Insights Of A Scrupulous Scholar: G. Janardhan- Winner At NMD ATM 2019
Tanaya Sahoo | Jan 06, 2020
On the occasion of 57th National Metallurgists’ Day, IIM (Indian Institute of Metals) Trivandrum chapter organized an International Symposium on “Advanced Materials for Industrial and Societal Applications” from 13-16th November 2019. Gorti Janardhan, a delegate from NIT Rourkela pursuing a doctorate in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering participated at the event and has emerged as the winner for presentation in the category of Testing and material characterization. Given this commendable feat, MM caught up with Mr. Janardhan on a pleasant evening for his insights about the annual confluence of eminent researchers and visionaries across the world.
Monday Morning (MM): What was the presentation about?
Gorti Janardhan (GJ): I am working on the weldability of automotive steels, a project in collaboration with Tata Steel Ltd. My presentation mainly focussed on the tensile and fatigue behavior of resistance spot-welded Niobium steels. My research also consists of working with three different types of steel. To use these steels for different purposes, the structural integrity has to depend on the efficiency of joint strains on the spot-welds. When an automotive body is in service, like running on rough roads or jerking, it is subjected to a lot of forces and so to determine the consequential load and fatigue bearing ability it is necessary to determine the mechanical and failure characteristics of spot weld joints.
MM: What is your take on the experience and exposure you received on the occasion?
GJ: These events hold a great advantage for researchers from B. tech to doctorate level. We come across research going on around the globe and in our own country as well, pertaining to Metallurgy and material science. We get to know about advanced materials and important developments in the next generation of steel; something that we just can’t know from the premises of our college alone. Attending such events allows us to dwell on new fields of recent research. This is just not confined to any present trend but also sets a stage for any future research work that we would like to take up. We have visionaries and scientists attending from places like DRDO, Govt. of India, CSIR, IITs, NITs, etc to give us inputs about their works and that interaction is essential for growth.
MM: Did you always have a plan to pursue full-fledged research or was it fate?
GJ: I wasn’t exactly passionate about research while doing my Bachelor’s. It was only when I joined the thesis work that gradually led me to develop a tendency to pursue research.
MM: Right now, we have a lot of debates about investment and funds in research, what is your take on this?
GJ: We do face certain limitations in our institute when it comes to investment in research projects. We need to have high-end equipment and utilities in proportion to a large number of scholars here. Different fields of study require a different form of requirements and we need to be provided with funds to carry on. What I feel is no one would take leave and work on something at a different institute if the same facility is made available to us right here. So, yes investment matters and the intent as well.
MM: Considering these limitations and constraints, we still get a lot of outputs based on our perseverance. So how important do industrial collaborations become in this aspect?
GJ: That is absolutely crucial. Students push hard to get to success. So, we hope for maximum support from different spheres and also institutions to maximize our output. A lot of doctorate students themselves invest in their work in addition to the support provided by the department. I believe to cater to all the needs we to need to ask for it. So, in that regard any kind of support or collaborations become vital and institutes should fid a way to make that available.
MM: What do you think about the general curriculum of the institute? How do you think it can be bettered?
GJ: From the perspective of a Ph.D. scholar, when I had joined in 2016 the curriculum wasn’t par excellence rather just conducive but it turned around pretty well when in 2017, courses on English and Maths were introduced. In research, language and mathematics are crucial tools to convey the essence of what we are working on. We need to work on writing journal papers and be efficient to communicate our ideas. We have to focus on our presentation delivery. instead of just cramming grammar courses we need to technically understand the purpose of interaction.
Different institutes like IIT Kanpur or IIT Guwahati have different functioning structures regarding curriculum. Some have research courses for 4-5 years while others take 7-8 years. That is very rigid. But on the brighter side, they have their requirements available then and there with technical facilities abounding. Here, we see some machines that are not fully operational and such state of art facilities are also in deficit.
Regarding the research atmosphere prevalent in the campus he says,
According to my assessment NIT Rourkela is far ahead than most of the NITs and other similar institutes in the country. Just because we are an ‘NIT’ we are not compared with ‘IITs’. From my experience, I think we are similar to most reputed IITs in the country regarding research and our outputs. It is just the branding that creates this difference of hiring someone from IIT-KGP rather than a fellow like me from NIT Rourkela. There’s also a less financial liability on them. This system should change. It will be good be if we can also acquire similar industrial collaborators and high-end projects like them.
MM: How do you think this can be achieved?
GJ: We first need to highlight our work. Secondly, we can provide opportunities like the 6-month internship culture that some prominent institutions in our country have taken up. This also gives students a chance of getting real-time work experience and Pre-placement offers. Scholarships also give motives. The institution should also try to collaborate more with such real-time projects be it with so many industries that we are surrounded by, be it Rourkela steel Plant here or scientists at CSIR or such PSUs. Frequent visits to such places help a lot to learn. Our institute has been promoting start-ups very well recently. Such gestures are essential to driving students.
Research facilities should be a tad separated from normal academics, for instance, it will be good if we can have labs operational for 24 hours particularly for research. Research does not function as a daily curriculum. High-end pieces of equipment like high-resolution SEM is only available in the Ceramic department and such types of equipment are only available to particular departments. We need to be collaborating in that regard.
MM: What are your plans for the future?
GJ: In the future, I plan to take a post-doctorate fellowship in IITs or maybe abroad. I will be dedicating a career to full-fledged research. Later on, I plan to place my self in government organizations or institutions.
Team MM wishes good luck to Janardhan for his future pursuits and more such achievements!