Volume 3 No.2                                                                                                                     March 2000

Department Profile

Department of Electrical Engineering

our eyes once opened, ...we can never go back to the old outlook... But in each revolution of scientific thought new words are set to the old music, and that which has gone before is not destroyed but refocussed.


Electrical Engineering: A Brief History

The study of both electricity and magnetism dates as far back as the work of William Gilbert of Colchester in the sixteenth century. Gilbert showed that many substances such as sulphur, glass and iron, apart from amber, could be magnetized and he was the first to use the terms electric force, electric attraction and magnetic pole. In the seventeenth century, Otto Von Guericke devised a machine that could generate static electricity, and in 1745 Pieter Van Musschenbroek and Ewald Von Kleist independently discovered the principle of the Leyden Jar, in which static electrical charges could be stored. Further to this work, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated, with his famous kite experiment, that lightning is electricity.

The big breakthroughs with electricity, however, lie in the nineteenth century. The most significant accomplishments during this period were due to the extraordinary genuius of Faraday, Maxwell and Hertz that led to recognition of the great underlying force, electromagnetism. Nearly every phase of our lives is touched by Faraday's electric motor, transformer and generator. The first complete electrical DC power system at the historic Pearl Street Station, New York was built by Thomas Alva Edison and it started operation in September 1882.. During 1880s, the development of transformer and AC transmission by L. Gaulard and J.D. Gibbs in France and George Westinghouse in the US led to the introduction of AC systems. It became more attractive with the development of polyphase systems by Tesla. First single phase AC distribution system came into operation in 1886 at Great Barrington, Massachusettes. First single phase AC transmission line was put in Oregon in 1889 and first three phase line in the US came in operation in 1893 in Southern California. During this period, the foundation for the modern electronic revolution was also laid with the invention of Cathode Ray Tube in 1897 by Braun. This was followed by development of transistors (1948) and many other devices, Large Scale/Very Large Scale Integrated (LSI/VLSI) circuits, in the twentieth century. Von Newmann designed and developed the architecture of computers in 1945, the microprocessors came in 1970s and the personal computers in 1980s. The major milestones in the development of communication technologies include the invention of `radio' by J.C. Bose and Marconi in early 20th century and fiber optic communication in 1970s.

The twentieth century has really seen the rapid development of semiconductor, communication and computing technologies, which have revolutionized the modern day high technology industries and drastically changed our life style. Today, the electrical engineering industry has become too large in size and covers many diverse fields. To cope up with this rapid change in engineering education, many conventional engineering institutions have established three separate branches of study, viz., Electrical Power Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering and Computer Science.

EE Department at IIT Kanpur

The Electrical Engineering Department was one of the first few Departments with which IIT Kanpur started in 1960. It is currently the largest multidisciplinary Department at IIT Kanpur and covers practically all sub-disciplines under Electrical Power, Electronics and Communications. The Department has, at present, a total faculty strength of 43 against a sanctioned strength of 53, 5 institute research engineers, 3 project research engineers, 36 technical staff, 7 ministerial staff and 9 project staff in addition to the research project employees (such as SRA, RA, etc.) which are about 20 in number.

The Department offers B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D Programmes in Electrical Engineering. It also conducts a two semester specialized PG diploma program (DIIT) in video communication systems for Doordarshan engineers. The current sanctioned strength of B.Tech and M.Tech student intake during the first semester, are 82 and 65, respectively and total sanctioned strength of Ph.D students is 40. At present, 22 Ph.D students are registered in the Department and intake of B.Tech and M.Tech students during 1999-2000 first semester have been 81 and 63, respectively. The current active areas of academic programmes and research in the Department include:

Communication Systems, Information Theory, Coding and Cryptography: Mathematical Communication Theory, Mobile Communications, Spread Spectrum.

Digital Signal Processing, Image Processing, Biomedical Image Processing, DSP Architectures, Algorithms and Applications.

Electronic Circuits, Systems and Instrumentation, Biomedical Instrumentation, Virtual Instrumentation.

R.F. Engineering, Antennas and Microwaves.

Expert systems, Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic Applications.

Photonics, Fibre Optic Networks and Communications, All Optical Switching.

Microelectronics, Semiconductor Devices Design and Analysis.

VLSI Systems and Electronic Design Automation.

Microprocessor and Microcontroller Systems, Digital Systems.

Power Electronics and Solid State Drives.

Power Systems, HVDC Systems, High Voltage Engineering.

Signals and Systems, Control Systems, Mathematical Theory of Signals, Systems and Control.

Telecom Networks; Internet and Broadband Networks; Teletraffic Theory and Engineering.

Video Signal Processing, Audio and Video Coding, Digital TV, DVB, Data Broadcasting, Broadcast Engineering.

Aerospace Electronic Systems, Navigation, GPS related applications (with Aerospace and Civil Engineering Departments).

