Academy alumnus Vikram Vishal helms book on carbon sequestration
Dr Vikram Vishal, who had the distinction of being the IITB-Monash Research Academy’s first graduate, continues to blaze new trails.
Dr Vishal and his PhD supervisor Prof Trilok Nath Singh have recently edited a book, Geologic Carbon Sequestration: Understanding Reservoir Behaviour
The foreword of the book, published by Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, has been written by Bharat Ratna Prof. C. N. R. Rao, FRS.
The book has exclusive contributions from over 45 authors spanning over 10 countries, and focuses on:
- Geological storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide
- Presenting advanced information on individual storage types, reservoir characterization and geo-engineering of sites
- Offering a compilation of risk assessment analyses
The topic, according to a release from Springer, is of immense interest to geoscientists, reservoir engineers, environmentalists and researchers from the scientific and industrial communities working on the methodologies for carbon dioxide storage.
Increasing concentrations of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are often held responsible for the rising temperature of the globe. Geologic sequestration prevents atmospheric release of the waste greenhouse gases by storing them underground for geologically significant periods of time.
The book addresses the need for an understanding of carbon reservoir characteristics and behaviour. Other book volumes on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) attempt to cover the entire process of CCUS, but the topic of geologic sequestration is not discussed in detail. This book focuses on the recent trends and up-to-date information on different storage rock types, ranging from deep saline aquifers to coal to basaltic formations.
Fondly remembering his days as a PhD scholar, Dr. Vishal says “I have really enjoyed doing my PhD at IITB-Monash Research Academy. I was initially attracted to doing my PhD there because I would graduate with a dually badged degree from two top research based institutions. The experience has been highly challenging but equally rewarding. Having two sets of highly committed supervisors from India and Australia to provide direction and support was valuable and culturally engaging. Working on an industry related project provided an added dimension that enabled my research to maintain a practical focus throughout my studies. I would recommend that no matter whether you are looking to further your career in Academia or Industry, there is no better place to do a PhD than the IITB-Monash Research Academy.”
Dr Vishal is currently working as Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay.
Before joining IITB, he worked at IIT Roorkee as DST Inspire Faculty and at Stanford University (USA) as a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral fellow. He is a recipient of the National Geosciences Award and Young Researcher by the Government of India, the Young Scientist Award by the Indian Science Congress Association, and Dr. Coggin Brown Memorial Award from the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India, Kolkata. He holds to his credit a total of 42 publications on different domains of carbon sequestration, engineering geology, geomechanics and unconventional petrophysics in various journals, book chapters and conference proceedings of repute.
Prof Trilok Nath Singh, the co-editor of the book, is the Institute Geoscience Chair Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay, Mumbai and an expert in the field of rock mechanics, mining geology and clean energy.
Congratulations, Dr Vishal and Prof T N Singh!
The Academy’s Annual Symposium “Oskar Nite” – August 2014
The Academy’s Annual Symposium “Oskar Nite” – November 2011
The Academy’s Annual Symposium “Oskar Nite” – February 2011
Why study at Monash University?
Advance Ideas: Mohan Krishnamoorthy (New Delhi, 2010)
IITB Monash Research Academy video
Research scholar Santanu Paul shines at NAMRI/SME conference
Research scholar Santanu Paul( Second from left) and Prof. Ramesh Singh
IITB-Monash Research Academy scholar Santanu Paul, along with Prof Ramesh Singh and Prof Wenyi Yan, has received the NAMRI/SME Outstanding Paper Award at the prestigious 44th North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC).
The research group bagged this award for a paper titled, ‘Thermal Model for Additive Restoration of Mold Steels using Crucible Steel’. The paper was presented at the 44th North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC) held at Virginia Tech in June 2016. NAMRC is a prominent international forum organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for the advancement of the scientific knowledge in manufacturing engineering through research and development.
