Throughout the Golden
Jubilee year 2009-2010 several national and international conferences
were held in IITK where the topics ranged from fabrionics, energy, environment,
material sciences to entrepreneurship and technology innovation. Many
well-known scholars from around the world were invited to the campus to
discuss and share the latest work in their respective fields.
International Conference on Water Harvesting, Storage and Conservation
25th November 2009
International Conference on Water –
Harvesting, Storage and Conservation (WHSC-2009) was the first of the
series of conferences organized as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations
of IIT Kanpur. WHSC-2009 was organized under the Chairmanship of Dr.
Vinod Tare, Professor, Environmental Engineering and Management Program,
Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur.
The world and especially India is facing an acute problem of water security.
There are several gaps in the available technologies and policies related
to water management which include both quantity and quality issues. For
minimizing these gaps, issues related to water management must be addressed
together by scientists, technologists, policy makers, implementers, and
the society at large. The conference was an effort to foster coordination
amongst the various stakeholders and to bring together experts of national
and international repute in the field to share their knowledge and experience
on the technological options, policy guidelines and implementing mechanisms
for water harvesting, storage and conservation.
The main objectives of this conference were to: (i) assess the significance
of water harvesting, storage and conservation to meet the international
water stipulate, (ii) assess challenges related to water harvesting, storage
and conservation technologies, and (iii) engage stakeholders in issue-oriented
discussion, to share experience and agree on a common plan of action.
The unique features of this conference were: technical sessions with only
invited papers from eminent persons in the field; working group meetings
in three parallel sessions each day of the conference to deliberate on
policy, technology and planning and implementation issues; plenary session
on each day to identify gaps, suggest measures and come up with recommendations
on policy, technology and planning and implementation for rainwater harvesting,
storage and conservation; posters on all contributed papers; two special
events on (i) Pollution Abatement in Ganga Basin: Bioremediation Potential
and Challenges and (ii) Sanitation Technologies; Exhibition and Model
Competition for school children.
More than 250 participants and over 25 eminent people as invited speakers
from all over the world attended the conference. The 3-day conference
successfully provided a platform for discussion and interaction on various
issues of water harvesting, storage and conservation and paved the way
for possible future collaborations amongst the participants from all over
the world. The overwhelming response received for organization and participation
in the conference is a revelation of the concern for water security.
The conference was supported by The United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEF); The State Water Resources Agency (SWaRA), Govt. of U.P.; Project
Activity Core Team (PACT), Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project
(UPWSRP), Department of Irrigation, Govt. of U.P.; World Wide Fund for
Nature, India (WWF-India) and its Living Ganga Program; Water Aid-India;
Arghyam; Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India; Department
of Drinking Water and Supply (DDWS), Ministry of Rural Development, Govt.
of India; Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Uttar Pradesh Pollution
Control Board (UPPCB). The conference was covered by India Water Portal
and Asian Water as media partners along with local print and electronic
5th Junior National Organic Symposium Trust (J-NOST) Conference
7th December 2009
The National Organic Symposium
Trust (NOST) is a non-profit organization established in 1983 for promoting
organic chemistry through scientific interactions in conferences/seminars.
Since then, it has been involved in such activities where established
organic chemists in both India and abroad get a platform to share their
research work. In 2003, the board of trustees of the NOST decided to have
a separate forum for research scholars and junior scientists for scientific
deliberations and interactions, which later became known as Junior National
Organic Symposium Trust (J-NOST) Meet. Four such conferences have been
successfully organized till now.
The 5th J-NOST conference was held at IIT Kanpur. The topics covered all
aspects of organic chemistry ranging from the synthetic aspects to the
development of anti-malarial drugs, glycosidase inhibitors and natural
products. There were 112 participants from 61 different institutions (eight
from the UK). Sixty-one of them gave oral presentations while twenty-six
gave poster presentations.
This conference also has a tradition of inviting students from the UK.
Eight students came from eight different universities of the UK for oral
presentations. There were insightful talks by many eminent scholars like
Prof. Ray C. F. Jones of Loughborough University, UK, who spoke on ‘What
is an ethical chemist?’
A special event was organized during J-NOST5 where twelve awards for outstanding
thesis were presented to deserving Indian students by Eli-Lilly, a global
pharmaceutical company based in the USA. Twenty students received the
Eli-Lilly awards, two of them from IIT Kanpur- Ms. Monika Raj and Mr.
K. B. Joshi.
Symposium on Fabrication at Small Scale (FASS) and Indo-US Conference
on Fabrionics: Science of Advanced Fabrication
9 - 12th
An Indo-US conference on Fabrionics was organized to bring together scientists
from various areas such as nanoscience and technology, manufacturing engineering,
micro-fabrication technology, biology and energy systems. A key strength
of the meeting was the scientific presentations given by the various scientists
from mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics
The conference focused on fabrication, structures and properties on micro-nano
scales: soft materials, self-assembly, self-organization and novel functionalities.
The basic research themes were:
1. Fabrication on small scale: From top down to self assembly
2. Synthesis and fabrication of functional materials and interfaces
3. Mechanics on small scale during self assembly and small scale fabrication
4. Fabrication of Bioplatforms: MEMS/ NEMS/ Microfluidics
5. Materials and devices for energy and environment
Numerous presentations on nanoscience and technology highlighted the diverse
areas of biosensors, fuel cells, solid-state lighting, and drug delivery
research and opened up new avenues of exploration. There were talks on
the changing landscape of manufacturing, desktop sized factories and miniaturization.
This trend would redistribute manufacturing capability from a capital
and energy intensive focus in the hands of a few to a low cost energy
efficient enabling technology in the hands of the many. Presentation on
BioMEMS showed how miniaturization science can be used to solve chemical
and biological problems with an emphasis on molecular biology and energy,
problems which include medical diagnostics, sensor technology, micro-battery
development, and novel drug delivery systems among others. Some talks
emphasized the importance of the development of Microfluidic Compact Discs,
Carbon-MEMS devices and Electroactive Polymer substrates.
The conference helped to explore the cutting-edge of micro/nano fabrication
and functions, which is a highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary
area with equal interest across many departments such as Materials and
Metallurgical Engineering, Materials Science, Biosciences, Chemistry,
Physics, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering.
