Feeding India with Ingenious Minds
Aug 01, 2016 | Nikhil Vobbilisetty
‘Food Process Engineering deals with the Integration and Application of Engineering in food. It’s not about how to cook; it’s more about the development of Process and Product’, is what Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra, the new HOD of the Department of Food Process Engineering quoted when asked about NITR’s youngest branch in its rich and diverse curriculum. Prof. Mishra believes that the current number of Food Process engineers in the country isn’t enough, and assumes that only 1-5 % of the needs are satisfied by the current engineers in the food industry. The department of Food Process engineering at NIT Rourkela is one of the many initiatives taken by the Government of India to satisfy the industry’s dire needs for professionals in the food industry.
At NIT Rourkela, the B.Tech program for Food Process Engineering began in the year 2013, and subsequently introduced M. Tech(R) and Ph. D programs in the year 2014. Now, the department prides itself with 6 externally funded research projects, 10 Ph. D scholars and 5 M. Tech(R) scholars in addition to its B. Tech students. A very dedicated faculty pool of Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra (PhD - Saskatchewan university, Canada), Prof. Preetam Sarkar (PhD - Purdue university, U.S.A), Prof. Ram Chandra Pradhan (Ph.D. - IIT Delhi) and Prof. Parag Prakash Sutar (PhD - IIT Kharagpur), the department has only grown bigger and better ever since its inception.
With equipment worth INR 2.5 Crore in the laboratories, the department fails in no aspect when it tries to produce industrious and efficient engineers. With the department’s first batch of students meant to graduate at the end of this academic year, great things lie ahead. Amul, Britannia, United Breweries are just some of the many giants in the food industry where the students were offered internships and industrial training during this summer.
Although the department faces a few problems like the lack of an independent building, a small staff, etc. it plans on expanding over the coming years, with plans on procuring new equipment for setting up new labs once more funds are allocated, and offering various other courses such as an M. Tech program. With tremendous scope and zeal to improve, the Department of Food Process Engineering is headed towards a promising future. We at MM hope that NITR’s youngest department satisfies the world’s hunger for quality food engineers and wish it the best for its future