April 3, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
“I am typically found under highways and railway tracks; I allow water to be channeled underneath; what am I?”
“Culvert,” answered Amrita students Hema Sharanya and Rini John Alappat.
These final-year students of B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) recently won the first prize in a technical quiz competition organized by Ultra Tech Cement.
The contest drew participation from 148 teams representing different colleges in South India.
The multi-level contest consisted of preliminary rounds in the respective college that enabled the two top students from each college to participate.
Hema and Rini were chosen from Amrita. “These two students consistently get top ranks; both are very enthusiastic and dynamic,” their faculty members remarked.
At the subsequent regional-level round the Amrita students placed first. Next they competed in the state-level round, where they were second.
In both these rounds, they solved crossword puzzles in addition to answering questions based on visual and other clues.
Teams that placed at first and second positions in each of the four South Indian states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were invited to Bengaluru to compete in the South India finals.
Participants mostly included final-year students of Civil Engineering; questions tested both theoretical knowledge and practical aspects of the discipline.
“How does one determine the workability of a concrete mix with a low water-cement ratio?” the Amrita students were asked during the finals.
“Compaction factor test,” they answered, with confidence.
“Born in Illinois, USA in 1880, I was a scientist. I was Director of Portland Cement Association in Chicago. I developed a test method for determining the workability of concrete mix by using a piece of equipment that came to be known by my name. Who was I?”
The Amrita students knew. “Duff A. Abrams,” they replied.
“It was our teachers who equipped us with the theoretical knowledge. They also took pains so that we gain real exposure to the world of construction, by arranging frequent field trips. Over our four years of study, we had the opportunity to interact with resource personnel from both industry and academia, who enthusiastically shared their insights with us,” the duo stated, with gratitude.
The quiz is being conducted since 2006. It is hosted by Mr. Giri Balasubramanian.