Faculty are encouraged to take independent initiatives with collective responsibility in all the relevant academic and R&D dimensions - teaching, curriculum development, graduate research supervision, R&D, continuing education or organization of conferences, symposia, etc. They have ample freedom to associate as members of teams with other faculty, research engineers or with faculty in interdisciplinary areas. Several faculty members of the Department participate in interdisciplinary programmes with colleagues from other Departments or through interdisciplinary centres such as Advanced Centre for Materials Science, Laser Technology, Nuclear Engineering, Environmental Engineering, etc.

The Department conducts sponsored PG programmes for Defence, DRDO, Doordarshan and a select few others. It is getting increasing number of sponsorships from industry for attractive PG scholarships. Faculty are encouraged to participate or bring in University Relations Programmes (URP) from leading industry or organizations. Currently URPs are available with Motorola, Texas Instruments, Silicon Automation Systems and Analog Devices.

Several sponsored projects in many subject areas with large interdisciplinary content are handled through the Advanced Centre for Electronic Systems (ACES), which was started in early 1970s and formally merged with the Department in late 1970s. All Projects Staff - Research Engineers, Associates and Scientific Officers - come under the cooperative umbrella of ACES. ACES encourages better awareness and cooperation across the different Projects in the Department.

Facilities and Infrastructure

The Department has been constantly modernizing the infrastructure and laboratory facilities. Office Automation with a true Intranet environment is being set up to aid much of the course material management. The Department is endowed with well equipped laboratories in several of the areas listed above. The available laboratories and facilities include:

Basic Electrical Science, Basic Electronics, Electronic Circuits, Microprocessors, Controls, Electromechanical Energy Conversion (EMEC)/Power System Laboratories to aid teaching of core and departmental courses.

Digital Image Processing and Digital Signal Processing Development Systems.

Semiconductor Devices Fabrication and Characterization; WaferFab package for Design and Simulation of Devices.

VLSI and EDA Design and Simulation tools (CADENCE EDA tools, Viewlogic, Special Circuits Simulation packages such as SPICE, SABRE, etc.)

Microcontrollers and DSP Development Systems, XYLINK PAL and PLD Programming Systems.

Printed Circuits CAD, Photoplotting, double sided PTH PCB and Microwave Circuits Fabrication.

Biomedical Instrumentation Lab. with data acquisition, and analysis of various biomedical signals (EEG, myoelectric, voice analysis etc.)

ERNET and Telematics Laboratories with advanced network test bed for services and protocols design, and implementation over heterogeneous networks (LAN, Data Broadcast, ATM, etc.).

Internet Training Laboratory for research and training in network management and applications.

ISRO supplied 6.3m, Earth Station Antenna for upcoming satellite reception and transmission facilities (for Digital Broadcast applications and experiments).

Computational Photonics and Optoelectronics, access to facilities of the Centre for Laser Technology.

Microwave antenna and circuits development and characterization with HP Network Analyser for testing upto 40 GHz.

Power Systems and Power Distribution Automation, HVDC and FACTS Simulation laboratories. Power Systems Computational Facility with several relevant software packages and tools.

Power Electronics and Solid State Drives Laboratory

High Power Frequency and Impulse Voltage Testing and Study Facility.

Electric Equipment Maintenance and Calibration Facility.

Testing facilities for LV power equipments such as Miniature & Molded Case Circuit Breakers, Motors, Switches, Starters, Contactors etc.

The laboratories and offices are well connected by an advanced LAN linking all other Departments and the Internet world outside. The Institute as a whole is connected to the outside world through ERNET (VSAT and 64 Kbps link) and VSNL - GIAS (through  2 Mbps).

Books from the EE Department

M.A. Pai, Introductory Linear Network Analysis and Electric Machines, Affiliated East-West Press, 1972.

M. Ramamoorty, An Introduction to Thyristors and Their Applications, Affiliated East-West Press, 1977.

J. Das, S.K. Mullick and P.K. Chatterjee, Principles of Digital Communication, Wiley Eastern and Halstead Press, 1986.

S.K. Bose, Digital Systems From Gates to Microprocessors, Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 1985 (Second Edition 1994).

S.K. Bose, Hardware and Software of Personal Computers, Wiley Eastern, 1991.

S.K. Bose, contributing author to S. Gupta and J.P. Gupta (eds.) PC Interfacing for Laboratory Data Acquisition & Process Control, Instrument Society of America, First Edition 1989, Second Edition 1994.

S.K. Bose, contributing author to M.J. Miller, B. Vucetic and Les Berry (eds.) Satellite Communications: Mobile and Fixed Services, Kluwer Publishers, 1993.

G.K. Dubey, Power Semiconductor Controller Drives, Prentice Hall, N.J., 1989.

M.S. Tyagi, Introduction to Semiconductor Materials and Devices, John Wiley, New Delhi, 1991.

K.R. Padiyar, HVDC Transmission Systems, Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 1991.

L.P. Singh, Advanced Power Systems Analysis and Dynamics, Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 3rd edition, 1992.

L.P. Singh, Digital Protection : Protective Relaying from Electromechanical to Microprocessor, Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 1994.