Santanu Paul is a researcher with the IIT B-Monash Research Academy and is working on a related project titled, ‘Laser surface cladding for structural repair’ with Prof Ramesh Singh from IIT Bombay and Prof Wenyi Yan from Monash University, Australia. Laser cladding is a coating technique in which one or several layers of a certain material called clad is deposited onto a substrate, in such a way that a sound interfacial bond is formed, without significant dilution of one into the other. The process has immense potential for free-form repair/restoration of critical structural components in the aerospace and manufacturing industries, such as complex molding/forging dies and gas turbine blisks. These high-value precision-engineered components are subjected to cyclic thermo-mechanical loads and, hence, prone to fatigue. The option of replacing these components is cost-prohibitive and therefore the other possibility is to prolong their service life using reliable and proven scientific techniques; such as laser cladding based restoration technique.
The primary objective of this project is to understand the process mechanics and to help create additive manufacturing ecosystems by developing autonomous damage-detection based robotic restoration technologies for on-site repair in the shop floor. The outcomes from this project are expected to bridge the technology-deficit in this area by developing science-enabled technology to ensure that the restoration is robust and reliable.
Congratulations, Santanu, you’ve done the Academy proud!
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Research scholar Saurabh Nene’s article published in ‘Materials Today’
Academy research scholar Saurabh Nene’s article ‘A game-changer for ultra-lightweight structures and medical implants?’ was published in the prestigious journal Materials Today in April 2016.
You can read it here
Saurabh has been with the IITB-Monash Research Academy for over three-and-a-half years, and is working on a project titled, ‘Development of ultralight and ultrafine grained Mg-Li-Ca alloy by compositional optimization and severe plastic deformation’ under the supervision of Prof Bhagwati Prasad Kashyap, Prof Nithyanand Prabhu and Prof Yuri Estrin.
He hopes to create an ultralight alloy using Magnesium as its base material, which is so strong and formable that it could even replace other lightweight materials in industry applications.
Saurabh explains, “We chose two alloying elements—Lithium (Li) and Calcium (Ca)—which when added in Magnesium, create a new ternary alloy, designated as Mg-4Li-1Ca (LX41) alloy. Lithium, being the lightest among metals (0.5 g/cc), will reduce the density of the alloy and also help improve the room temperature formability. Calcium, on the other hand, being an inherent part of the human bone, will enhance biocompatibility and help in effective bio-degradation. We have achieved a density as low as 1.47±0.04 g/cc for Mg-4Li-1Ca (LC41), which is comparable with even commercial polymers.”
Materials Today is a community dedicated to the creation and sharing of materials science knowledge and experience. Supported by Elsevier, it publishes high impact peer-reviewed journals and industry magazines, organises academic conferences, and broadcasts educational webinars, among other things.
ONE STUDENT ONE TREE – A GREEN REVOLUTION
Dr. Naresh Nalajala, Ph. D
IITB-Monash Research Academy, IIT Bombay, Mumbai-400076
The objective of this mission: ‘To create a green sustainable society with the help of schools for better social life’.
Lessons taught in school remain with us forever—and schools impart education as well as life lessons.
The ‘One Student One Tree – A Green Revolution’ mission therefore proposes that every student in the country studying in Std 6 should plant a sapling as part of his/her Science subject practical/project.
Subsequently, every month, s/he should submit an e-assignment (i.e. strictly paper-free) to his/her Science teacher through email (or copy the same to the teacher’s computer).
On completion of schooling (Std 10), s/he will be awarded a grade or presented a certificate of appreciation, depending on the well-being and growth of the tree, and eventually every student will be BLESSED with a tree. On an average, approximately four people will need to take ownership of each sapling (the student, parents and teacher).
The potential numbers are staggering!
To take the example of one state alone, approximately 6,00,000 students join high school in Andhra Pradesh every year. Through this mission we can create the equivalent of 10,000 acres of forest (long life trees are 50 to 60 per acre) per year, or 60,00,000 per decade.
The successful implementation of this mission would enable the government to display its sincerity in protecting the environment in partnership with civil society.
IITB-Monash Research Academy Building Inauguration-2015
Our new building was inaugurated at the IIT Bombay campus on Saturday 22 August 2015 by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training, Government of Australia. The building was declared open by the Minister in the presence of Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director IIT Bombay, Prof. Margaret Gardner AO, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University, Dr. Alan Finkel AO, Chancellor, Monash University, Prof. Hari Pandalai, Deputy Director, IIT Bombay, Prof.Ramesh Mashelkar Research Advisory Council Member, Prof. Murali Sastry, CEO of the IITB-Monash Research Academy and many other dignitaries.
