Sravan Potnuru Sujitha Jayaraj | Aug 03, 2015

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With the start of a new semester, each department gears up to deliver the best academic experience and the Department of Industrial Design is no different. Being a relatively new-fangled department in the institute, most people outside of the department sadly have not much idea regarding the nature of Industrial Design (ID), perceiving it to be a fancy design offshoot of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, rather than a fully-featured specialization of engineering. To set the record straight, Industrial Design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.This discipline applies the knowledge of ergonomics and the artistic skills to create attractive, user-friendly, innovative products. The design and conceptualization of the proposed device, until the final manufacturing/fabrication stage, including but not limited to, idea development, prototype construction and so on. The Department not only offers fully fledged UG courses but also has PG courses and research programs for scholars.

Several students are working on brake pedal design, while others are working on vertebral implants. Despite being quite new, the Department has the facilities for design, including a new CAD (Computer Aided Design) lab, featuring 3D design software like SolidWorks and CATIA, an analysis lab with ANSYS and other software. Traditional photo editors and content creators like Corel Draw, Adobe Creative Studio tools like Photoshop and Illustrator are also available.

Robotics lab and Art, Aesthetics and Design lab are also available which facilitate the creation of prototypes with ease. An Ergonomics Simulation lab is sorely missed in the Department, though it may be said with confidence that arrangements are being made to establish the above mentioned lab with haste, latest by the end of the year.

Speaking of developments, three new faculty have joined the department to expand the range of courses which may be taught. However, the lack of ergonomics faculty and dedicated Industrial Design faculty means that the Department still falls short. To attract more faculties, and to address the crunch, it has been proposed to conduct special lectures by industry experts and professionals in ergonomics, commencing next month or so. Additionally, design exhibitions will be held to promote the Department, bringing its standard at par to that seen in other prestigious institutes like IIT-G. Research scholars who have completed their Ph.Ds from IIT-G and even NITR will be requested to sit-in for the interviews to attract talented faculty.

The batch strength of UG is nearly 120, from 4 years of 30 students in the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior years respectively, while that of the two years in PG is 60. Since only 6 professors are available, and the ergonomics, visual design and product design faculty are not, the Department faces a severe crunch of faculty members. Also, most of the faculty members have a mechanical engineering background, rather than a purely Industrial Design one.

Industrial Design is an inter-disciplinary approach towards problem solving in design so as to optimize function, value and appearance for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.            
                                                                                                   - Dr. Mohammed Rajik Khan, the HOD

Though there are faculty with acute design and teaching experience in the department, most of the faculty who applied had a mechanical engineering background.

Among the candidates who applied, only the best were chosen.

The candidates were chosen not just for their knowledge and skills but also for their adaptability.

Placement scenario is average as core design companies have not really visited the institute, except one company, mainly because of highly limited advertisement of the branch. The students are however, confident of getting placed in the event of design companies visiting the institute, which is a high possibility this year onwards.

Proposed improvements to the department infrastructure include a design studio for the complete development of proposed ideas and sharing with the design community, apart from the Ergonomics and Simulation lab already mentioned. Design Exhibitions are another main focus of the Department this year, to promote awareness and interest about Industrial Design.

The professional enthusiasm displayed by the members of the Department and the zeal with which they work serves to elicit high hopes that the Department will grow by leaps and bounds, moving from strength to strength in the future.

Team MM wishes the Department all the very best for their future endeavors, varied as they may be.

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