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Indian-origin Stanford Professor Thomas Kailath to receive Marconi Society award

The Hindu Business Line | Sangeetha ChengappaBengaluru  | 15 August 2017 |

Thomas Kailath’s research contributions span over six decades

Thomas Kailath

Many contributions

The award recognises Kailath’s many contributions over six decades to information theory, communications, filtering theory, linear systems and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, linear algebra, matrix and operator theory, which have directly or indirectly advanced modern communications technology. It also recognises his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists. The Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Prof Kailath in 2009.

His journey

Kailath earned a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, in 1956. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) in 1957. After his doctorate in electrical engineering in June 1961, the first Indian-born student to get one at MIT, he was invited by the late Prof. Solomon Golomb to join the pioneering Digital Communications Research Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In January 1963, he accepted an associate professorship at Stanford, becoming a full professor in 1968. He served as Director of the Information Systems Laboratory from 1971 through 1980, building it into a world-leading centre for communications, control and signal processing research. Kailath was Associate Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department Chair from 1981 to 1987 and in 1988 was appointed the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering at Stanford. Although Kailath became Emeritus in June 2001, he has been recalled to active duty, and he continues his research and writing activities to this day. – Courtesy

SERB : Early Career Research (ECR) Award

Science and Engineering Research Board –  Statutory Body Established through an Act of Parliament: SERB Act 2008
Government of India
Call for Proposals under this scheme is now open. Eligible Researchers can submit the proposals till Aug 10 2017.

Objective:
Early Career Research Award scheme aims to provide quick research support to the young researchers who are in their early career for pursuing exciting and innovative research in frontier areas of science and engineering.

Nature & Duration of Support:

  • The Early Career Research for the purpose of the program refers to the first assignment of the applicant in a regular capacity in a recognized academic institution or national laboratory or any other recognized R & D institution in India.
  • The Early Career Research Award is a one-time award and carries a research grant up to Rs. 50 Lakhs (excluding overheads) for a period of three years.
  • The research grant covers equipment, manpower, consumables, manpower, travel and contingency apart from overheads.

Eligibility:

  • The applicant should be an Indian citizen.
  • The applicant should hold Ph.D. degree in Science or Engineering or M.D or M.S degree in any area of medicine.
  • The scheme encourages young researchers at the start of their independent research careers. The applicant, therefore, must hold a regular academic/research position in a recognized academic institution/ or national laboratories or any other recognised R&D institutions.
    The term “Regular” in the context of ECRA refers to one or more of the following:
    1. Those who are appointed by the institutions against the sanctioned post. Such positions are regularized/confirmed after the probation period is over.
    2. Those who are appointed in a tenure post, but are likely to be renewed after the end of the tenure
    Not Eligible: Research Associates, Guest Faculty, Visiting Scientist, Project Fellows, Faculty members whose contract is renewed every year; and those who are expecting to draw salary from the scheme.
    (In cases where it is not covered in any of the above, SERB has the right to determine the eligibility)
  • Faculties recruited through UGC-Faculty Recharge Program are eligible to apply. INSPIRE Faculty, Ramanujan, and Ramalingaswamy Fellows are also eligible to apply if they have been absorbed/appointed to a regular position. If such fellows are not absorbed/appointed in a regular position, and are receiving fellowship as well as research grant from the fellowship, such fellows are eligible to apply provided they have at least three and half years of tenure remaining at the time of submission of application.
  • The upper age limit for the ECR award is fixed at 37 years, SC/ST/OBC /Physically challenged and women candidates can apply upto 40 years.
  • Co-PIs are not allowed in the Early Career Research Award.

Selection & Mode Of Application

  • The selection will be based on the recommendations of an Expert Committee that will be constituted by the Board. If desired by the Expert Committee, the applicants may be called for personal discussion.
  • The Call for applications will be made twice a year (January and July) and will be notified through the website http://www.serbonline.in and http://www.serb.gov.in. The application form along with a proper research proposal highlighting the research work to be undertaken should be submitted online through the website www.serbonline.in

How to apply online:
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:

  • Applicants should first register into the online website click here to register
  • After log-in, go to Menu –> Proposal Submission –> Form Submission. Select scheme “Early Career Research (ECR) Award” and Click on “Start Submission” Button.
  • Some of the details of your proposal like Project Title (max 500 characters), Project summary (max 3000 characters), Keywords (max 6), Objectives of project (max 1500 characters), Expected output and outcome of the proposal (max 1500 characters), Budget (Manpower,Consumables,Travel, Equipment, Contingency, Overheads ) have to be entered at the time of proposal submission.
  • Other relevant information of the proposal has to be uploaded in single PDF file not more than 10 MB as other technical document (OTD). Download Template

Termination and Transfer of the Project:

  • If any Principal Investigator wishes to terminate the project, he/she shall inform the SERB through the host institute immediately with proper justifications. The implementing institute should not incur any expenditure from the date of termination of the project or the date of resignation of PI. The institute will also arrange for submission of documents mentioned above.
  • SERB reserves the right to terminate the Early Career Research Award at any stage if it is convinced that appropriate progress is not being made or the grant has not been utilized properly.
  • In case of projects sanctioned under Early Career Research Award, the SERB allows transfer of the project along with assets to the new institute, if required. The project cannot be transferred to any other person/s. The initial host institute will not incur any expenditure on the project after relieving the PI, without the consent of the SERB.

Documents required (in PDF) should be in prescribed format:

Heritage Institute of Technology won the Best Engineering College Award

The Times of India | TNN | Jul 27, 2017 |

KOLKATA: Heritage Institute of Technology has received “The Best Engineering College of the Year” award from Assocham India. The award was given by Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State (higher education) Government of India in the presence of Mr. Tamal Mukherjee, chairperson education council, Assocham Eastern India, Dinesh Jain, president, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce and Perminder Jeet Kaur, Regional Director, ASSOCHAM India.

On receiving the award, Pradip Agarwal CEO Heritage Group of Institutions Kolkata said that it is a proud moment for Heritage to receive the award which indicates excellence in the respective fields. “This award will motivate our team to reach the utmost level of success” said Pranay Chaudhuri, Principal, Heritage institute of Technology Kolkata. – Courtesy    /     http://www.assocham.org/index.php

Maharashtra girl Sonal Baberwal bags first ever Kalpana Chawla ISU Scholarship to Irish University

Financial Express | FE Online | New Delhi |  July 4, 2017 |

Sonal wants to pursue her career in robotics, Pluto, space debris and environmental aspects and also the field of Space and Art. (Image: Facebook)

In a first, a 21-year-old girl hailing from Amaravati, Maharashtra has managed to become the first person to bag the Kalpana Chawla Scholarship of International Space University (ISU) at Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, announced the university.

In a first, 21-year-old Sonal Baberwal hailing from Amaravati, Maharashtra has managed to become the first person to bag the Kalpana Chawla Scholarship of International Space University (ISU) at Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, announced the university. As per a report by Indiatimes, the scholarship is established to honor late Indian-American Astronaut Dr Kalpana Chawla, who passed away in the space shuttle Columbia accident in February, 2003. The scholarship is aimed at developing strong technical and space research expertise in talented Indian women. The announcement made by the university says that “scholarship is a commitment for creating building blocks that are necessary for India to maintain its leadership in the global space community and market place.” Speaking to Indiatimes, one of the scholarship founders, Michael Potter termed it as a historic moment and said: “India will continue to be an important player on the international front as it moves forward leading the development of space technologies and activities.”

Under the mission of inculcating and further enhancing leadership skills and funding of Indian nationals in order to attend the space studies programme of ISU’s, the scholarship project states, “the goal is to attract talented young Indian postgraduate students with backgrounds in science, medicine and other space-related areas of focus, who also share Kalpana Chawla’s selfless and passionate pursuit of science and excellence.” After completing her schooling at Mount Carmel High School in Amaravati, Sonal Baberwal went ahead with completing her engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunication stream from the Sipna College of Engineering and Technology. Sonal wants to pursue her career in robotics, Pluto, space debris and environmental aspects and also the field of Space and Art. She has even got in touch with several NASA astronauts and has made several presentations on space-related topics in India. – Courtesy /    Official Release: 2 Pages pdf   /   Official Release from International Space University     /     International Space University (ISU)

Nikita Hari becomes the first Indian citizen to be featured on Telegraph’s ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’ list

Nikita Hari has become the first Indian citizen to be featured on Telegraph’s ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’ list.