Amidst all the intellectual discussions and talks, a cultural program
was organized on the 10th and 11th of December where the participants
were treated to Astaad Deboo’s dynamism, a man with a highly energetic
and individualistic dance style. He gave two performances – Breaking
Boundaries and Rhythm Divine – with his troupe. For further details
of this program please refer to the Cultural Events section.
The conference was supported by the IIT Kanpur Golden Jubilee fund, the
Indo-US Center for Research Excellence in Fabrionics (funded by the Indo-US
Science and Technology Forum, Delhi) and the National Science Foundation,
International Conference on Turbulence
23rd December 2009
Turbulence is one of the
unsolved problems in classical physics. Recent powerful computer simulations
and sophisticated experiments have made this field very exciting. To discuss
the recent exciting developments in turbulence, an International Conference
was organized which saw enthusiastic participation from the turbulence
community. Leading national and international scientists in the area of
turbulence participated in the conference.
The focus of the conference was on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), Liquid
Metals, and Dynamo. There were also sessions on convective instabilities
and turbulence instabilities, fluid turbulence, etc. Altogether there
were 11 technical sessions on topics such as MHD, liquid metal, dynamo,
astrophysical turbulence, fluid turbulence instabilities, and computational
fluid dynamics. All the sessions started with general talks in the subfields.
The participants also discussed future collaborations.
There were 32 speakers with 9 international and 23 national scientists
and engineers. Among the 23 Indian speakers, 10 were from IIT Kanpur.
25 students registered for the conference with 15 of them from IIT Kanpur.
Five participants presented posters. The pdf versions of the talks have
been uploaded at the website: http://home.iitk.ac.in/~mkv/Conf/Talks.html.
The conference was funded by the Golden Jubilee Committee of IIT Kanpur,
the Physics Department of IIT Kanpur, the National Fusion Program, and
the Department of Atomic Energy under the BRNS scheme.
Energy Conclave 2010
15th January 2010
The global energy concerns
of depleting fossil fuels and climate change have put forward great challenges
for researchers in not only engineering sciences but also in economics
and social sciences. There is an urgent need to evaluate the research
and development work being done in the area of energy and to set guidelines
for the future. The ‘Energy Conclave 2010’ provided an excellent
platform for people to get to know and interact with each other, to exchange
new ideas, discuss new developments and finally to look at the challenges
ahead for a sustainable future.
The conclave lasted 8 days, starting 8th January. For each day a specific
focus area in a specific energy option was assigned and there were several
talks and discussions pertaining to that area. Here are the details of
the events held during the conclave.
The theme for day 1 was ‘New Paradigms in Energy Policy and Regulation’.
The growth of the Indian economy in the near future requires substantial
growth in energy supply. There is a need to enhance investment, to improve
efficiency along the supply chain of energy and to bring in economic efficiency
in the sector. Policy and regulatory framework plays a key role in achieving
these objectives. The existing and emerging challenges in the Indian energy
sector need local solutions with insights from global experience. The
regulatory institutions and policy makers have a key role to play in this
With the aim of gaining insight into key issues of policy and regulation
across power, coal, oil & gas, renewable energy and climate change,
the following topics were covered:
1. A multi-sector Regulator
2. Competition and choice in electricity
3. Towards a Framework for Pricing in the Energy Sector
4. A Market for Energy Efficiency in India
5. Climate and India’s Energy Sector
6. Renewable Energy: A New Regulatory Approach
7. New Paradigms for Regulating Power Sector
Also, there were two Roundtables – 1) Multi-Sector Regulator and
2) India and Climate Change.
The theme of day 2 was ‘Civilian Nuclear Energy’. At the present
time Indian civilian nuclear energy planning involves accelerated growth
of nuclear power in the next 20 years. This implies the creation of a
massive amount of nuclear infrastructure in a very short time. Safety
and health aspects are crucial from a social point of view and they formed
the focus of this one-day workshop. Nuclear engineering education and
training is also a vital component of this exercise and universities play
a very important role in this area. A panel discussion on emerging nuclear
engineering programs in Indian universities was held in the afternoon
10th – 12th January
‘Advances in Combustion and Transportation’ formed the theme
of the discussions during the next three days of the conclave. Combustion
as a science has developed considerably over the last few decades and
has helped in improving the efficiencies of automobile engines, gas turbines,
rocket engines and of industrial processes like power generation etc.
However, looking at the rapidly increasing energy demand, the limited
supply of fossil fuels and the increased concern over global warming due
to emissions, a lot more needs to be done to further improve system efficiencies,
to identify/invent alternative sources of energy, and to develop reusable
and cleaner technologies.
This workshop discussed the emerging new technologies of combustion modeling,
diagnostics and control as well as the advances in renewable energy and
clean combustion technologies. It brought together the contributions of
active researchers from academia, industry and research institutions.
The directions of future research were identified and that will greatly
help the combustion community.
The theme for the sixth day was ‘Photovoltaic Science and Technology’.
It is well known that photovoltaic or solar cells have the potential of
providing clean and green energy. The only impediment in its adoption
by the common man is its high price. The price of the technology can be
brought down by new and cheaper materials, processes and better solar
cell structures and hence, the need for research and development.
The Institute had also earlier organized a National Conference on the
Emerging Trends in the Photovoltaic Energy Generation and Utilization
(NCETPEGU) in March 2008. It was inaugurated by Mr. V. Subramanian, then
Secretary MNRE. Besides Indian participants, there was large participation
of experts in PV from outside India. The indigenous Photovoltaic industries
too, had participated enthusiastically and brought their products in an
exhibition. A decision had been made to set up a "Solar Energy Research
Enclave". The symposium had brought together academicians, scientists
and technologists working in universities, research institutes and industries
on one platform to share their experiences, knowledge and expertise and
move forward in the right direction.
The next day’s theme was ‘Hydrogen & Energy Storage’.