Prof. Tam Sridhar AO, Prof. Mohan Krishnamoorthy from the Monash University, H. E Patrick Suckling, Australian High Commissioner to India, Deans and Head of the Departments of IIT Bombay also attended the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said he was delighted to open the new building of the IITB-Monash Research Academy situated on the campus of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He said “The Australian Government values our strong education and research relationship with India. Research collaboration is essential because no single government or organisation can provide all the solutions to global challenges such as food, energy and water security or health”
Talking about the collaboration and how it is going from strength to strength, Professor Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay, said, “The IIT Bombay Monash University Research Academy is a unique India-Australia partnership in higher education and has grown to become the largest such joint degree PhD programme in the world. Students of the Academy are well prepared to work in the modern research ecosystem in which collaboration across borders is becoming essential to address the complex problems of the industry and society at large.”
Providing her insights regarding the growth of The Academy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University Professor Margaret Gardner AO said, “Both IITB and Monash were created to serve national priorities, to help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives in a sustainable, resilient and peaceful world. The Academy epitomises the pursuit of that purpose in building deep partnerships with organisations that have the national and international reach necessary to address major challenges and have impact across regions and populations.”
The CEO of the IITB-Monash Research Academy, Professor Murali Sastry, said that the new facility was specifically designed to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing. “With the opening of the new state of the art facility, the Academy is poised to enter an exciting phase of growth. The building is supported by leading edge technologies and has capacity for 300 students, researchers and support staff. The best and brightest PhD students from India come here to engage in cutting edge research that has real world industry focus and real world outcomes.
3MTT, Industry-Academia Panel Forum and OSKAR Night 2014
On Friday, 8 August 2014, The Academy conducted its Annual student symposium and 3- Minute Thesis Talk competition (3MTT). The students presented their research work in just three minutes and also displayed posters of their work during the breaks throughout the day. Eminent judges had been asked to scrore and judge the winners across the two groups of students:
– Those that have been at the Academy for less than two years
– Those that have been at the Academy for more than two years
During the day, there was a special Industry-Academia Panel Forum in between the talks. Supported by the VGBO, it is aimed at discussing strategic visions around sustained engagement with Indian Industry, Government and Education particularly in Victoria (Australia), where Monash is located.
The panel focussed on:
• Understanding industry perception about collaboration with universities and research institutions
• Understand the interest in collaborating with Indian universities
• Understand the interest in collaborating with overseas (specifically Australian/Victorian) universities
• Detail key expectations and attributes of the research partners
The panel had distinguished members from the IIT Bombay, Monash University and Industry. The members were:
– Dr Kumar Iyer, JSW
– Dr Manish Gupta, Xerox
– Dr Surendra Kulkarni, SABIC (retired)
– Prof Edwina Cornish (Provost, Monash)
– Prof Pauline Nestor (Vice Provost Research, Monash)
– Prof Ravi Sinha (Dean, Corporate Relations, IITB)
– Prof. Anuradda Ganesh (Professor, IIT Bombay, Cummins)
It was a lively panel discussion. Please click to find a transcript of the proceedings below in PDF. click here
The Academy’s annual student award function, OSKAR 2014 was held on Sunday, 10 August 2014 in Meluha ‘The Fern’ Hotel. Students were presented with certificates and OSKARs for their outstanding achievements including the winners of the 3MTT talk and poster day. Awards were presented for:
– Best Paper
– Best 3MTT (< 2 years and > 2 years)
– Best Poster (< 2 years and > 2 years)
– Best Thesis
– Best CPI
IITB-Monash Symposium @ Monash University
IITB-Monash Research Academy will be hosting a symposium, taking place at Monash on 5th March, 2014. There will be approximately 12 visitors from IITB attending Monash for the event and other related activities
The aim of the symposium is to group similar subject matter around a particular theme and it has been suggested that you would be a valuable inclusion in the program.
