Minnikanti Venkata Mehar Sai Kartheek


Minnikanti Venkata Mehar Sai Kartheek

Kartheek completed his M.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Manufacturing Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2018 and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University in 2016. His master’s thesis work is ‘Numerical Simulation of Particle Dispersion During Solidification of Metal Matrix Composites’. After graduation, he worked with ‘Boston Scientific’ for 2 years in product development (medical devices). At IIT Bombay – Monash research academy, he is working on a project ‘Computational Multi-scale and multiphase modelling of metal additive manufacturing’ under the supervision of ‘Dr. Shyamprasad Karagadde’(IITB) and ‘Dr Wenyi Yan’ (Monash University).


Link to student’s project: IMURA0896


Smriti Subir Mukherjee


Smriti Subir Mukherjee

After completing my 12th exam from CBSE board, I pursued an Integrated M.Tech programme in Biotechnology at School of Biotechnology, KIIT Deemed to be University. As I’ve always been motivated to work in an interdisciplinary field, I decided to venture into Biotechnology. During this 5 year journey, I remained associated with a diverse work profile. Having received the JNCASR Summer Research Fellowships in 2017 and 2018, I worked with Jayanta Haldar (Associate Professor, New Chemistry Unit, JNCASR Bengaluru) where I developed an understanding and appreciation of small molecules. With a profound interest in translatable research work, I started working with Dr. Priti Sundar Mohanty (Associate Professor, School of Chemical Technology, KIIT) on developing and characterizing microgels for drug delivery. For the M.Tech dissertation, I worked at Enzene Biosciences Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Alkem Laboratories Ltd. where I was exposed to protein-based large molecules, otherwise known as Biologics.

My past experiences in academic and corporate internships have taught me that Science and Engineering goes hand in hand. Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology must come together to cater the needs of society. In order to develop platforms that enhances quality as well as affordability of therapies and thereby ameliorate the overall financial burden due to healthcare incurred costs, I decided to understand the fundamental science governing the biological entities. It was this reason that drove me to be associated with the IITB-Monash Research Academy. Currently, I am a 1st year PhD student at IITB Monash Research Academy under the joint supervision of Nandita Madhavan (Associate Professor, IIT Bombay) and Tanja Junkers (Professor, Monash University) working at the interface of chemistry and biology. Apart from research activities and studies, I enjoy painting, dancing, swimming. My love for painting and dancing has always helped me to stay enthusiastic and hopeful.


Link to student’s project: IMURA0796


Anjani Mittal


Anjani Mittal

Anjani obtained her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi. She proceeded with Master’s in Medical Biochemistry from AIIMS, New Delhi. There, she worked in Molecular Biology lab and did her dissertation on the project ‘Human Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D mediated post-transcriptional regulation of PTEN in oral cancer’ under the guidance of Prof. S. S. Chauhan. Curiosity for understanding how things function and wanting to elucidate more mechanisms drove her to join IITB-Monash for the project ‘Investigation of qualitative and quantitative composition of kinetochore complex in mitosis and meiosis using yeast as eukaryotic model’ under the guidance of Prof. Santanu K. Ghosh and Prof. Ralf Schittenhelm. She spends her leisure time in reading and watching fiction and history.


Link to student’s project: IMURA0907


Pallavi Sengupta


Pallavi Sengupta

I completed my BSc (triple majors) in Biotechnology, Chemistry and Botany and MSc in Biotechnology from CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore. During my BSc, I have done an internship at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology where I helped the lab technicians in assessing the oncological blood samples. My research project in Biotechnology and Chemistry was “Screening and Optimization of PHB from Soil Bacteria” and “Biodegradable Plastics from Limonene and Starch: A Way towards a Safe Future” respectively. In MSc, my research project was, “Extraction and Purification of Bromelain from Pineapple Fruit and Stem and a Comparative Analysis of its Anti-Browning effect and Meat Tenderization” and I have also done an internship on Bioanalytical Tools from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) where I learnt various techniques like GC-MS, HPLC, FTIR spectroscopy etc. At IITB-Monash Research Academy, I will be working on the project- “Production of Functional Biopolymers using Continuous Flow” under the supervision of Dr. Anil Kumar (IITB) and Dr. Neil Cameron (Monash). My hobbies include reading books, playing the piano and listening to music.