The symposium aimed to elucidate the chemical and electrochemical approaches
in addressing the energy challenge. The focus was on the fundamental science
and engineering issues in generating and processing appropriate fuels
(like hydrogen, methanol and solid-state materials for battery applications)
and on the electrochemical means of converting the fuels into more usable
The final day of the conclave was intended to identify specific areas
of research which need immediate attention to handle the challenges of
Smart Energy Delivery Systems (SEDS). The concept needs to be evolved
organically from within the country, to be relevant to the prevalent market
practices and social realities. In this workshop, eminent speakers were
invited to address specific issues on the technological aspects of systems
operation, control and intelligent grid concepts, keeping in view that
a significant share of distributed generation uses renewable sources.
The workshop culminated in a panel discussion to identify the specific
areas of research which will help develop the necessary infrastructure,
and the technical knowledge base needed for developing a smart delivery
mechanism for electrical energy.
The 8-day conclave was a very successful event and saw the participation
of more than 150 speakers of international repute and approximately 500
students, professionals and practising engineers, industry people, scientists
working in the field of energy, social scientists and economists.
The conclave organizers were successful in making this event a “zero
cost event” for the Institute and the Golden Jubilee Committee.
Also, this was the first time that the Institute organized such a big
event spread over so many days.
Annual Global Conference on Entrepreneurship and Technology
Innovation (AGCETI 2010)
18th January 2010
Entrepreneurship and innovation
are critical to wealth creation in any economy. They are important for
geo-political economy in that they foster the reduction of income disparity
at national and global levels. Technology is often a primary driver for
both entrepreneurship and innovation. In the current global context technology
innovation and management are inherently linked to the fostering and sustaining
of competitive advantage. With the aim of threading together these separate
themes an Annual Global Conference on Entrepreneurship and Technology
Innovation was organized at IITK. The intention was to highlight the criticality
of developing entrepreneurial talent in boosting technology innovation.
There were 160 participants from India, Africa, Italy and the US. The
general plan of each day’s session for the three days of the conference
was aimed at bringing together the diverse perspectives of the various
stakeholders in entrepreneurship and technology innovation. There was
one keynote address each day from the three critical stake holders i.e.
the government, the non-governmental organizations and the financial institutions,
followed by four research presentations, two in the morning and two in
the afternoon session. This was interspersed with panel discussions by
industry experts in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and finance.
Each panel comprised 4 - 6 candidates. The featured topics were –
Commercializing emerging technology, Entrepreneurship education, Financing
new ventures and Corporate Entrepreneurship. Participants in panel discussions
comprised people with considerable experience who shared their views and
perspectives and provided a critical analysis of the success and failure
of specific models in the above four areas. Each day’s session ended
with a ten-minute presentation by entrepreneurs sharing their experiences
and around 10 entrepreneurs from diverse areas participated. Addresses
of the keynote speakers provided a macro perspective of the ways of nurturing
entrepreneurial talent and identifying the key drivers for creating and
sustaining a knowledge economy.
There was an assortment of good quality research papers and working papers
on innovation and entrepreneurship. These papers were made available in
the form of CD-ROM and a conference proceeding was also published to disseminate
them to a wider audience.
The participants had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with entrepreneurs,
corporate executives from India and academicians from across the world.
The conference provided opportunities for collaborative research and also
highlighted the need of promoting research in the field. This was to be
achieved through a capacity building exercise by conducting research workshops
and provide funding for research in specific areas.
To this end, the Asian Entrepreneurship Association (AEA), a global forum,
has been established with IIT Kanpur (India), NSTEDB, DIT, RPI (US), McMaster
University (Canada), National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), IIMA, IIMB,
ISB, IITB, VIT, Montclair university (US), ICICI Knowledge park and Università
Politecnicadelle Marche as the founding members to focus on entrepreneurship
in the Asian context with a global focus. A proposal for funding has been
developed and put forward to DST and other funding agencies. AGCETI is
currently an annual event and AGCETI 2011 is proposed to be hosted at
IIT Bombay during the first week of December, 2011. An announcement regarding
the program for encouraging research in entrepreneurship is expected during
AGCETI 2011 subject to the receipt of funding commitment from the funding
The conference was generously funded by IIT Kanpur, the Indo US Science
and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), the Department of Information Technology
(DIT), SIDBI Ventures, NSTEDB (National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship
Development Board), the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
(DSIR), the Syndicate Bank, Sun Startup essentials, D. Ganguly and Associates
and the Intel Corporation.
International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) Program
on Non-Equilibrium Statistical Physics (NESP) and Interaction,
Instability, Transport and Kinetics: Glassiness and Jamming
– 8th February 2010
Between 30th January and
8th February 2010 two international mega-events were organized at IIT
Kanpur. The ICTS program titled ‘Non – equilibrium statistical
physics (NESP)’, fully sponsored by the newly established International
Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of TIFR, was held from 30th January
to 8th February 2010.
The other parallel conference from 4th to 8th February titled ‘Interaction,
Instability, Transport and Kinetics: Glassiness and Jamming’ was
sponsored jointly by IIT Kanpur and the Centre of Applied Mathematics
and Computational Science (CAMCS) of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics,
Prof. Debashish Chowdhary (IIT Kanpur) chaired both events, the co-chairs
being Prof. Bikas K. Charabarti (SINP, Kolkata) and Prof. Arun K. Grover
(TIFR, Mumbai). The conveners were Dr. Amit Dutta and Dr. Satyajit Banerjee
from the Department of Physics, IIT Kanpur. The chief patron was Prof.
Sanjay G. Dhande, Director, IIT Kanpur and the co-patrons were Prof. R.
K. Thareja, Deputy Director, IIT Kanpur; Prof. K. Muralidhar, DORD, IIT
Kanpur; Prof. Sanjeev K. Aggarwal, DRPG, IIT Kanpur; Prof. Manindra Agrawal,
Chairman, Golden Jubilee Committee, IIT Kanpur; and Prof. Y. N. Mohapatra,
Head, Physics Department, IIT Kanpur. Prof. T. V. Ramakrishnan, FRS (IISc.
Bangalore/BHU and ex-Prof. IITK) was the chief advisor of the organizing
The events hosted more than 80 invited speakers and about 60 Ph.D. students
in addition to several post-docs and young faculty members from India
and abroad. The galaxy of esteemed speakers included a Nobel Laureate,
elected members of various prestigious international and national academies,
winners of important national and international awards along with past
and present presidents of the science academies and several directors
of scientific institutes in India and abroad.