Briefly, the objectives of the Symposium are to:
- bring researchers from Monash University and IIT Bombay together
- to listen and share research ideas in common areas
- to facilitate collaboration and connections
Areas of focus are:
- Elec Eng and Algorithms
- Fuel Cell Research
- Process Modelling
- CFD Modelling
- Materials Eng, Modelling and Physics
The symposium will take place in the New Horizons building in Room 29, Ground Floor.
For a copy of the Symposium Schedule Click here( note that this may change over the next few days so come back and get the latest update)
The IITB-Monash Research Academy and one of Saudi Arabia’s largest companies, Saudi Arabian Basic Industrial Chemicals (SABIC), will join forces to produce graduates with highly specialised knowledge required by the advanced chemicals and polymers industry.
Finalised this week, the agreement will fund some 12 PhD students over the next four years. It builds on partnerships the Academy has already established with entities including CSIRO, BHPB and Orica Mining Services in Australia, and Infosys, Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel Works, P&G, Intel, Thermax, Piramal Life Sciences and Tata Consultancy Services in India.
Based in Mumbai, the Academy was established in 2008 by Monash University and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Partnerships with (and exposure to) industry is a key component of the innovative, transnational PhD program. Candidates study in both India and Australia and graduate with a jointly badged degree.
Monash Vice-President (India and China Initiatives) Professor Tam Sridhar, said the agreement indicated that the Academy was gaining international recognition.
“SABIC is one of the largest companies in the Middle East and the Academy is delighted to partner with it,” Professor Sridhar said.
“This agreement represents an important step for the Academy – our first partnership with a company established outside of our core base in India and Australia.”
Research projects in areas of interest to SABIC – including novel chemicals, plastics, and metals – will be included in the next intake of PhD scholars later this year.
CEO of the Academy, Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy signed the agreement with Dr Surendra Kulkarni of SABIC, India.
“The Academy produces widely applicable research outcomes and graduates with specialised expertise that is demanded by our industry partners. The model is gaining traction globally,” Professor Krishnamoorthy said.
The Academy recently celebrated its first graduation ceremony, with PhDs being conferred on four graduates, two of which have already gained employment with industry partners.
There are currently 130 PhD scholars at the Academy. This number is expected to build to 300 in the next few years. Projects are focussed around six major themes: Advanced Computational Engineering, Simulation and Manufacture; Infrastructure Engineering; Biotechnology and Stem Cell Research; Clean energy; Water; and Nanotechnology.
The agreement with SABIC comes as construction has just begun on a new building for the IITB-Monash Research Academy in Bombay, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.
On Thursday 4 April 2013
An eminent scientific committee comprising an external examiner and several internal examiners heard student Vikram Vishal defend his PhD thesis in a public viva voce held at IIT Bombay. After a 40-minute presentation, the candidate was asked questions on his research work, after which the committee decided that his thesis was rigorous and of a standing that was high enough to recommend that the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) be conferred on him.
Previously, Vikram Vishal’s thesis had been examined by three external examiners from various international institutions who had passed his thesis.
PhD candidate at the IITB-Monash Research Academy, Vikram Vishal is now the first candidate in the joint IITB-Monash PhD program to have successfully gone through his PhD defense. During his PhD study, he was recognized as “The National Young Scientist” at the Indian Science Congress.
The IITB-Monash Research Academy, also known as ‘The Academy’ opened in 2008 as a joint venture between the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and Monash University. Students enrolled in The Academy study for a dually-badged PhD from both institutions, spending time in both India and Australia, with supervisors from both IITB and Monash.
Vikram Vishal spent the last three years studying CO2 sequestration in coal seams. He looked at ways to not only reduce CO2 emissions, but also how to capture the natural gas. His research looked at “geologic sequestration”, or capturing the carbon dioxide that is released when the coal is burnt (or created as a by-product in other industries) and injecting it back into the rock deep underground so that it is not released into the atmosphere.
Vishal has approached his research in two parts. The first part is experimental, whereby he is looking at how coal can be injected with emitted carbon dioxide. The second part of Vishal’s research uses this laboratory data, along with data collected in the field at specific coal mining sites (including Jharia and Raniganj), to develop a computer model to predict what will happen when this is implemented practically.