Link to student’s project: IMURA0659


Debarshi Nath


Debarshi Nath

Debarshi hails from Guwahati, Assam. He received his Master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Delhi Technological University (Formerly Delhi College of Engineering) and his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering from National Institute of Technology Silchar. During his Masters, he worked in the field of EEG-based Emotion Recognition and Stress Detection at Samsung Digital Academy Research Lab at Delhi Technological University. In this period, he developed his interests towards the applications of Machine Learning in Cognitive Science and Learning. At the IITB-Monash Research Academy, he will work on the project titled, “Modelling Self-Regulated Learning using Learning Analytics” under the supervision of Prof. Ramkumar Rajendran (IIT Bombay) and Prof. Dragan Gasevic (Monash University). He enjoys reading books and watching movies
and football at leisure.


Link to student’s project: IMURA0864


Microalgae to Hydrogen


Picture: eng.unimelb.edu.au

We are delighted to share that, Dr. Pratik Gholkar (our alumnus) along with his supervisors, Prof. Yogendra Shastri (IITB) and Prof. Akshat Tanksale (Monash) has has devised a new way to produce hydrogen and methane with significantly reduced carbon footprint using microalgae.  The study titled: ‘Renewable hydrogen and methane production from microalgae: A techno-economic and life cycle assessment study’ can be read here- https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0959652620337719

The research group has used reactive flash volatilisation (RFV) gasification technology to produce hydrogen using microalgae, giving rise to newer and cleaner forms of energy. Findings show the greenhouse gas emissions of hydrogen production using RFV on microalgae is 36% less compared to the steam reforming of methane gas – the current best practice for hydrogen production. With additional renewable energy processes, such as hydro-electricity, integrated with the researchers’ hydrogen production process, carbon emissions could drop by as much as 87%.

Currently, the production of microalgae does not meet commercial demand. However, microalgae cultivation for energy applications could also provide additional revenue streams for rural communities, potentially making them self-sufficient, researchers say.

Dr Pratik Gholkar, said “Assuming a market price of $10/kg for hydrogen compressed to 700 bar pressure, the payback period for hydrogen production was 3.78 years with nearly 25% investment return. Moreover, the life cycle climate change impact was 7.56 kg of carbon dioxide for every kilogram of hydrogen produced,”

“This is an exciting look into the resources and technology available to the world in our quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and drastically cut the amount of carbon emissions.”

Using India-based JSW Steel (the funding agency for this research) as a case study for their source of CO2 for microalgae cultivation, the research team estimated just under 12,800 kg an hour of microalgae would be available for hydrogen production at a rate of 1240 kg/h.

While the costs to develop infrastructure to cultivate microalgae and then refine it into hydrogen and methane are expensive, the overall return on investment in the long-term could make hydrogen and methane cost-effective and environmentally friendly fuel sources.

Dr Yogendra Shastri from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay said climate change concerns have led to an increasing push for cleaner energy options, and microalgae could be a potential candidate to produce renewable fuel. He said “Hydrogen is acknowledged as clean fuel since it doesn’t lead to the emission of greenhouse gases when used. However, the production of hydrogen also needs to be sustainable. Biodiesel production from microalgae is limited due to low lipid extraction efficiency, less than 20%, and the high cost of microalgae harvesting and drying. Furthermore, microalgae-based hydrogen and methane production haven’t yet been commercialised due to expensive pre-treatment, such as harvesting, drying and lipid extraction; low carbon conversion efficiency; and tar accumulation.”

Prof. Akshat Tanksale from Monash University said “Hydrogen and methane are clean sources of fuel and green chemical synthesis only if they are produced from renewable resources. At present, 96% of hydrogen and all methane is produced using non-renewable resources. Microalgae as a feedstock is attractive due to its high carbon dioxide fixation efficiency, growth rate, photosynthetic efficiency, ability to grow in brackish water – like rivers and lakes – and the ability to cultivate it on land not suitable for agriculture. Water and renewable electricity integration with microalgae harvesting can bring down the costs and increase the sustainability of hydrogen production from this process.”

