Department of Physics and Astronomy: Shining Star on the block
May 28, 2018 | Sayed Munib Ahamad
The Department of Physics and Astronomy, NIT Rourkela is one of the oldest departments of this Institute. Founded in 1963 back when NIT Rourkela was still REC Rourkela, it has grown from strength to strength reaching a sanctioned strength of 22 faculty and an actual strength of 18. It is over to become one of the most prominent and student friendly departments in the Institute with numerous accolades under its belt. When first established, it offered a 2 year M.Sc. course in Physics. In 2009, the department started offering a 5-year Int. M.Sc. Course in physics. As of now the department offers these two courses along with Ph.D.s with an intake capacity of 20 students per year in Int. MSc and 30 students in M.Sc. Physics. There are currently 55 enrolled PhDs in the department.
Currently the Department of Physics at NIT Rourkela is actively involved in teaching and research in various areas like Soft condensed matter physics, Bio-physics, Theoretical condensed matter physics, composite and unique materials, low temperature physics, magnetic materials, carbon nanotubes, Energy Storage Devices, graphene, High energy physics. To carry out research activities the department of Physics is equipped with some of the sophisticated instruments like XRD with Small angle X-ray scattering facility, Laser Light Scattering facility, Rheometer, Closed cycle refrigerator and various other equipment.
The department has a reputation for being student friendly and supportive when students undertake new projects. Indeed, the prospects of students are quite bright. A final year student Junaid Majeed Bhat secured an AIR 9 in CSIR JRF. Kaustav Chandra another final year student secured, AIR 14 in CSIR JRF along with a commonwealth fellowship to pursue a PhD in University of Sheffield and Edinburgh. In addition to this, various students are going for internship abroad in summers and the department encourages them to do so
When Monday Morning reached out to the HoD on the status quo of the department, he said
In 2017 the whole curriculum revised. We ensured that the two mandatory physics courses that every student take are comprised of various branches of physics so that students can get a taste of what options are out there. In addition to that we have a plan to overhaul the physics laboratory; we have sent a proposal regarding lab development. We have submitted a proposal to DST of 50 lakh for B Tech lab they will consider it next year hopefully. The fund requirement is huge actually and we have also applied under the institute of eminence scheme which was introduced by the government of India last year. Instead of introducing new courses our focus is on increasing the quality of the currently existing ones.
Team MM wishes all prospective students and the department, luck and prosperity in all their endeavours.