Reflecting on his research, Vishal comments “Natural gases have remained trapped in deep underground rock structures for several million years. This provides an analogy to inject and store the greenhouse gases in rocks and prevent their release into the atmosphere. Realizing India’s vast geological diversity, she offers ample opportunities for the storage of carbon dioxide. Injection of carbon dioxide will not only help develop a long sustainable earth, but also lead to enhanced recovery of methane to partly meet our growing energy demands.“
CEO of IITB-Monash Research Academy, Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy said Vishal’s research would have many applications. “IITB-Monash Research Academy is excited to be part of training the next generation of rich talent in India,” Professor Krishnamurthy said. “With research such as Vishal’s, The Academy has the potential to be a significant research institution and talent from The Academy should become much sought after around the globe.”
Vishal indicated, “The true beneficiary of this process will be the life-system on Earth. Through the enhanced recovery of an otherwise non-recoverable resource, India will also benefit from energy security”. “
To view the article about Vikram’s completion in the hindustan time click here
“The partnership is unique, innovative and ground-breaking. It will help develop talent that is vital in the national innovation systems of both countries. The Academy will also focus on solving use-inspired problems that require a multi-disciplinary investigation. This will yield crucial outcomes to industry research partners in both countries. The Academy’s researcher scholars will undertake research in areas from computational engineering to biotechnology,” Professor Krishnamoorthy said.
IIT Bombay’s Dean of International Relations, Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri said The Academy is a positive example of mutually beneficial links between Australia and India.
“The world-leading research and innovation that will ultimately grow out of the research will benefit India, Australia and the world. IIT Bombay’s links with Monash University will ensure we have talented graduates who can find solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society over the coming decades,” Professor Chaudhuri said.
Professor Krishnamoorthy said the joint-research Academy was a unique international collaborative research venture that capitalised on the combined and complimentary expertise of both institutions.
The Academy, which opened in 2008, will soon be housed in a purpose-built A$10 million facility. It has received funding support from the Australian and Indian governments and industry partners from both countries. The Academy expects to grow to a steady-state of about 350 PhD scholars by 2017.
3 October 2009
The Future Challenges Summit took place on October 3 2009. This event, which was held at The Trident Hotel, Mumbai, was attended by nearly 100 top-level executives and leaders from industry and government. It also included some of our current students, supervisors and Board members. The Summit addressed and attempted to understand the key Future Grand Challenges facing India and Australia and how The Academy and its researchers can focus their efforts on addressing these challenges.
The Future Challenges Summit featured talks by Mr N R Narayana Murthy, Mr Shyam Saran (Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of India on Climate Change), Dr Lachlan Strahan (Deputy Australian High Commissioner), Prof Devang Khakhar (Director, IIT Bombay), Prof Ed Byrne (Vice Chancellor, Monash University) and included a panel discussion involving Mr N R Narayana Murthy, Dr Ramesh Mashelkar, Prof Devang Khakhar, Prof Ed Byrne, Prof Alan Finkel (Chancellor, Monash University) and Dr Naushad Forbes (Director of Forbes Marshall).
To view recent media coverage from the Future Challenges Summit visit “In the Media” – click here.
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Like me, you are no doubt alarmed by the recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. As a country of immigrants, Australia has generally been successful as a diverse and tolerant nation. Sadly, these attacks diminish Australia’s reputation for tolerance and diversity.
Monash has one of the largest international student populations of all Australian universities, with around 18,000 of its 56,000 students born overseas. The safety of all our students is paramount and although no Monash student has been a victim in recent attacks, I urge all students be careful after the recent rise in attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. We value the happy, mutually supportive multicultural environment at Monash and will do everything we can to further enhance this.
We seek to create a safe environment at all of our campuses. University Security on every campus is available for immediate response to threatening situations. The 24-hour on-campus emergency number is (03) 9905 3333, or extension 333 from any internal phone. If you encounter a threatening situation off-campus, Victoria Police can be contacted by telephone on 000.
