December 18, 2011
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
SCADA computer systems gather data from a remote facility, either a waste water treatment plant or an oil / gas pipeline through sensors. This data is then sent to a central computer system usually located off-site.
These Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are used to monitor and control industrial processes and are critical to the smooth operation of power plants, even railways and telecommunications.
In many ways, SCADA systems form the backbone for automation of industrial processes.
In 2003, Jamia Millia Islamia University became the first academic institution to set up a SCADA laboratory for research purposes. Dr. Mini Thomas, Professor of Electrical Engineering, single-handedly designed, developed and commissioned the lab.
Dr. Mini, who obtained her BTech from University of Kerala, MTech from IIT Madras and PhD from IIT Delhi, was recently in the Amritapuri campus to interact with the faculty and students here.
During her talk, Dr. Mini highlighted SCADA systems used to automate power substations which transmit and distribute electrical power.
“When substations are SCADA controlled and monitored, they become reliable power systems able to rapidly respond to real-time events, like equipment failure, accidents and catastrophes, while still maintaining uninterrupted power services,” she said.
“In a country like India, where cities are densely populated and industries are thriving and energy requirements are growing, proper energy distribution is needed,” noted Dr. Kanakasabapathy, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Amritapuri, who attended Dr. Mini’s talk.
“SCADA helps strike a balance; it also helps in auto restoration of power in case of failure,” he added.
M.Tech. students of Power and Energy on the campus attended the lecture in large numbers.
Syam M. S., first-year student, found the talk very informative. “We were fortunate to be able to hear about SCADA systems from a pioneer in this area,” he remarked.
Indeed. Dr. Mini is not only an accomplished academician, she is a pioneer in many other areas, as well. Currently, the IEEE MGA Global Vice-Chair, she is the first scientist from Asia-Pacific to hold this post.
Having published and presented over 50 papers in international journals and conferences, she is also the recipient of a Career Award for Young Teachers, from the Government of India.