Prof. Anthony J. Leggett, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, delivered two lectures.
His first lecture was an expanded version of his Nobel Lecture delivered
at Stockholm. His second lecture in this conference was announced as an
Institute Lecture, which was chaired by Prof. K. Muralidhar (the then
Dean R&D, IIT Kanpur) on behalf of the Institute administration.
There were about 110 lectures delivered during the two mega-events. Two
abstracts books were brought out by the conference organizers, covering
the lectures presented in the NESP IITK: GJ conference. The 1-hr long
lectures had a mix of colloquium level talks and overviews of the frontier
areas. There were also half-an-hour long presentations which addressed
specific issues at the forefront of research in Condensed Matter Physics,
Non-equilibrium aspects of Classical Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Phase
Transitions, Biological Physics and Computer Science.
The general theme of these events covered two aspects: on the one hand,
there were reports of investigations looking at the effects of interactions
among the constituents of a macroscopic system and imposition of external
driving forces which destabilizes the existing order in a system, while
on the other hand, there were reports of studies exploring interactions
in driven systems affecting the transport properties and causing slow
(glassy) relaxation and jamming. The variety of systems investigated under
this general theme included noisy transport of proteins in living cells,
Darwinian evolution in eco-systems and emergence of new species, extremely
slow processes in soft and glassy materials, earthquakes and stock market,
superconductivity and superfluidity under extreme conditions and non-equilibrium
effects in new superconductors, magnetic materials, graphene and nanostructured
material, to name a few.
The aim was to provide a multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas
between theorists and experimentalists on the interplay of interaction,
instability, transport and glassy kinetics in a diverse variety of systems
encountered in nature. Due to the breadth of the scope of the events,
faculty members and students belonging to different departments in IIT
Kanpur were able to actively participate in them.
Also, in a brief ceremony one evening, Prof. Jainendra K. Jain (MSc 2
years/Physics /1981) was felicitated with the Distinguished Alumnus award.
Dr. Jain is currently the Erwin K. Mueller Professor of Physics at Pennsylvania
University, USA. He also delivered an invited lecture at NESP on his pioneering
work on the composite Fermion approach to fractional quantum Hall effect.
The closing remarks were made by Prof. Bikas K. Chakrabarti (SINP), Prof.
Deepak Dhar (TIFR, Mumbai) and Prof. G. Baskaran (Institute of Mathematical
Science, Chennai), who presented a summary of the main findings and the
new developments in the field of non-equilibrium statistical physics.
Conclave on Earth Systems and Climate Change Research
In recent years, the emphasis
on understanding the exogenic and endogenic processes operating on Earth
has shifted towards adopting a more holistic view of the Earth as a ‘system’
comprising the lithosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere.
The most important example of this ‘integrated’ system is
the Earth’s climate system, which requires the understanding of
the atmosphere, ocean and land systems, and their interactions within
and with societies and technologies. The issue of global climate change
and its impact on socio-economic and natural resources has become a major
concern in all parts of the world.
We must discover, develop and broadly apply physical and institutional
solutions for collective survival. IIT Kanpur, therefore, planned to initiate
a coordinated program on ‘Earth Systems and Climate Change Research’.
The primary goal of this initiative would be to develop infrastructure
facilities for climate research and a coherent, multi-disciplinary research
group and manpower to take up large projects of national and social relevance.
A National Conclave on Climate Change Research was held at IIT Kanpur
on 13th March 2010 to debate the implications of climate change on the
The chief guest for the conclave was Prof. V. K. Gaur, a distinguished
scientist at CMMACS Bangalore. There were insightful talks by faculty
members from IITK as well as other institutions including Profs. Rajiv
Sinha, Rajesh Srivastava, Tarun Gupta, D. Paul (all from IITK), S. K.
Tandon, Devesh Sinha, Vikrant Jain (all from Delhi University), K. Ashok
(IITM Pune), P. P. Muzumdar (IISc Bangalore). K. Ramesh (MOES) and many
others. Several crucial issues were highlighted, such as water resource
management and river future, the need for generation of high resolution
proxy records, the use of oceanic records to unravel the paleoclimatic
fluctuations over long time scales and the need to link this data with
the continental records. Another important aspect of impact, the economics
and policy of climate change research, was presented by Dr. Praveen Kulshreshtha.
While Dr. D. Paul described his forthcoming project, Prof. Tarun Gupta
and Prof. M. K. Verma spoke about the modeling capabilities available
at IIT Kanpur and the proposed research for studying climate change. Another
highly promising concept of green design and consumption in the context
of climate change was shared by Prof. Jayanta Chatterjee (IITK). The main
point of this talk was the issue of resource productivity in a variety
The final session of the conclave, coordinated by Prof. V. K. Gaur, focused
on identifying the outstanding research issues to address climate change
education and research.
International Conference on Environmental Health and Technology
15 - 17th
As we rise to the challenge
of making a healthier society, the ancillary impact of the economic growth
in the country will become more widespread. We must not forget the importance
of a good and sustainable environment even as we make economic advancements.
Keeping in view the above agenda the Centre for Environmental Science
and Engineering (CESE) at IIT Kanpur organized an international conference
with experts engaged in public health research in the areas of medicine,
engineering and ecology.
The conference brought together experts from these fields to generate
ideas for medicine, environmental technologies, biological sciences and
related research development. This synergy would multiply the potential
benefits for better human health. This was accomplished via invited presentations
and round table discussions.
The themes for the conference were:
• Air quality, Occupational
Environment and Health
• Water, Hazardous pollutants and Health
• Environment-related Diseases, Treatment and Prevention
• Genomics and Health, Remediation Technologies
• Role of Information Technology
The conference provided a unique opportunity for international participants
to explore and contribute towards environmentally induced health issues,
common in developing countries, often due to high levels of environmental
pollution. The need for low-cost effective technology is high on the agenda
of any society and the conference participants came together to develop
solutions. There were several presentations on new and current technologies.
The issue of emerging contaminants, their assessment, fate processes and
health impacts are something that experts are grappling with all over
the world. Some presentations focused on these contaminants and sought
ways of handling them. There were several talks and poster presentations
on environmental monitoring and modeling that provided insightful assessments
and diagnostics for future prediction and forewarning. The student posters
(about 25 in number) also clearly highlighted the issues of monitoring,
assessment and technology development.
