Striving for sustainable Smart Technologies: Prof. S.K. Behera at The Monash University
Prof. Santanu Kumar Behera, a well known Associate Professor of the Department of Electronics and Communication with many research papers and projects in his fist, recently visited Monash University, Australia as a researcher for the Endeavour Executive Fellowship Program by the Department of Education and Training, Government of Australia. The duration of his stay was from 1st of February to the 31st of May. He accomplished his research work under the leadership of Prof. Nemai Karmakar. Team MM caught up with Prof. Behera where he shared his research journey, experiences and views of Monash University.
EXPERIENCE AT MONASH
Monash University turned out to be a delightful episode for Prof. Behera. Unlike commonly observed in India, the program comprised scientists, researchers and faculty members from around the globe. He believes that the most significant advantage of such programs is that there happens an excellent collaboration between countries and universities resulting in an exchange of great research ideas. Another advantage he could witness in the program was that they didn’t have any age restriction. Faculties, having age above 55 were welcomed to participate. This eventually resulted in highly-experienced persons joining the discussion. During his stay, he got an opportunity to interact with Research scholars from countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc. Several other Indian faculty members were also invited to the prestigious fellowship program.
AREA OF RESEARCH
Prof. Behera worked on two projects in Australia. One of his projects included the Smart Shopping Trolley that could be used in shopping complexes or malls. The customer can keep the product on the trolley which would record the shape, identity, and cost of the product. It would send the detected information to the billing counter for the bill to be prepared before the customer reaches the billing counter. In this way, it could save a lot of time for the customers as well as the workers. The researchers at Monash had already designed the project, but they were facing a few issues with the implementation which is where he came to their rescue. They discussed their problems with Prof. Behera, and he suggested some solutions. Finally, they could succeed in completing the project.
Another project he worked on was the RFID Portable ECG system. Cardiac issues are a matter of significant concern in today's world. Prof. Behera took technology to new peaks by making the ECG machine mobile and portable which would give live feedback to the doctors. It is wearable and light enough to wear inside the patient's clothes.
CHALLENGES AND DIFFICULTIES
Prof Behera had formerly worked on many extensive projects related to microwave and antenna engineering. Hence, he was confident that he might not face any problem related to research work at Monash. Upon his arrival, Prof. Behera was provided with two undergraduate students and a Ph.D. student to guide. He was glad enough to say that they didn’t discriminate between their fellow professors and the ones who had gone there for short-term research. They provided him with a room consisting of high-end equipment. It only took a few hours for the verification work. Next day he was having access to any lab and hence could start his work. Summing up, he had an enjoyable experience without facing any difficulties.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE STUDENTS AT MONASH AND THE NITR JUNTA
According to Prof. Behera, the students at Monash University were somewhat similar to us. Monash University consists of students from various countries like India, Thailand, Pakistan, Vietnam, etc. The students try to adopt the Australian culture. They also have different cultural societies and celebrate different festivals. One major difference Prof. Behera could notice that they followed a strict schedule. During the working hours, the students would have their concentration enthralled upon their work. They developed a strict principle to complete a task which they have begun. At the end of their project, the B.Tech students would design a video comprising their research work. They shared the video in all social channels to share their knowledge and experiences. While the Ph.D. students publish both journal and conference paper, it is compulsory for the M.Tech students to submit at least one conference paper.
RESEARCH FACILITIES: WHO TRIUMPHS OVER WHOM?
Prof. Behera observes that the research facilities at NIT Rourkela are quite less compared to that of Monash. Apart from the equipment provided by their institute, they could get many high-end types of equipment for different projects. He could recall that the department of ECE got such high-end equipment once ten years since its inception. The Monash University has more than one kind of high-end equipment whose standard can be compared to industry level. The equipment is more sensitive and provides more accurate information compared to our equipment. A researcher could complete a complete product inside the lab. He could perform all kinds of tests related to the working of the product inside a single lab. Prof. Behera also expressed his concern over fewer Ph.D. scholars working under a project in our country with much less funding compared to the projects provided outside India.
After completing his research at Monash University, Prof. Behera is looking forward to collaborating with the professors of Monash University in this field of research and applications. Our honorable Director has taken an initiative to collaborate with the ECSE department of the Monash University. He has also applied for a joint project with Prof. Nemai Karmakar, Director of MMARS with whom he has already submitted a journal paper. He is aiming to send few of his research scholars to visit Monash University and work on the same project.
MESSAGE FOR THE READERS
Upon being asked for any message to the readers, Prof. Behera commented:
I firmly believe that India is full of proficient, enthusiastic and diligent students. But there are some hurdles like proper Infrastructure and facilities that slow down their pace and hamper them from reaching their goal. In order to tackle this issue, we must collaborate with foreign Universities which will have multi-fold benefits. If they want to go for a master’s program they should work there in a constructive way so as to produce an industrial output. And if they want they can come back to India and set up efficient projects which not only will help them in their career but take our country to a new height in the field of engineering.