
  • Selection Committee for selection of projects/theses for Innovative Student Projects Award 2017 based on  presentations by short listed candidates held on Aug 18, 2017 at New Delhi.
  • INAE Governing Council Meeting wherein the main agenda included election of Fellows held on Aug 25, 2017 at New Delhi
  • Meeting of the INAE Forum on “Engineering Education” held on Aug 31, 2017 at INAE Office, Gurgaon

Academia Industry Interaction

AICTE-INAE Distinguished Visiting Professorship Scheme

Industry-academia interactions over technological changes have become essential in recent times so that relevant knowledge that would be sustainable in the changing conditions can be imparted to the students in the engineering institutions. While industries could gain by using the academia’s knowledge base to improve the industry’s cost, quality and global competitive dimensions; thereby reducing dependence on foreign know-how and expenditure on internal R&D, academics benefit by seeing their knowledge and expertise being fruitfully utilized practically and also by strengthening of curricula of educational programs being offered at engineering colleges/institutions. INAE together with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) launched “AICTE-INAE Distinguished Visiting Professorship Scheme” in 1999. Under this scheme, Industry experts are encouraged to give a few lectures in engineering institutions. This scheme has become popular among industry experts as well as engineering colleges.

Brief details pertaining to a recent visit of an industry expert under this scheme are given below.

Mr S Madivaanan, Formerly Additional Director, CVRDE Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar (SSN) College of Engineering, Kalavakkam, Chennai. July 21, 2017 Delivered lectures on “Role of Solid State Drives in Defence Applications”. Guided Projects. According to the feedback received from the engineering college, this scheme helps both the faculty members and the students to interact with Industry Expert and enhance knowledge. The students get an opportunity to understand the industrial requirements.


International Conferences/Seminars being organized by IITs/other Institutions To view a list of International Conferences/Seminars being held in the month of September 2017click here

 

 

Honours and Awards 

1

Dr Baldev Raj, FNAE, Immediate Past President INAE and Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore and formerly Distinguished Scientist and Director, IGCAR Kalpakkam and Formerly President-Research, PSG Institutions, Coimbatore was conferred the GM Modi Science Award by Gujar Mal Modi Foundation. He was conferred the award by Shri YS Chowdhury, Hon’ble Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, the Chef Guest of the Award Function held on Aug 9, 2017 at New Delhi.

 

News of Fellows

1

Prof Mahesh Tandon, FNAE, Managing Director, Tandon Consultants Pvt Ltd, New Delhi has delivered a webinar on July 20, 2017 on the topic “Structures for Spectacular Sports Arenas”.

2

Dr U. Kamachi Mudali, FNAE, Outstanding Scientist and Director, Materials Chemistry & Metal Fuel Cycle Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam has assumed charge as Chief Executive of Heavy Water Board (HWB), one of the prime units of Department of Atomic Energy at Mumbai. HWB has seven plants in the country producing heavy water required for pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) operating in India, and also involved in developing many useful materials of relevance to DAE and society (Boron, Sodium, Potassium, Organic Solvents, etc.)

3

Prof Debabrata Das, FNAE, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Dr Shantonu Roy have authored a book on “Biohythane: Fuel for the Future” published by Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd., Singapore. Prof Debabrata Das has also edited a book on “Microbial Fuel Cell: A bioelectrochemical system that convert wastes to Watts” published by Capital Publishing Company Ltd., New Delhi. In addition, a pilot plant has been commissionedat IIT Kharagpur under his guidance, which is a 10,000 L reactor for the continuous biohydrogen production from the organic wastes. The video has of the operation of the plant has been uploaded in the YOUTUBE and can be viewed at the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfoDj_VfIww

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