IIT Hyderabad: Jamun seeds to treat water, green innovations, 3 new courses in 2017
About 13 MoUs were signed between IIT-H and foreign universities, educational institutions and industries. Of these, nine universities and one industry were from Japaneducation Updated: Dec 28, 2017 15:49 IST
Three new programmes and 13 MoUs, community welfare projects and awards for innovations which included use of jamun (black plum) seeds to remove fluoride from water and cheaper and greener ways to recycle polystyrene (used for Styrofoam cups, containers) made this an action-packed year for the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H)
The two new B Tech courses introduced were BTech in engineering mathematics and BTech in minor in design. The BTech (engineering mathematics) will enable students to pursue higher studies, such as a PhD in math, in world-class universities. The minor in design course is aimed at helping enabling creative thinking, entrepreneurial skills in students.
An all course MTech programme with specialisations in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering has also been introduced after which students will receive MTech degrees, an IIT-H release said.
About 13 MoUs were signed between IIT-H and foreign universities, educational institutions and industries. Of these, nine universities and one industry were from Japan, Prof K Siva Kumar, dean of international and alumni relations was quoted as saying in the release.
The institute also launched a joint PhD programme this year with Australia’s Swinburne University in which about 11 students have been admitted so far.
The institute’s welfare project to adopt five villages belonging to scheduled caste communities under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan received the Swacchta Award by the HRD ministry. An extensive socio-economic survey of the villages was done to identify grass-root issues.
Research projects that made news included an innovative process to remove fluoride from drinking water with jamun seeds and a cheaper, low-energy, and green way to recycle polystyrene (from which Styrofoam cups, containers are made) using orange peels.
A team led by Dr Chandra Shekhar Sharma, assistant professor, department of chemical engineering, developed a jamun seed-based ‘activated carbon’ to remove fluoride from drinking water to the levels considered acceptable by the World Health Organisation.
A group of researchers from the Institute also demonstrated a cheaper, low-energy, and green way of recycling polystyrene and low-density Styrofoam (a form of expanded polystyrene) using orange peel extract. The process involves dissolving polystyrene in the citrus extract and drawing it into fibres using wet/solution spinning. The fibre is then turned into non-woven fabric. “Since fabric made of recycled polystyrene is naturally oil-loving, it can be used for day-to-day household cleaning in kitchens, and also for large-scale removal of oil-spill,” the release said.
The project has received financial support of Rs.37 lakh from the Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Waste Management Programme. The innovation also won a gold medal in the recently concluded World Invention and Innovation Forum (WIIF) 2017 in Guangdong, China.
Prof. Aravind Kumar Rengan, assistant professor, department of biomedical engineering, was awarded the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal in the Young Scientist category for 2017 for devising a novel way of nano-delivery using liposomes and gold nanoparticles. This is useful for both imaging and therapeutics.
Dr Sushmee Badhulika, associate professor, department of electrical engineering, IIT Hyderabad, was awarded the prestigious Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) Young Engineer Award 2017 in recognition of her contribution in the field of flexible and wearable nanoelectronics and eco-friendly paper-based electronics. Her research group has developed a low cost, artificial electronic skin (e-skin), beneficial to acid attack and burn victims.
Speaking about the achievements of the Institute in 2017, Prof UB Desai, director, IIT Hyderabad, said, “This has been a great year with faculty getting many awards like the INSA young scientist award, INAE young engineer award, NASI young scientist award and many more. Our research in 5G, nanoscience, and other domains is getting recognition world over. On the academic front also, we have innovated and created more flexibility”.