The list, compiled by the Telegraph in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), features UK’s top rising female stars of engineering. Nikita became the first Indian citizen and the first Cambridge student to be featured on this list. Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), the organisation that founded International Women in Engineering Day, commented: “We had a very high response to the campaign this year and were hugely impressed with the entries. This list of inspirational younger women shows the breadth and depth of talent and innovation across all engineering sectors. It is a great way of encouraging the next generation to enter the engineering and allied sectors and for women to succeed there.”  Nikita Hari, who hails from Kozhikode, Kerala, is a scientist by profession and a social entrepreneur by passion. She is currently a doctoral scholar pursuing research in Electrical Engineering at University of Cambridge. The Co-founder of two social tech start-ups ‘Wudi’ & ‘Favalley’, Nikita’s vision is to uplift society through education and technology.

There are three other Indian origins (Canadian, UK and Zimbabwean citizens) who have been featured in the list till date. Nikita is the first Indian citizen to achieve this.  Nikita has been awarded the Nehru Trust Cambridge University Scholarship, Cambridge Department of Engineering Grant, FFWG Research Foundation Grant, Churchill College Grant, Snowdon Trust & Google Scholarship. She was also a ‘Forbes 30 under 30 UK Finalist’, ‘Hult Prize Finalist’ and has received accolades from various organizations across the globe. She serves as the consulting head for ‘Care to Teach’ initiative for Syrian Refugee Kids, advisory board of ‘Next Tech Lab’, the Secretary of IEEE-Cambridge, CamAwise Steering Committee and as Beyond Profit Cambridge Conference Director and was the ex-Chairperson of the EPSRC UK Centre. She is also a regular invited speaker at technology conferences, GSA girl conferences, Cambridge Science Festival and Soapbox Science to inspire and motivate girls to pursue a career in STEM subjects. WudiDatatech Pvt Ltd is an exciting & unique initiative she co-founded with her brother Arjun Hari, who is an IIM, NIT graduate and the brainchild & CEO of this firm based in Kozhikode, Kerala. “The mission is to transform the educational space using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and to make AI products accessible and affordable to all,” she said.  –  Courtesy & List    /      Nikita Hari on LinkedIn     /        http://nikitahari.com/

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

Avenue Mail | Jamshedpur |

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

11 female engineering students win ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship Programme

Jamshedpur, June 13 : Tata Steel, today, announced the winners of its pioneering initiative, ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship programme, aimed at encouraging gender diversity in the manufacturing sector. In keeping with its commitment to the young generation, Tata Steel announced the scholarship programme, ‘Women of Mettle’ in January 2017. The programme aims to identify, groom and encourage female engineering talent for a sector that historically has imbalanced gender representation. Female students in their second year of engineering from select 45+ engineering institutes across India were invited to be a part of this initiative. Through a rigorous multi-phase process, a total of 30 candidates were selected for the 2-day finale, which witnessed an amazing showcase of talent, hard work and competitiveness.

Top 11 candidates emerged as the winners of the 2017 edition. The winners are eligible for a scholarship amount of Rs 2 lakh (Rs.1 lakh in the 3rd and 4th year respectively), internship opportunity in their third year, sponsorship to participate in technical conferences, a pre-placement job offer and mentorship from the senior leadership of the organisation. Speaking at the Grand finale of ‘Women of Mettle’ Scholarship programme, Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Vice President, HRM, Tata Steel said, “Our constant pursuit of excellence has enabled us to take up new challenges and set industry benchmarks. Building an equitable culture and a diverse leadership team is a responsibility we take seriously. Women of Mettle is one of the first programmes in the manufacturing industry where we not only provide scholarships but a career at Tata Steel.” The winners of the Women of Mettle Scholarship Programme 2017 edition are- Sharon Manvika Deva from NIT Warangal, Megharanjini, CET Bhubaneswar, Dedeepya Regatti, NIT Warangal, Khyati Mahatab, CET Bhubaneswar, Ragini Sreenath, IIT Madras, Subhashree Nayak, CET Bhubaneswar, Urja Agrawal, CET Bhubaneswar, Anupma Arya, NIT Jamshedpur, Daria Nair, IIT Madras, Saloni Ranjan, BIT Mesra and Aakanksha from IIT Kanpur. – Courtesy

Indian American Raja Chari, selected among 12 NASA astronaut candidates

By IANS | Washington |  8 June 2017 |

Raja Chari, who will report for duty in August this year, is from the state of Iowa who graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in astronautical engineering and engineering science.