This conference also provided an opportunity for the students to share
their ideas with some of the leading experts in the profession.
ICARUS 2010 - An Undergraduate Research Conference
26 - 28th
ICARUS is the Indian Conference
for Academic Research by Undergraduate Students. It is the first Indian
conference that aims to capture the original work of undergraduate students
from all disciplines of science and engineering. It showcases and rewards
the original research carried out by undergraduates from across the nation.
The first ICARUS 2010 was hosted by IIT Kanpur. It was conducted with
an Open Theme. The four primary events of the conference were –
Sanshleshan, Adbhut, Joojho and Margdarshan. More than 200 students from
some of the best colleges of the country participated in the conference.
Sanshleshan (Oral Paper Presentation)
A total of 27 papers were presented from different fields of engineering
and sciences. The presentations were judged by IITK faculty.
Adbhut (Poster Presentation Session)
The idea behind Adbhut was to promote the hands-on-minds-on research in
our education system. Only those posters were showcased which showed a
substantial amount of application based thought process and implementation.
In all, there were 7 posters. Each poster dealt with an interesting and
a challenging theme. The themes included ways for visually challenged
people to sense the environment better, inculcating artificial intelligence
in robots, overcoming traffic congestion, conservation of water using
guitar strings, producing light energy by cheap infrared sensors, use
of a protein for storing memory by utilizing the structural changes that
occur upon exposure to light, and problems women have in handling cell
phones which are usually kept in purses.
Joojho (Brainstorming Session)
A problem that has been puzzling the industry for a while was put across
to a chosen group of students who were selected to include a varied but
coherent skill set. The problem was:
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is estimated to be the
fastest growing waste stream, amounting to 5% of the total municipal solid
waste (MSW) and growing at three times the rate of the total MSW stream.
WEEE offers numerous attractive reclamation opportunities but safe and
efficient separation of all of the components remains a challenge. In
many of the present dismantling practices used to reclaim precious metals
there is significant risk of exposure to toxic materials. More advanced
and automated methods of disassembly and reclaim are indeed being developed
but are not mature. Cost effective and environmentally clean technologies
developed to manage WEEE will likely enjoy steady growth.
The purpose of the session was to find a solution for this problem. Though
they couldn’t find a satisfactory solution, working on an industrial
problem was a great experience for them.
Margdarshan (Lecture Series)
In this session, there were talks by eminent personalities in science
Dr. R. Chidambaram, the Principal Scientific Advisor
to the Government of India and former Director of BARC, emphasized the
need of motivation to make India a ‘Developed country’ in
the fullest sense of the term and a ‘Global Innovation Leader’.
His message to the students was ‘your work should be directed towards
relevance or excellence, preferably both’.
Dr. K. L. Chopra, Former Director, IIT Kharagpur, and
President, Society for Scientific Values, spoke at length about the emergence
of many ethical issues (relating to administration, practice and use of
science) and the significant changes that the last five decades have seen
in the structure and practice of science.
Prof. Vijay Singh, National Coordinator, Science Olympiads
at the HBCSE, Mumbai, spoke about how the NIUS (National Initiative for
undergraduates in Science) program of HBCSE (TIFR) is involved in initiating
and guiding students over an extended period for proto-research, preparing
and editing lecture notes, and promoting undergraduate research.
Dr. Roddam Narasimha, India’s foremost Aerospace
scientist and a world renowned fluid dynamicist, spoke on ‘Evolution
of Science and Engineering Education in India and its future’. He
highlighted the importance of introductory courses in the academic curriculum.
He also enumerated the contributions of institutes like the IITs and IISc
to the research scenario in India.
Molecules, Supramolecules and Materials Conference
3rd October 2010
The Department of Chemistry,
IIT Kanpur organized a conference titled ‘Molecules, Supramolecules
and Materials’ in which nearly 60 researchers including 4 from abroad,
participated. A large contingent of faculty and students from IITK also
attended the conference.
There were 30 plenary and invited lectures which covered almost all areas
of Chemistry. Some of the notable speakers included:
1. Dr. Sivaram from NCL Pune, gave the plenary lecture on controlled synthesis
of functional polymers.
2. Prof. Biman Bagchi from IISc Bangalore gave the first invited talk
of the academic program on the structure and dynamics of water in the
hydration layer around protein and DNA.
3. Prof. Pierre Dixneuef from the University of Rennes spoke on the catalytic
activation and functionalization of inert C-H bond.
4. Prof. Mark E. Tuckerman from New York University, USA delivered a lecture
on hybrid organic/semiconductor structures.
5. Prof. E. Arunan from IISc Bangalore, initiated a discussion on the
definition of hydrogen bond.
6. Prof. T. K. Chakravarty from CDRI, Lucknow discussed the challenges
in drug discovery.
7. Prof. U. Maitra from IISc, Bangalore, presented recent work on the
soft materials designed from bile acid analogous.
8. Prof. K. Bhattacharya from IACS, Kolkata, discussed the recent advances
in femtosecond spectroscopy.
There were many other invited lectures which dealt with front-line research
on chemical problems cutting across boundaries of physics, biology and
materials science. There was also an extended poster session in the evening
of 2nd October where researchers from both IITK and outside presented
their work. Several contemporary topics like the synthetic aspects of
molecules, weak interaction, self-assembly, functional materials, development
of theoretical methodologies and computational applications for different
physical and chemical problems and metal-organic chemistry were discussed.
A large number of participants were alumni of the department and for them
it was also a time for renewal and reminiscence. In addition to the academic
events, a morning walk was organized on 2nd October followed by breakfast
at the student mess in Hall-4.
12th October 2010
IIT Kanpur has been organizing
Research Challenges (REACH) symposia with the idea of developing interdisciplinary
research thinking and providing impetus to research activity being carried
out in frontier areas in this institute. In keeping with the basic objectives
of the symposium four divergent themes were covered.
The first theme ‘High Performance Computing: Applications
in Science and Engineering’ was coordinated by Profs. A.