The Academy’s collaboration with Michelin India


IITB-Monash Research Academy and  Michelin India Technology Centre in Pune signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 15 February 2021. It is designed to be an Umbrella Agreement between the two organizations for next generation sustainable mobility research. This partnership will be for a tenure of 5 years with several projects envisaged for development in the Mobility space in India. It will bring  involve doctoral students (PhD) from the Academy and Michelin’s global Research and Development DNA.  The projects will encompass a wide range of themes such as advanced computational engineering, materials, simulation and manufacture, infrastructure engineering, clean energy, water, nanotechnology, biotechnology and stem cell research.

During the signing ceremony, M.S. Unnikrishnan, CEO, IITB-Monash Research Academy said: “We really value our research partnership with Michelin, one of the most technologically advanced tire manufacturers of the world. IITB-Monash Research Academy in partnership with Michelin is aiming to conduct application oriented translational research. Professors from IIT Bombay and Monash University, Australia will team up with Michelin in this outcome oriented program targeted to create mobility oriented technologies of tomorrow”.

M.S Unnikrishnan (Left) and Dr. Arun Jaura (Right)

Dr. Arun Jaura, Managing Director Michelin India Technology Centre India, said: “Michelin’s R&D centers embody our Innovation DNA in various regions of the world. In India, Michelin R&D’s partnership with IITB-Monash Research Academy is a strategic lever used to foster the power and speed of innovation in the mobility ecosystem. In light of sustainability, this partnership will nurture talent and encourage PhD students to collaborate and create innovative mobility related solutions. This particular partnership will provide PhD students with exposure to technologies and experiences from 3 different continents – allowing them to access state of the art facilities, join forces with intellectual academic minds, and work alongside industry experts.”

The Academy and Michelin team

Eric Philippe Vinesse, Executive Vice President, Research & Development – Member of the Michelin Group Executive Committee said: “I am delighted about this partnership of Michelin in India with IITB-Monash Research Academy as it will enhance mutual development and stimulate stronger collaboration for sustainable mobility. In this evolving mobility ecosystem, this engagement will provide a solid platform for the PhD students from India, to appreciate and experience the strengths of Michelin’s innovation culture.”

About Michelin:
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has more than 127,000 employees and operates 69 tire production facilities which together produced around 200 million tires in 2019.

 

Vibha Kumari


Vibha Kumari

Vibha Kumari completed her B.Sc. with honours in Biotechnology from College of Commerce, Magadh University (Patna, Bihar) in 2015. Later, she received her M.Sc. degree from School of Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) in 2017. In her master’s dissertation, she worked on “expression and purification of Influenza A virus matrix protein (M1) for raising polyclonal sera”. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from IITB-Monash Research Academy, IIT Bombay and working on project “identification of human host factors required for human influenza virus assembly and budding”. She has qualified DBT-JRF and GATE (Biotechnology) in 2017. Apart from research work, she is passionate about Hindi literature, poem writing and Madhubani painting (folk art).


Link to student’s project: IMURA0684


Naman Joshi


Naman Joshi

Naman obtained his Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electronics and Communication from CTAE, MPUAT govt. university Udaipur, Rajasthan and qualified GATE with 99 percentile in ECE stream. He completed post graduation in Information and Communication Technology from IIT Jodhpur and consequently started working in Airtel, Gurgaon. Later, he joined NIT Delhi and worked as an Assistant Professor. During his tenure in Academia, he developed strong interest in wireless mobile communication technologies (5th generation). Naman published some research papers in IEEE Journal and Conferences, on the topic of Performance Evaluation of FSO (Free Space Optical) communication systems. At IITB-Monash Research Academy, he is currently working on the project titled “Communication over wireless channels under secrecy constraints” under the supervision of Prof. Bikash K. Dey (IITB), Prof. Yi Hong and Prof. Emanuele Viterbo (Monash). In leisure time, Naman learns to play piano.


Link to student’s project: IMURA0443


Ananya Dasgupta


Ananya Dasgupta

Ananya Dasgupta holds a Masters degree in English Literature from Jadavpur University. Her M.A dissertation charted the significance of the railways as markers of modernity and mobility in Indian cinema. At IITB-Monash, her work largely deals with the generation of emotional consent in sustaining democracies. She is interested in working on women vigilantes and interrogating the limits of the law in determining popular conceptions of violence and justice. She enjoys fantasy and horror fiction, good conversation, and train rides.


Link to student’s project: HSS0489