Raja Chari is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Indian American Raja Chari, a Lieutenant Colonel with the US Air Force, has been selected by space agency NASA among 12 astronaut candidates who will conduct research off the Earth for deep space missions. Chari, who will report for duty in August this year, is from the state of Iowa who graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in astronautical engineering and engineering science. He continued on to earn a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School. Currently, he is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California. After receiving a record-breaking number of applications — 18,000 — to join an exciting future of space exploration, NASA on Wednesday picked 12 — its largest astronaut class since 2000. Vice President Mike Pence joined NASA leaders as they introduced the members of the 2017 astronaut class during an event at the agency’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston. “These are 12 men and women whose personal excellence and whose personal courage will carry our nation to even greater heights of discovery and who I know will inspire our children and our grandchildren every bit as much as your forebears have done so in this storied American programme,” said Pence. “And to this newest class of astronauts, it’s my honour to bring the sincere congratulations of the 45th President of the US, Donald Trump. Your President is proud of you, and so am I,” the Vice President added.

The astronaut candidates will return to Johnson in August to begin two years of training. Then they could be assigned to any of a variety of missions, including: performing research on the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and departing for deep space missions on NASA’s new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket. “We look forward to the energy and talent of these astronauts fueling our exciting future of discovery,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot in a statement. “Between expanding the crew on board the space station to conduct more research than ever before, and making preparations to send humans farther into space than we’ve ever been, we are going to keep them busy,” he said. With the addition of these 12 members, NASA now has selected 350 astronauts since the original Mercury 7 in 1959. “These women and men deserve our enthusiastic congratulations,” said astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa. The 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX and a NASA research pilot. – Courtesy

A planet is named after this Bengaluru girl of Inventure Academy (Sahithi Pingali). Here’s why

Jun 08, 2017 |  Times Now |  A planet is named after this Bengaluru girl. Here’s why |

Bengaluru: While all of us aim for the skies, Sahithi Pingali, a class 12 student of Inventure Academy, Bengaluru goes a step higher and marks a planet by her name instead. Sahithi joined an elite league of people to have a minor planet in the Milky Way named after them, after excelling in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Ms. Pingali presented her paper, — “An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies”— based on her experiences after having developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit that obtains data through crowdsourcing. It wasn’t just an award at ISEF that she won. The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has the right to name minor planets, decided to name a planet after her after she came within the top 3% of ISEF. While the Indian contingent took home 21 awards in all, Ms. Pingali won three awards and was awarded “overall second place” in the Earth and Environment Sciences category. “I definitely didn’t see this coming. I was expecting one special award at most. I haven’t yet digested the fact that I have a planet named after me,” she told The Hindu.

Currently, she is pursuing an internship at the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Michigan to further improve her method to detect water pollution. “I want to make it more accurate and expand it to detect arsenic,” she said. Her work on Varthur Lake has already seen her get a Gold Medal at ISWEEEP (The International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project) Olympiad at Houston (U.S.), earlier this year. She is currently pursuing an internship at the University of Michigan, where she’s working with Ph.D. students and professors in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. – Courtesy     /    Read More …https://www.societyforscience.org/content/press-room/intel-international-science-and-engineering-fair-2017-grand-award-winners

Hacking up apps : NASA Space Apps Challenge 2017

The New Indian Express | Unnikrishnan S  |  Express News Service  |   07th May 2017 |

