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Engineering

Bengaluru | Nov 29, 2019
What cues do the root bridges of Meghalaya hold for futuristic architecture?

Since 2012, six bridges have collapsed in Mumbai, killing 28 people and injuring hundreds. Often, news of flyovers and pedestrian bridges tumbling down have made it to the headlines across the country. Although durable materials like steel and concrete are used in today’s structures, poor quality of construction and lack of maintenance are often blamed for such catastrophes. Contrast this with the rock-solid centuries-old root bridges found in Meghalaya—many as old as 250 years and still growing strong—built without modern tools or design. Could the structure of these bridges unravel architectural clues for urban construction? In a recent study, researchers from Germany and the USA have tried to understand the morphology and structure of these root bridges, built out of the aerial roots of strangler figs, and that have endured floods, earthquakes, landslides and fires.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 22, 2019
Trading in virtual water: Time to rethink India’s exports?

In a recent study, researchers from Anna University, Chennai, quantified the volume of virtual water trade in India. The study, published in the journal Groundwater for Sustainable Development, focussed on the trade exchange of popular crop and livestock products during the years 2006–2016.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Policy, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 21, 2019
Prof R B Sunoj from IIT Bombay awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019 for his research on organic chemical reactions

Prof R B Sunoj of the Department of Chemistry of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has received the 2019 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The prize recognizes his outstanding contributions for providing molecular level insights on organic reaction mechanisms.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, News
Bengaluru | Nov 15, 2019
Prof Siddhesh Kamat from IISER Pune awarded EMBO Young Investigators grant

Dr Siddhesh Kamat, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, is among the 27 recipients of the European Molecular Biology Organization's (EMBO) Young Investigators Grant. EMBO is an organization headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and promotes international collaboration among life sciences researchers.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, News
Bengaluru | Nov 12, 2019
Scientists concoct new coating to protect gun barrels from wear

In a recent study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have explored the use of a new blend of chromium (III) as an eco-friendly electrolyte for depositing chromium-based coatings on metallic barrels. They reinforced chromium with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and a ceramic compound called yttria stabilised zirconia (YSZ), to improve the properties of the coat.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 21, 2019
New Possibilities for Nano-sized Optical Filters

Prof Bhaskaran Muralidharan and Dr Alestin Mawrie of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have researched a specific category of two-dimensional nanomaterials, called semi-Dirac materials. Their theoretical studies show that it is possible to engineer semi-Dirac materials to make optical filters and efficient thermoelectric nanodevices.

 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
Mumbai | Oct 18, 2019
Prof Subimal Ghosh of IIT Bombay awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019

Prof Subimal Ghosh, Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), has been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This award recognises his significant contributions to our understanding of how land surface processes influence the Indian monsoon, as well as for improving regional monsoon simulations and predictions. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, News
Bengaluru | Sep 26, 2019
Fighting floods the 'expert' way

 During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, Policy, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 17, 2019
 Bacterial remedy for the toxic pesticide Carbaryl

Carbaryl is one of the commonly used pesticides for agricultural as well as non-agricultural use. But like any other insecticide, higher concentrations of Carbaryl in the soil can have adverse effects on humans and other organisms. The need to completely remove it from the environment or break it down into less harmful substances is of primary importance. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), Delhi, have achieved a significant breakthrough in identifying bacteria which can clean up this pesticide from the environment and understanding exactly how the breakdown occurs.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Mumbai | Aug 12, 2019
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) suggest that better conductivity of oil may help water droplets come together.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) suggest that better conductivity of oil may help water droplets come together. Their findings may impact the design of electric field-based oil dehydrators.

General, Science, Engineering, Deep-dive
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