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Engineering

Bengaluru | Dec 10, 2019
ISRO scientists cotton on to North Korea’s nuclear test more accurately using satellites

Starting in 2006, North Korea has made a series of nuclear tests in its hidden backyard. The country’s latest one was conducted in 2017 at Punggye-ri, some 3.6 kilometres northwest of its first nuclear test site. Despite its success, the test results provided loose estimates of the source parameters like the energy produced and the depth of the explosion. Since this was the most extensive test conducted by North Korea, it has evoked special attention among the scientific community in the last two years. While many studies have tried to reckon these parameters, the results were shrouded in uncertainty. Besides, the country’s political abnegation of seismometers called for an exigent need for a more accurate means of estimating the blast site’s characteristics. In a recent study, published in the Geophysical International Journal, a team of scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) seems to have done just that.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 9, 2019
Mathematician Dr Neena Gupta shines as the youngest Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardee

Dr Neena Gupta, Associate Professor at the Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, has been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019, in the field of Mathematical Sciences. This prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the country for research in Science, honours scientists for significant and cumulative contribution to their area of research. Dr Gupta, the youngest person in Mathematical Sciences to receive this award till date, has been recognised for her contributions to affine algebraic geometry, especially in proposing a solution to the Zariski Cancellation Problem.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, News
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
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