Building A Better Future: Civil Engineering Department
Aug 07, 2017 | Swaha Swayamsiddha
The department of Civil Engineering has always strived towards betterment in the field of research and project work. Welcoming a new batch of students to its folds, team MM takes a look at what the department has undertaken and what it has achieved in the previous academic year.
The number of new students joining in the M.Tech as well as the undergraduate programs is a healthy one. Dual Degree programs have been scraped in many departments, including Civil Engineering. The number of research scholars joining the institute has gone down, with only five people joining the programs this year, under Institute and Sponsored categories.
The branch’s numbers in faculty members have been hit with a few professors retiring or moving to other colleges. Last year, three regular faculties moved and two visiting professors retired, for which the department is understaffed. But the recruitment process is on, and the department is hopeful and eager to see new faces working for it soon.
The plan grant which enables the department to procure new equipment hasn’t come in for a few years. So, the department has received no funds to buy any new equipment. However, some equipment has been brought in by the projects that were carried out by the department and were funded externally. For instance, the Highway Engineering lab bagged a fatigue testing machine and the setup for the resilient modulus test through a Government-sponsored project. Similarly, some other equipment has also been procured for Structural Engineering laboratory as well.
Apart from this, one of the major problems faced by the department is the lack of space. The laboratories are too cramped to handle undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as their projects. There is also a dearth of classrooms for the students; which makes it difficult to accommodate the students. There has been no progress on the construction of a department building, though the site has been chosen and earmarked. However, space constraints might loosen up a bit, seeing as there are plans to shift the Mechanical Department to its new building. This move might open up more space for the Civil Engineering Department to accommodate its laboratories and work stations. This will enable the Environment and Water Resources sections to settle there and grow.
The department is looking forward to organizing some conferences or courses which will allow people from other institutes or places to come and interact with the students and faculties. This will be a step towards improving the teaching-learning process. Last semester, the department held two Government-sponsored GIAN courses and the branch looks forward to conducting more seminars and courses as such. The branch is also looking to advance by recording lectures and courses which can be accessed by people all over the world.
The placement scenario looked bleak last year, especially when compared with the year before. One of the major changes for bad that has taken place is the absence of PSUs in the list of companies willing to hire students from this branch. But the new HOD, Prof. Mahabir Panda is willing to approach companies and help students in any way that he can by improving the current scenario. In the field of internships, the students are looking forward to foreign- based internship programs and exploring other options. The faculty considers it their duty to make the students aware of the various programs, schemes and internships.
Despite many difficulties, this department has always tried to think on its feet and build a way out. But its foundation and structure are strong and unshaken; all the while educating students towards building a better future.