For help in non-urgent situations, Monash has established a Community Care Line as part of its commitment to providing a safe study environment. You can call the Community Care Line to seek assistance in managing situations where your wellbeing is affected by inappropriate, threatening or concerning behaviours or events. The Community Care Line is staffed from 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday, and can be reached by phoning (03) 9905 1599or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition we endeavour to provide information about personal safety in the community. At the start of each semester two members of the Victoria Police Multicultural Liaison Unit address international students on safety within the community. This week, the University’s Crime Prevention coordinator, Craig Mentiplay, will be available to answer questions about personal safety and reporting incidents to the Police at two special information sessions, details below. Students who cannot attend are encouraged to email Craig directly with questions at email@example.com
Information session (Clayton): Thursday 4th June, 2pm
Health, Wellbeing and Development seminar room, level 1, western end Campus Centre
IInformation session (Caulfield): Friday 5th June, 2pm
Lecture theatre A2.05, level 2, A building
Dear Student of The Academy
You may have all heard of the recent incidents of violence against Indian students in the City of Melbourne. Along with our own resident Indian students and staff, we at Monash University condemn such incidents.
Melbourne is and has always been regarded as a safe city. It is a culturally diverse city that embraces people from all nations and treats people with dignity and respect. Melbournians are proud of the city’s reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world. Yet, the recent events show the city in poor light.
Given that several of you will be travelling to Monash University in Melbourne in the next year or so, it is likely that you and your families may be concerned about your personal safety and well-being at a time like this.
Please do assure them that Monash Unviersity will take all steps to ensure student and staff safety at Monash.
Monash University has a comprehensive security plan that includes emergency telephone numbers, constant vigilance on campus, the presence and availability of a 24-hour security escort service, “red” emergency phones within buildings, security help points, CCTV in certain locations on campus and a security bus service.
While we cannot ignore these recent events and while we would like to believe that these are stray incidents, we would like to reiterate that Monash University takes the security, safety and well-being of its students very seriously.
No student or staff member should ever be denied the right to feel safe and secure at Monash or anywhere in Melbourne or Australia. We would like all of our students to return to India with pleasant memories of a productive, safe and happy stay.
Should you wish to talk to Professor Tam Sridhar or to me about your concerns when we are there in Mumbai next week about this and other issues, please seek a time for an appointment with Ms Anasuya Banerji.
Dear Members of The Academy Research Advisory Council,
I am sure you are aware of the recent events in Melbourne concerning Indian students. I also understand that you would be deeply concerned by this.
I write to assure you that Monash University is doing everything possible to ensure that authorities deal quickly with this unfortunate outbreak of violence. I attach messages that our VC and the VC of Melbourne University have sent. I also attach a letter that I sent to the Indian High Commissioner and a letter that has been sent to Indian newspapers by our Dean of Engineering.
While we feel helpless that the fair image of Melbourne is tarnished by these episodes, we are confident that the situation will return to normal soon. Our confidence stems from the fact that agencies like Victoria Police have increased their presence at public places. Moreover, we are confident that the Task Force that has been called by Education Minister Julia Gillard should get to the bottom of the key issues at play here. Monash is proud of its happy and safe multicultural environment. There have been no significant racist or violent incidents involving any of our students from India. Our campuses have excellent security and our students are fully informed about their personal safety. They report very high levels of satisfaction with their educational and social experience at Monash and in Australia. We are determined to protect our reputation in this area.
If you would like to talk to me about this or have particular suggestions/strategies that you believe we should pursue, please let me know and I will call you.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University
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On Wednesday 26 November 2008 The IITB-Monash Research Academy (The Academy) was officially opened at the IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. Dignitaries and academic staff from both IITB and Monash University were joined by students and other interested parties in the day-long opening event activities.
Commencing in the morning the first Board Meeting of The Academy took place
Apart from other matters, The Board of The Academy instituted a Selection Sub-Committee and an Audit and Risk Sub-Committee. The Board also appointed Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy as the Acting CEO of The Academy and expressed urgency in need for a full-time CEO.
After the Board Meeting, The Academy also had the Third Research Advisory Council meeting. Since Mr Narayana Murthy, the Chair of the Advisory Council, wasn’t able to be there, this meeting was chaired by Dr Ramesh Masheklar. Mr Narayana Murthy (Infosys) is the Chairman of the Research Advisory Council. The other members include Dr. Pawan Goenka (Mahindra & Mahindra), Mr. Prasad Menon (Tata Power), Dr V. Rao Aiyagiri (Department of Science and Technology), Sir Gus Nossal (Former President of the Australian Academy of Sciences), Dr Ramesh Mashelkar (Former Director-General CSIR) and Dr Edwin van Leeuwen (BHP Billiton).