Chandra and K. Deb. The relevance of this theme not only emerges from
its contemporary nature but also because of the fact that a large High
Performance Computation facility is being set up at IIT Kanpur. Also many
researchers cutting across departments investigate problems using High
Performance Computation as the tool. There were four internal speakers
and two external speakers. This session was chaired by Prof. G. Biswas.
After an overview by Prof. K. Deb the following talks were given:
1. ‘Using HPC for understanding Fluid Flows’ by Prof. Sanjay
2. ‘An Applications Perspective of High-Performance Computing’
by Dr. S. Sherlekar, INTEL, Bangalore.
3. ‘From Sequence Analysis to Simulations: Applications of High-Performance
Computing in Modern Biology’ by Prof. R. Sankararamakrishnan, IITK.
4. ‘Automatic Parallelization of Programs’ by Prof. Sanjeev
K. Aggarwal, IITK.
5. ‘Will HPC ever meet the demands of Weather and Climate Forecasting?’
by Dr. P. Goswami, C-MMACS, NAL, Bangalore.
6. ‘Molecular Simulations and HPC@IITK’ by Prof. A. Chandra,
The second theme dealt with ‘Innovation and Design’
which is highly relevant in technical education. This theme was
coordinated by Profs. B. V. Phani, J. Chatterjee and D. Gupta. The theme
attracted speakers both from academia and the industry. The two IITK alumni
who have incubated their ventures recently also spoke of their experiences.
This session was chaired by Prof. B. V. Phani. After an overview of the
subject by Prof. Chatterjee the following speakers gave their presentations:
1. ‘Good Design-confluence of art, technology and social science’
by Mr. Satish Gokhale, Design Directions Pvt. Ltd., Pune.
2. ‘Embodiment of Intelligence in Product Design: Inspirations from
Nature’ by Dr. Bishakh Bhattacharya, IITK.
3. ‘Excitement in Creativity and Invention’ by Prof. Ashok
Misra, Intellectual Ventures, Bangalore.
4. ‘From Design to Design Thinking’ by Ms. Aradhana Goel,
IDEO Corporation, Chicago
5. ‘Applying Nanotechnology to Coronary Artery Disease: From Invention
to Innovation’ by Prof. S. Sundar Manoharan, IITK.
6. ‘Innovation in smart card technologies and their applications’
by Prof. Rajat Moona, IITK.
7. ‘Technology to Product, Lab to Industry: Experiences in Dual
Drive High Energy Planetary Mill’ by Mr. Prem Prakash, CENOGEN.
8. ‘Innovation in Wireless Technology for Industrial Automation’
by Mr. Ashish Agarwal, Innovative Embedded Systems Pvt. Ltd.
Most appropriately, the session ended with a vigorous panel session that
debated on the state of Innovation and Design in India in general and
in Indian Industry in particular. The panelists were Prof. Ashok Misra,
Intellectual Ventures, Bangalore; Ms. Aradhana Goel, Ideo Corporation,
Chicago, USA; and Ms. Jhumkee Sengupta Iyengar, User in Design, Pune.
Prof. J. Chatterjee of IITK moderated the discussion.
Environment related issues and research in biology are extremely contemporary
and find a prime place in the research milieu of every good institute.
Hence, the next theme was Health, Environment and Life
and was coordinated by Profs. D. Chowdhary and S. Panda. After an initial
overview by Prof. D. Chowdhary the following lectures were delivered:
1. ‘Lighting up Human Tissue to Detect Tumors’ by Dr. Asima
2. ‘Chemiresistor Sensors for Environmental Monitoring’ by
Prof. Clifford Ho, Sandia Labs, Albuquerque, USA
3. ‘Technologies with Minimal Environmental Footprint’ by
Prof. Vinod Tare, IITK.
Prof. S. Panda chaired the second session of this theme where the following
lectures were given:
1. ‘Black Carbon for Green Environment’ by Prof. Nishith Verma,
2. ‘Remediation of Pollution in Natural Systems’ by Dr. Soumyen
3. ‘Drug Discovery: A multidisciplinary science’ by Dr. Vinod
Bhakuni, CDRI, Lucknow.
Every institute of higher learning aims to undertake cutting edge research
at the fore front of science and technology. In this context, it is critical
for IITK to have a holistic research vision. With an objective to introspect
on this issue, the last theme of REACH 2010 symposium was ‘Creating
a Research Vision for IIT Kanpur’ and was conducted under
the convenership of Prof. K. Muralidhar, Prof. A. Sharma and Prof. D.
Kunzru. After an overview by Prof. Muralidhar, many eminent academicians
shared their views and research experiences. The speakers included:
1. ‘IIT Kanpur-Attaining Global Leadership in Research’ by
Mr. Jeet S. Bindra, Chevron, USA.
2. ‘R&D Planning - A Boeing Perspective’ by Mr. Bala Bharadvaj,
Boeing India, Bangalore.
3. ‘IITK should be No. 1 in computing again’ by Prof. N. Sathyamurthy,
IITK and IISER Mohali.
4. ‘Some thoughts on research in IITs - Vision 2020’ by Prof.
M. S. Ananth, IIT Madras.
5. ‘What should be the Research Vision for IIT Kanpur - A Difficult
Question with a Simple Answer? or vice versa?’ by Prof. A. Ghosh
6. ‘Prospects for Intelligent Imagination’ by Dr. Anurag Gupta,
7. ‘Research-driven strategy in higher education’ by Prof.
Sanjay G. Dhande, IITK.
In addition to lectures, poster sessions were also held. There was an
excellent response to the symposium from the academic community of the
campus. The conveners of this year’s symposium were Prof. V. Chandrasekhar,
Prof. D. Kundu, Prof. M. Katiyar and Prof. B. Mazhari. Prof. M. Agrawal
and Prof. K. Muralidhar were in the advisory committee. For more details
on the symposium visit: http://www.iitk.ac.in/reach/.
International Workshop on Digital Preservation of Archaeological
19th October 2010
The roots of our national
identity lie in our past, from where we also inherit our cultural heritage.
The facts and evidences of the past have to be identified, classified,
examined and evaluated. This process will enable the users of archaeological
data to understand and analyze the events of the past and identify patterns
of cultural impacts and exchanges. Historians and archaeologists who are
the key players in this domain are increasingly resorting to modern scientific
and computational methods in this pursuit.
