Seminar on Engineering Education
February 22, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
Few people may have heard of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), an educational institution that offers B Tech and M Tech programs in highly specialized fields such as Aerospace Engineering, Avionics, Physical Sciences, RF and Microwave Communications.
Yet, when Amrita University organized a seminar on engineering education for Standard XI and XII students featuring Dr. B. N. Suresh, Director, IIST as the main speaker, hundreds attended, accompanied by their parents, this past Sunday in the city of Trivandrum.
“Amrita University also offers B Tech programs in several fields including Computer Science, Electronics and Communication, Electronics and Communication, Mechanical, Aerospace, Civil, Chemical and Material Sciences,” explained Br. Anand, the event convener.
“In addition, we offer M Tech in many advanced topics such as Biomedical Engineering, Computational Engineering and Networking, Computer Vision and Image Processing, Cybersecurity, Embedded Systems, Power Electronics, Remote Sensing and Wireless Sensor Networks, VLSI Design, all areas of importance for development of the nation.”
“We wanted students to gain a feel for engineering education and its long-term prospects. We have seen engineers move to the IT industry, but in recent past, we are beginning to see a reversal of that trend. India needs to have well-trained engineers in several fields, if its infrastructure is to improve and its firms are to be compete globally.”
Dr. Suresh began his talk by listing disciplines of engineering study offered in Indian universities. He spoke about the immense possibilities inherent in each discipline. He emphasized that an engineer should try to apply his/her knowledge in real life, which was the need at this time.
Dr. Suresh’s talk further highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary study, focusing on electronics, mechanical, electrical engineering and the relationship with basic sciences like physics and mathematics. “Students can choose any discipline of study, and they must strive to excel in that branch,” he reiterated.
Before Dr. Suresh took over as Director, IIST he led a team of 500 engineers in the development of complex technologies for navigation, guidance, control and simulation of launch vehicles. Having contributed significantly to the successful launches of ASLV, PSLV and GSLV, he discussed opportunities available in space research, aerospace and satellite communications.
Dr. K. Sankaran, Principal, Amrita School of Engineering and Dr. M. R. Kaimal, Chairman, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Amrita, also spoke. In addition, videos of satellite and rocket launches were also viewed by participants.
At the conclusion of the talk, a parent asked Dr. Suresh about the future of deemed universities in India and the risk involved in joining a deemed university. “There is no need to worry about a university that has been given an “A” grade by the UGC,” he replied, obviously referring to Amrita. “Amrita is now a premier institution in India and one can join any of its degree programs without any doubts or hesitation.”