The Indian National Academy of Engineering, a consortium of distinguished engineers in the country, has announced the winners of the annual Young Engineer Award 2017. With 3 awards, IISc grabbed the highest number of awards this year followed by ISRO and six IITs winning one each. The award is given as a recognition to engineering and scientific contributions in the country, with individuals selected from government, academia and industry.
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Transistors are the backbone of the zillion electronic devices that we use today. While development of these semiconductor devices dates back to four decades, it's applications are ever increasing. Internet of Things is the new application that is transforming the development of transistors. In view of this, scientists at IIT Bombay and SCL ISRO have developed a new kind of Bipolar Junction Transistor that is completely indigenous. The researchers believe a home made technology can see its application in strategic sectors like space and defence.
Research at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram indicates that black carbon (BC) aerosol emissions from aircrafts could be impacting the stratospheric ozone layer. Aerosols are minute particles suspended in the atmosphere that interact with incoming and terrestrial radiation affecting the earth’s climate. Some aerosols, such as sulphates and, nitrates cool the atmosphere. BC, on the other hand, is a positive climate forcing agent, absorbing radiation across a wide range of wavelengths.
For over a century, India has nutured a host of science and technology based institutions. We capture the timeline of these institutions as they were established.
Smart adaptive actuators are sought after for a variety of mechanical and aerospace applications. Commonly used piezoceramic and shape memory alloy actuators produce small displacements, and hence require motion amplification mechanisms. However, these mechanisms are prone to mechanical play, and are susceptible to wear and tear.
The Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT) are autonomous public institutions of higher education, offering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in engineering and related domains. IIT Kharagpur was the first institute to be set up, followed by in Bombay, Madras, Kanpur and Delhi. Today, there are a total of 23 IIT’s across the country and many of these premier institutions are placed high up in institutional rankings in the country.
In 1959, Luna 1, a Soviet Union mission to the moon, successfully landed on the surface of the moon, kickstarting the space race between America and the Soviet that lasted for decades. Today, many countries are looking beyond our moon, and at moons of other planets like Jupiter and Saturn. Although, twelve astronauts have walked on its surface, manned missions to the moon came to a close in 1972. But the urge to study our closest neighbor never receded.
Space missions come with an unprecedented excitement of open a Pandora’s box of unknown facts, mysteries and phenomenons. It is hardly a surprise that New Horizons, NASA’s mission to explore Pluto and beyond has caused a great excitement in the field of planetary science. Launched in 2006, New Horizons has already provided mankind with the most intimate images of Pluto till date and is now cruising towards the Kuiper Belt beyond our Solar System. Read all that you should know about this space mission, its latest findings and its future stops as it progresses toward new horizons of space in an interview with Prof. Henry Throop.
The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission of NASA and German Aerospace Center, was launched in 2002 and has been making a detailed map of earth’s gravity field anomalies. By studying these anomalies, one can show how mass is distributed on the planet’s surface. This allows researchers to map the different features on the surface of the planet, natural and man-made ones, in great detail, while also allowing us to monitor the changes in these features.
Today, India’s space programs command the world’s respect for a multitude of things -- our Mangalyaan mission was the cheapest ever, we recently launched about 108 satellites into space with a single rocket, our Chandrayaan mission is making fantastic discoveries on the Moon, we launched our own space based observatory with Astrosat...the list goes on. But when the country started its space program, it had very humble beginnings that are hard to believe. It required the courage and determination of many intellectuals and Prof. U R Rao is one of those who scripted a new chapter in India’s history of space research. Here is an orbituary piece dedicated to the life of a great visionary that we just lost amongst us.