EcoSnap team which was selected for Global nomination

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Detecting fire in the wild is always a tough task. Often the alert comes in late and by the time fire fighting begins a large number of flora and fauna get destroyed. It is a global issue and any cost-effective solution naturally gets attention. Ani Sam Varghese and his team became the People’s Choice Winner in the recently held NASA Space Apps Challenge, touted as the largest hackathon, in the city.
Compared to the expensive solution of a geo synchronous satellite, the team from Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology in Nalanchira developed Low Earth Orbit Thermal Imaging System (LEOTIS) involving multiple sensors for accurate forecasting of fire and geographic mapping of terrain for emergency services. It can detect and track forest fires and alert local public through nodal stations. Public can also share events of uncontrolled fire though the companion app. Ani is a technical assistant at his alma mater. He took up the challenge with his students and a former batchmate Joji John Varghese, who now works at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Harikrishnan, Abhinand S, Naveen S are computer science engineering students of the college.  The 48-hour hackathon challenge was put forward by the US space agency NASA to develop solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. Over 200 youngsters with a technical bend of mind registered for it. Technopark in Thiruvanathapuram was one of the three locations in country to host the hackathon after Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Each location has three winners including popular choice winner.

Redleet team is the People’s Choice Winner

Global Nominees

Students of the College of Engineering also came up with impressive performance this year. The team consisting of first and second year students of the college developed a crowd sourcing application, EcoSnap, for tracking invasive species in the neighbourhood over time. The team has been selected a global nominee. “The app helps people to track the movement of species. Movement happens when there is a change in the ecology and tracking it would help understand ecological problems,” said Vishnu S Nair who is a student of Applied Electronics engineering in CET. For the Kovalam native it is the second global nomination. Other team members include Athul Krishna A, Hari Nair, Abhijith Nandagopal and Amal Ashok.  The second global nomination went to the team Gryphons. They created an application called ‘Sunshine’ which helps people understand energy output from a solar panel, and a tool to plan energy consumption based on expected energy output from solar technologies. Ajaz Sidhiq, Daniel James, Amal S Raj and Amrith M are the team members. –  Courtesy   /     https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/locations/kerala/       –      https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/

Social changes brought girls in engineering: Sudha Murthy

The Financial Express | PTI | Kolkata |  March 25, 2017 | Opinion |

Philanthropist and author Sudha Murthy today wondered how social changes in the past 50 years has brought a large number of women in engineering and other fields.

Philanthropist and author Sudha Murthy today wondered how social changes in the past 50 years has brought a large number of women in engineering and other fields. At present, 35-40 per cent of IT sector employees are women while she had been the only girl student doing Electrical Engineering in Karnataka decades ago. “There have been lot of social changes in engineering sector as well as in other fields including IT since my day as the only engineering student in university,” Murthy, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, told PTI.  “And now when I visited the same place after over five decades, what a change it was! 75 cent girls in instrumentation, 75 per cent in electronics, almost 70 per cent in computer science,” she said after being conferred the ICC Lifetime Achievement Award here. Recalling her days in the university, she said there was not a single girls’ toilet in the institution and when she had approached the authorities on this, they refused to build the facility on the ground that there was no guarantee a woman would pursue her studies in engineering stream.

Philanthropist and author Sudha Murthy today wondered how social changes in the past 50 years has brought a large number of women in engineering and other fields. At present, 35-40 per cent of IT sector employees are women while she had been the only girl student doing Electrical Engineering in Karnataka decades ago. “There have been lot of social changes in engineering sector as well as in other fields including IT since my day as the only engineering student in university,” Murthy, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, told PTI.  “And now when I visited the same place after over five decades, what a change it was! 75 cent girls in instrumentation, 75 per cent in electronics, almost 70 per cent in computer science,” she said after being conferred the ICC Lifetime Achievement Award here. Recalling her days in the university, she said there was not a single girls’ toilet in the institution and when she had approached the authorities on this, they refused to build the facility on the ground that there was no guarantee a woman would pursue her studies in engineering stream. “Today’s women are more assertive, have lot more economic power and more vocal,” she said. “When I had opted for engineering, I was told by my family that no man will marry you if you go for the stream. Now can anyone say that?,” she asked.  Murthy, whose Infosys Foundation is involved in philanthropic work, said her dream remained to provide three-time meal to every child in rural area, four dresses and help to study and pursue vocation. She said that the Infosys Foundation has set up 14,000 toilets in South India and set target for 60,000 libraries. To a question about her icon in life, Murthy, the wife of Infosys co-founder N R Narayanmurthy, said, “I never believed in icons. I always believed (that) correcting yourself is most important.” The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said it was a great privilege to bestow lifetime honour on Murthy whose Infosys Foundation has made India proud at home and abroad. –  Courtesy