With the objective of creating awareness about the emerging digital technology
for digital preservation of the archaeological heritage a two-day International
Workshop on Digital Preservation of Archaeological Heritage was held at
IIT Kanpur. This workshop was jointly organized by IIT Kanpur, University
of Allahabad and the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote
The event was inaugurated by Prof. R. K. Thareja, Deputy Director, IIT
Kanpur. The welcome address was given by Prof. Onkar Dikshit, Professor
and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur, and Convener of
The workshop consisted of two-day technical sessions including invited
lectures by experts in the field and several contributed papers on the
use of modern techniques for the preservation of archaeological heritage,
followed by poster presentations by participants and a valedictory session.
A broad array of topics was discussed during the workshop ranging from
Laser scanning and virtual reality applications to geoinformatics applications
in archaeology. Over 150 participants representing over 20 organizations
registered for the workshop of which about 75 participants actually attended
the international workshop.
Several experts delivered the review lectures on various modern digital
techniques for the preservation of archaeological heritage. These included
Prof. Gary Lock, Dr. R. S. Fonia, Prof. Bernard Frischer, Prof. Holly
Rushmeier and many from the IITK faculty like Dr. Javed Malik, Dr. Bharat
Lohani, Prof. Onkar Dikshit and Dr. R. S. Tiwari.
At the end of the event a valedictory session was organized in which the
proceedings of the workshop were summarized. Also many important issues
emerged from the deliberations that need immediate attention.
The entire event was funded by IIT Kanpur, Indian National Science Academy
(INSA), Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research (CSIR) and All India Council for Technical Education
Workshop on Role of Officers in Management of Institutions of
Higher Technical Education
The Workshop on ‘Role
of Officers in Management of Institutions of Higher Technical Education’
was focused on issues directly concerning officers handling different
functions and activities of the Institute. Officers representing the Institute
Works Department, Health Centre, Library, Physical Education and the Administration,
collectively organized the above day-long Workshop. It was inaugurated
by Prof. Sanjay G. Dhande, Director and Prof. R. K. Thareja, Deputy Director,
The highlight of the workshop was the address by Dr. M. N. Buch, a senior
IAS Officer and Chairman, Board of Governors, IIIT Gwalior, where he drew
largely upon the depth of his vast experience in the Administrative services,
both in the state of Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. He also cited several
real life instances involving officers who were required to act under
trying circumstances to overcome difficult situations in the management
of issues concerning institutions and civic administration. The address
was attended by present and former officers of the Institute.
During the afternoon session, former officers of the Institute were felicitated
for their significant contributions towards the building and growth of
IIT Kanpur. A cultural program was also organized.
International Workshop on Distributed Systems
28th November 2010
The Department of Computer
Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur, hosted the second International Workshop
on Distributed Systems to bring together researchers, students and practitioners
in the area of distributed systems.
Eleven papers were selected from a total of 37 submissions. These papers
were organized into four work-in-progress sessions spread over two days.
The sessions also included six invited talks and a tutorial. The list
of invited speakers was drawn up from Industry and Academia.
The inaugural talk on Architecture at Internet Scale was delivered by
Mr. Hari Vasudev, Vice President, Yahoo! India, Software Development Pvt.
Ltd. The talk provided the audience with a comprehensive walk-through
on the use of the cloud platform within the Yahoo technology stack. It
was followed by talks by Dr. Montresor and Dr. Picco.
Dr. Albert Montresor of the University of Trento, Italy, spoke on how
P2P architecture can be leveraged to reduce the cost of sharing contents
available through cloud while Dr. Gian Pietro Picco of the University
of Trent, Italy, spoke on how research on wireless sensor network at the
University of Trento led to the deployment of WSNs in a few real world
applications in Italy. It provided a good practical overview of interesting
applications where WSN deployment can be important both in terms of efficiency
and cost-effectiveness. The tutorial on Hadoop by Mr. Sriguruthnath Chakravarthi,
Senior Manager, Yahoo! India, generated a lot of inquisitive queries especially
from the students in the audience.
Two work-in-progress sessions were also scheduled on the first day, each
having 3 student papers. The first work-in-progress session was for distributed
systems and the second was devoted to WSN.
The second day of the workshop began with the invited talk by Dr. Mainak
Chaudhuri from the Department. He highlighted the use of flexible address
remapping in improving performance and scalability of both caching and
communication in Mid-range ccNUMA clusters.
The second talk of the day was delivered by Prof. Rajat Moona. He focused
on an enterprise level encrypting file system with distributed access.
It was followed by a talk by Prof. D. Janakiram of the Department of CSE,
IIT Madras, on hardening of linux kernel. The last talk of the day was
delivered by Prof. R. K. Shyamasundar of TIFR who spoke on concurrent
and parallel programming.
Two work-in-progress sessions were also scheduled on this day. Two student
papers were on security and protocols and three on concurrent programming.
All the presentations were managed by the student delegates. There were
many insightful suggestions and comments from the expert delegates present
in the audience. The workshop had an impressive 100% attendance of delegates.
Simulated Evolution and Learning (SEAL-2010) Conference
4th December 2010
SEAL is a prestigious international
conference series in evolutionary optimization and machine learning. This
biennial event started in Seoul, South Korea in 1996 and thereafter has
been held in Canberra, Australia in 1998; Nagoya, Japan in 2000; Singapore
in 2002; Busan, South Korea in 2004; Hefei, China in 2006; and Melbourne,
Australia in 2008.
The eighth SEAL-2010 conference was held in IITK. 141 research papers
were submitted from 30 countries. After a rigorous peer-review process
involving 431 reviews in total (averaging a little more than 3 reviews
per paper), 61 full-length and 19 short papers were accepted for presentation
(including oral and poster presentations) at the conference. The accepted
papers covered a wide range of topics in simulated evolution and learning.
They were classified into the following general categories: (i) Theoretical
developments, (ii) Evolutionary algorithms and applications, (iii) Learning
methodologies, (iv) Multi-objective evolutionary algorithms and applications,
(v) Hybrid algorithms and (vi) Industrial applications.
