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Civil Engineering

Recent temperature variations over India “unnatural”, find IISc researchers

Climate change is a major cause of concern in the scientific community all over the world. There is much empirical evidence that the global temperature is rising along with various other adverse effects, and human activities like industrialization is to blame. To curb these, it is necessary to adopt mitigation strategies immediately. However, to convince policymakers and other stakeholders to do so, it is necessary to prove that climate change is indeed happening, by attributing specific weather phenomena to it. Not many studies of this kind have been done in the context of India, which is trying to industrialize rapidly while there are millions vulnerable to climate change.

Heralding a new age of better weather forecasts

Scientists from IISc have come up with clever algorithms to improve the prediction of temperature in remote areas, which in turn can improve the accuracy of large scale weather events. In order for meteorologists to forecast large-scale weather events like monsoons, typhoons, floods, droughts and desertification, they need to study hydrometeorology, or the study of the water cycle – how water moves from the earth to the atmosphere and back again. While today’s level of understanding on the subject is pretty good, there are still gaping holes in our knowledge that prevent us from accurately predicting large-scale disasters. One of the major flaws in today’s system is insufficient data.

Discarded tyres to battle earthquakes

A mixture of crushed pieces of tyres and sand around the foundations can protect buildings during an earthquake, civil engineers from the Indian Institute of Science say. This new technology, when developed, will have two important benefits: build earthquake resistant buildings that can potentially save lives during a disaster and develop a sure shot way to reuse millions of used tyres.

The Therapeutic Engineering lab: where engineering and biology meld

Biology and engineering don’t mix. This is one of the most outmoded and outdated concepts in science that is slowly being overturned as more and more biologists seek engineering solutions to understanding living systems. Of late, the all-important field of therapeutics in medicine is a major concern that has hopped onto the mathematical and simulation bandwagon for a quicker ride to plausible solutions.

Transportation Engineering group: Providing solutions to real-world mobility problems

Travel has been an integral part of human societies since the dawn of human civilization. Over the centuries, it has reached heights of dizzying complexity with technological advancement. Today, all human settlements rely on some form of transport, whether motorized or not, for sustenance. Transportation networks form the lifeline of a country. In a developing country like India, the heterogeneous nature of transport on the roads, ranging from cars, buses, two-wheelers and three-wheelers to pedestrians, presents a unique transportation planning and management puzzle. It is this challenge that motivated Dr. Ashish Verma to set up the Transportation Engineering lab to approach these issues from a scientific standpoint, particularly using modelling, optimization, and experimentation.

A method to predict how different soil types respond to earthquakes

Earthquakes can cause severe devastation, leading to loss of human life and infrastructural damage. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to predict exactly when and where an earthquake will occur. A researcher from IISc has developed an improved technique which can predict whether a given type of soil will give in to tremors during an earthquake or not. This could in turn help in determining whether it is safe to construct buildings, roads, dams, bridges on such soil or not.

Activity–Travel Behaviour of Non-Workers in Bangalore City

Much has been said about the activity-travel behaviour of people who are employed; their movements and activities are also more predictable. But research, in other nations, has shown that non-workers like housewives and our elderly folk also have a significant bearing on the infrastructure demands in a city. India too can benefit from an understanding of how our people travel and go about their daily activities and two researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have done just that.

How are Indian cities coping with high levels of travel demand?

Indian cities have had a high growth in population due to urbanisation which has lead to a sudden growth in travel demand.
Researchers from IISc studied on travel and mobility patterns in five cities -- Delhi, Bangalore, Indore, Guwahati and Lucknow -- by collecting data about different aspects of travel: demographics, economy, transport demand and supply as well as transport policy and transport costs.

BMTC Network Optimizations Could Save Crores

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) can save a whopping Rs. 2.7 crores per annum in just one of its divisions by simply reducing “dead kilometers” in its routes, a new study has claimed. This study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Civil Engineering at IISc, under the leadership of Prof. T G Sitharam. The team collected data on the daily schedules of Air Conditioned (A/C) buses operated by BMTC, their respective trip sheets, routes, information about depots and operating costs with an objective to minimize the total non-revenue generating distance traveled by all these buses of BMTC.

Special release: The right of way to pedestrians and cyclists

Don’t trade an arm and a leg to escape a traffic snarl, just use them. Research finds that a shift to walking and cycling can send the banks ringing from saved fuel, emission, congestion and accident costs. They also point to distances that people prefer to walk or cycle, which can guide the development of infrastructure encouraging a shift to non-motorized transport.