Wrapping Up a Good Semester
Nov 13, 2016 | Nikhil Vobbilisetty
The Department of Food Process Engineering, under the leadership of its new Head of Department, Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra has had a rather good semester. With a new leader and a new approach, the department is keen on improving the academic course being offered, with a particular interest in improving the B.Tech course. The course curriculum is being reworked for improvement and reduction of load on the students, as our new director thinks that there’s much scope for academic development. The department takes much pride in the fact that its first batch of four M.Tech (R) students have submitted their Thesis papers and await their final viva voce.
Training and placement aspects are being focused on right now, as the first batch of B. Tech students in this department is going to graduate this year. More and more core companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Hindustan Unilever Limited, ITC, Nestle, Britannia etc. are being approached for recruitment from our institute. The placement brochure has been sent and the placement coordinator is following up with these companies. Out of the 19 final years, a few have already been placed, although not in core companies. A few companies such as Wipro, TCS etc. have made offers till now. In spite of the ongoing communications with core companies, a few of the students have shown keen interest in pursuing higher studies and have applied for various universities abroad.
This semester, a new Modified Atmospheric and Control Atmospheric Packaging System was procured to give the students a more hands-on experience of how things are done in the food packaging industry. Priced at INR 10 Lakhs, this piece of equipment deals with the packaging of food materials. It is used to pack the food packets with gases such as Nitrogen. Other than this, three more pieces of equipment were brought, the Liquid Food Filtration System, priced at 10 Lakhs, Food Refrigeration Trainer for 4 Lakhs and the Water Activity Meter for 5 Lakhs. The department faces a dearth of funds, and is awaiting funds which were promised to it in order to procure more equipment and apparatus for its students.
In the world of Food Engineers, ASABE, or the American Society of Agricultural Engineers is one of the most renowned society, and Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra, a member of this organization visited the United States of America for the annual international conference for ASABE. This year’s convention was held at Orlando Disney World, where he presented the work of the PG students of our institute. Dr. Rama Chandra Pradhan, one of the faculty members went for an international conference in Bangkok conference on food properties this year as well.
In our previous interview with the Head of the Department, it was told to us that the department is understaffed. When asked about this, here's what Prof. Mishra said:
Out of the five new courses that were started 2013, Food Process and Architecture were the only ones with bachelors programs. Since it is difficult to accommodate B.Tech programs with less faculty and the department has only four professors, we plan on sending out advertisements for new professors in December. Now that faculty recruitment is one of our top priorities, new faculty for the department can be expected by March.
Overall, the semester ended on a very smooth note for the Department of Food Process Engineering.Much can be expected from this new department in the years to come.