O.P. Arora, Power Electronics Laboratory - Experiments and Organization, A.H. Wheeler & Co. Ltd., New Delhi, 1993.

G.K. Dubey, Fundamentals of Electrical Drives, Narosa Pub. New Delhi, 1994

G.K. Dubey, S.R. Doradla, A. Joshi and R.M.K. Sinha, Thyristerized Power controllers, Wiley Eastern,
9th reprint, 1999.

R. Arora and W. Mosch, High Voltage Insulation Engineering ; Behaviour of Dielectrics, their properties and applications, Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 1995 (5th reprint 1999).

W.H. Litzenberger, R.K. Varma and J.D. Litzenberger (eds.), An Annotated Bibliography of HVDC Transmission and FACTS Devices 1996-97, EPRI Palo Alto, U.S.A. & B.P.A., Portland U.S.A., 1998.

Research Projects

The EE Department has been involved in a wide range of sponsored research projects. These projects have mainly been funded by Government agencies such as DST, DOE, CSIR, MHRD, the Ministries of Defence and Industries, etc. An illustrative list of major research projects, currently being undertaken, is as follows :

Nationally Coordinated Project on Telematics (MHRD)

Educational and Research Network (ERNET) (ERNET India Society)

Technology Development Mission Project on Computer Networking and Intelligent Automation, titled "Distribution Automation" (Planning commission & MHRD)

Dielectric Resonators at Millimeter Wavelengths (DRDO)

Design of All-optical Header Recognition based Self-routing Optical Packet Switches for Optical ATM Networks (DOE)

Package Design of Fiber Optic Transmitters and Receivers (DOE)

Design and Implementation of 2x2 all-optical packet switch using optical loop buffer memory (MHRD)

Optical Neural Network for Fiber Optic Packet Switching (DOE)

Design of Thyristor Controlled Series Compensator and their associated Control for SSR Mitigation (CBIP)

Regional Research Project on Greenhouse Gas Mitigation from Power Sector (Swedish International Development Agency and Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand)

Development of Load Power Factor Compensator and Harmonic Suppresor Systems for Industrial and Commercial Load (DST)

High Speed Photodiode Array Tracker Optical Auto Correlation Signals (DRDO/DTSR)

Development of Micro-stripline based Impedance Matching and Filters on Ga As Receivers (CSIR)

VLSI Manpower Development Project (DOE)

Study of Effect of Operating Condition and Brick Properties on Wear Rate of Refractory Line in BOF through modeling (SAIL)

Development of High Voltage and Power Bipolar Transistors, Photodetectors, Avalanche Diodes and Nuclear Radiation Detectors (DRDO, Defence Lab., BEL)

Speech Synthesizer in Indian Languages for Spastics/Vocally Handicapped (Ministry of Welfare)

Design and Development of Myoelectric Artificial Hand for Below-Elbow Applications (DST)

PANINI the Dysarthia Diagnoser _ Display of Vocal Tract from Speech Signal for Normal Pathological Cares (AICTE)

Interactive Multimedia Services over Hybrid Networks (Ministry of Information and Technology)

Apart from the above, several faculty members are actively involved in setting up a recently approved interdisciplinary research centre in the area of `Display Technology' funded by Samtel Electron Devices Limited.

Recently, the Department has moved a step further by taking up the development of electronic courseware. This will provide the web based access of course material to the students. It will make the teaching more effective by providing extensive support material for the courses on the web.

Technology Developed at the EE Department

The research and development activities in the EE Department have resulted in development of different products and technologies, covering both hardware and software. Many of these technologies have already been transferred to the industry while some are under process. An illustrative list of these products include :

Graphics and Intelligence-based Script Technology (GIST) : The seminal work of this landmark development in utilizing Indian Languages in computer applications was performed at EE Department. This development has been widely hailed in print and broadcast media, and has resulted in a wide range of GIST products developed by CDAC, Pune, and their technology transfer to more than 20 manufacturers.

Vaneeshree : A speech synthesizer in major Indian Languages for vocally handicapped and/or spastic persons (for details see Directions, vol.1, no.1, July 1998.)

Microcomputer controlled sweat compensated Myoelectric Hand for amputated patients; the DST has taken its patent and has transferred technology to a public sector undertaking.

Workstations for imparting training on microprocessor fundamentals

Microprocessor Trainer Kit which also function as a full fledged microcomputer

CHOICE software _ a selection tool for linear block codes in digital communication systems

CSYSLAB Software _ for real time simulation of control systems on PC

TIPS (Transputer based Image Processing Software) for general purpose image processing in a transputer based parallel processing environment

Distribution Automation Technology developed under the TDM-CNIA project is currently ready for technology transfer to various participating industries.

For further information:

Professor S.C. Srivastava

Head, Department of Electrical Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Kanpur 208 016

Phone: (0512) 597454

e-mail: scs@iitk.ac.in headee@iitk.ernet.in

Visit the EE Department website at:


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