The immediate past Director of IIT, Professor Ashok Misra was formally acknowledged for his contributions during the set up phase of The Academy.
During the Board and the Research Advisory Council meetings, faculty and staff that had made the trip from Australia formally met with their IIT counterparts. They were all welcomed and taken around IIT facilities. The respective faculty therefore had opportunities to further explore potential areas of research collaboration.
All participants then assembled in the beautifully decorated Gulmohar Hall for the Press Meet. During the Press Meet, The Academy Joint Venture documents were exchanged by Professor Richard Larkins, AO (Vice Chancellor and President Monash University) and Professor Juzer Vasi (Acting Dierctor IIT Bombay).
Professor Richard Larkins said, “The opening of the Academy ushers a new era of Indian and Australian scientific relations. This will lead to high impact research outcomes that will deliver a range of tangible economic benefits and long lasting societal benefits for both countries and the global community.”
Professor Juzer Vasi, said: “This is a major initiative for us. IIT Bombay and Monash University, through the Academy will be able to respond to the needs of the industry and society in India, Australia and elsewhere, and tackle the research challenges that lie ahead.”
We heard that, after admitting the first batch of 18 students, The Academy has already received over 950 applications for the second intake in December 2008. The expectation is that 15-20 students will be selected. “Of these 900 applications, more than 20 are IIT graduates. To be able to retain them in India is important and this Academy has provided a great opportunity to do so,” said RA Mashelkar, member of Advisory Council of The Academy.
A banquet style lunch put on by IIT Bombay provided the forum for further networking opportunities. This was then followed by the formal opening ceremony that took place at the FC Kohli auditorium, IIT Bombay. The formal opening ceremony was witnessed by His Excellency John McCarthy, Australian High Commissioner to India, and by Professor M. M. Sharma, noted Indian scientist.
The formal opening ceremony included speeches from Professor Richard Larkins and Professor Juzer Vasi. Professor Pradipta Banerji, Dean Alumni and International Relations, IIT Bombay provided the IITB perspective of the relationship between the two institutions. While Professor Tam Sridhar, Dean of Engineering, Monash University also provided a presentation on the Academy; its objectives and intended structure.
Those that had contributed significantly in the set up of the Academy were formally acknowledged. The overall benefits of the linkages formed by the Academy for both countries were also discussed.
A traditional India lamp lighting ceremony took place followed by the unveiling of the Academy plaque. The plaque will be incorporated into the new Academy building scheduled to commence building within the next few months. The opening ceremony concluded with the exchange of traditional gifts between the leaders of Monash University and IIT Bombay.
In the evening, festivities continued at The Renaissance Hotel, Powai, where over 100 people assembled for a formal dinner. The guests listened to a speech from the His Excellency John McCarthy, Australian High Commissioner to India. His talk “On the importance of Aus-India links especially in Science and Technology & education” discussed how The Academy would provide much needed linkages between India and Australia in the research sector. This was followed by a reply from Ms Anita Nayar, Indian Consul General, Victoria, Australia.
The formal opening of The Academy represents the culmination of significant efforts over a period of 24 months on the part of both institutions and represents a new chapter of Australian-India scientific relations.
The opening was covered by several print and online media outlets. Click here.
The IITB-Monash Research Academy has been commended by its independent Scientific Advisory Council for its long term strategy to address “Grand Challenges” such as bio-engineered blood to overcome the shortage of blood supplies across the world. The first Advisory Council meeting was held in January 2008 and chaired by Mr Narayana Murthy, the renowned founder of Infosys.
With the support of the Advisory Council and the commitment of research partners IIT Bombay (IITB) and Monash University, the Research Academy is set to initiate a number of major projects over the coming months.
Director of IIT Bombay, Professor Ashok Misra said that this unique experiment has bought together, for the first time in India, two leading research institutes that will engage in theme-based, inter-disciplinary and goal-orientated research. “We will take up grand challenges which will make a huge impact,” said Professor Misra.