The conference had three distinguished keynote speakers.
Prof. Narendra Karmarkar – His talk titled ‘Beyond
convexity: New perspectives in Computational Optimization’ focused
on providing new theoretical concepts for non-convex optimization and
showcased an intelligent intermingling of fields of optimization, advanced
geometry and mathematical physics.
Prof. Manindra Agrawal – His talk on ‘Primes
is in P’ presented a much-improved version of his celebrated and
ground-breaking 2002 work on a polynomial time algorithm for testing prime
numbers. The theoretical computation work presented in this lecture was
motivating for the evolutionary optimization and machine learning community
Prof. Toshio Fukuda – His talk on ‘Intelligent
Robot for Multi-mode Locomotion’ discussed how multiple locomotion’s
adopted by animals could be mimicked in developing highly robust robots
for performing different tasks. The learning behaviors portrayed in the
talk were hugely interesting to researchers in evolutionary learning and
The conference also included two tutorials whose topics were chosen from
two complementary areas of evolutionary computing. Prof. B. Yegnanarayana’s
tutorial on Artificial Neural Networks and Applications in Optimization
systematically introduced the principles of artificial neural networks
(ANN) and their applications in various problems. The other tutorial by
Prof. Debabrata Goswami on Quantum Computing introduced the fast-growing
methodologies of quantum computing techniques. The ideas presented in
the tutorials motivated the researchers to look for possible collaborative
activities between the two fields. They made an excellent start to the
four-day conference which ended with a local sightseeing trip.
The conference was financially supported by the Golden Jubilee Committee,
IIT Kanpur; the Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi;
and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
Helpful financial contributions were also made by Esteco, Italy and USA;
General Electric, Bangalore; General Motors, Bangalore; and TCS Innovation
Theoretical Chemistry Symposium
12th December 2010
The Theoretical Chemistry
Symposium (TCS) is a biennial symposium focusing on various fields of
theoretical and computational chemistry. The field of theoretical and
computational chemistry is a rapidly growing field and the boundaries
of the field are constantly being pushed due to the large quantum of work
in this area. TCS is the largest meeting of theoretical chemistry in India
and is characterized by many insightful talks, posters and intense discussions.
The Department of Chemistry, IIT Kanpur, hosted the 12th TCS (TCS10).
The symposium lasted for 4 days. About 275 participants attended the school,
including faculty, post-docs and students from India and abroad. The four
days of academic sessions were packed with high-quality talks and poster
presentations. Several recognized theoretical chemists from India and
some invited speakers from other countries attended the meeting. There
were a total of 42 speakers and about 150 poster presenters. In addition
to the academic sessions, there was a special felicitation session one
evening and a cultural program during another evening.
The entire program along with photographs can be viewed at http://www.iitk.ac.in/chm/tcs.
International Conference on Carbon Nanotechnology: Potential
and Challenges (Carbon 10)
15 - 17th
Since the discovery of the
carbon nanotube (CNT) about two decades ago, research related to its synthesis,
property measurement, modeling, and applications, has seen rapid progress.
This is natural for any new and novel material. The CNTs, however, unlike
many other new materials, helped us understand the fundamental physics
behind the dimensional dependence of material properties. Scientists are
intrigued to observe the amazing transition that happens to the properties
of materials as the length-scale approaches molecular dimension. For instance,
the CNTs, in spite of having molecule-scale diameter, show novel physical
and chemical properties. Compared to most other known materials, the CNTs
exhibit superior mechanical strength, thermal/electrical conductivity,
ballistic quantum conductance, and surface functionality. No wonder CNT
research has led to a variety of applications, ranging from strong composites,
to flat panel displays and a whole range of nanodevices. While the last
two decades has seen significant progress in CNT research, the annoying
questions, relating to property-tailoring, scaling-up and device durability
To explore the opportunities hidden in these nagging challenges, the Department
of Mechanical Engineering in association with the Materials Science Program,
and the Indian Society for Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering
Kanpur Chapter hosted the ‘International Conference on Carbon Nanotechnology:
Potential and Challenges’ with the theme of ‘Innovations in
Carbon Nanotechnology for the New Century’, from 15th to 17th December
2010. The conference brought together academicians and researchers from
industry for an exchange of ideas and opinions related to the applications
of carbon nanotechnology.
Prof. Sanjay G. Dhande, Director, IIT Kanpur was the chief patron of this
international conference, while Dr. S. Sankaran, President, ISAMPE-India;
Prof. I. Manna, Director, CGCRI (CSIR); Prof. B. K. Mishra, Director,
IMMT (CSIR); Dr. A. R. Upadhyay, Director, NAL(CSIR); Prof. A. K. Bhowmick,
Director, IIT Patna; Dr. K. U. Bhasker Rao, Director, DMSRDE (DRDO); and
Dr. G. Sundararajan, Director, ARCI were the patrons.
More than 200 delegates participated in the conference including 37 foreign
delegates from the USA, Japan, Italy, Germany, China, Taiwan, South Korea,
Portugal, and South Africa. Prof. Anil K. Bhowmick, Director, IIT Patna
was the chief guest of the conference.
A total of 150 papers were presented on various topics such as carbon
nanofiber, carbon nanotube, carbon based fullerence, other forms of carbon
such as diamond, amorphous carbon, graphite, carbon-carbon composites,
etc. To ensure the highest standards, all papers submitted to the conference
were rigorously peer-reviewed by the subject experts. Only the best selected
papers were published in the conference proceedings. A separate proceeding
known as ‘Program and Abstracts’ was also printed which includes
all abstracts. The proceedings might serve as a valuable tool for scientists,
technologists, and managers working with carbon materials as well as for
the Nodal Government Agencies connected with the industries.
The conference was funded by the Toshniwal Bros(SR) Pvt. Ltd., the Council
of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and
DMSRDE, the Department of Space-Indian Space Research Organization, the
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, the Indian Society for Advancement
of Materials and Process Engineering Kanpur Chapter, the NC A&T Joint
School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Greensboro, North Carolina,
USA, Carl Zeiss India, the Quantum Materials Corporation, the Photonics
Marketing Company, PerkinElmer India Pvt. Ltd., Vaiseshika Electron Devices,
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