Learning On The 'Edge 2.0'
The second edition of EDGE, the flagship event of Steellun club, the official Material Advantage Chapter of NIT Rourkela, was successfully conducted in virtual mode over Microsoft Teams from Feb 26 to Feb 28, 2021. EDGE 2.0 served as an opportune forum for Metallurgy and Materials Science enthusiasts to exhibit their scientific, diplomatic, and technical skills. The 3-day event aimed to provide students with exposure to industrial and research-related challenges.
The sponsors for the event were Inmovidu Technologies and Ciphense Inc. Inmovidu Technologies also arranged a special webinar for first-year students of NIT Rourkela to open their paths to industrial training in various domains for the upcoming years. Ciphense Inc, an artificial intelligence startup, opened its career section for the students of NIT Rourkela in the form of Internships as a part of its ongoing projects.
Speaking of the budget allocated, Devidutta Biswajeet, the Convenor of EDGE 2021 informed:
The total budget allocation was solely for the prize money. Since the arrangements were none as in case of an offline event, we went with a net budget of 16,000 INR that covered all the events. We are thankful to our sponsors- Ciphense Inc which sponsored us with an amount of 15K INR and Inmovidu Tech which sponsorsed us with an amount of 5K INR.
Team Monday Morning brings to you a vivid coverage of the entire event:
Day -1 (26th Feb)
The event started off with a nostalgic throwback to the EDGE 1.0, conducted in offline mode a year back. Thereafter, the guests and dignitaries stated their hopes and expectations from the current edition of the event. The speakers comprised Prof. Prasun Chongder, guest from SAC, Prof. Anindya Basu, HOD, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department, and Prof. Archana Malik, the F.A of Steellun.
Chief Guest Talk:
The guest talk on the Industrial production of nanocomposites by Prof. Noe Alba Baena from the University of Cuidad Mexico commenced at 6:00 pm, a detailed talk on the future of nanocomposites in the world of materials. He began by throwing light on the challenges of the sector and how to tackle them and moved on with topics like future in composites, use of original materials like Aluminium, Iron, etc. With reference to his patented work, Prof. Noe Alba Baena explained the scope and career in the field to all the participants.
Other topics were the use of semi-solids to create nano-composition, shockwave consolidation, and so on. He spoke about efficient preparation of prototypes of materials through technologies in labs of institutions like NITs and therefore, bringing changes in the real world through research. This was followed by a question-answer round. In the end, Noe narrated his awesome experience in NITs all over India, as he had spent 6 months in India in 2018.
Day -2 (27th Feb)
Guest talk on liquid metal engineering:
A brand new way to produce aluminium alloy through continuous casting was explained by Prof. Sanjeev Das from the Department of Metallurgy, NIT Raipur. He shared insights from his research experience regarding topics: Advanced solidification, ingot casting, Effects of microstructure on mechanical properties, heat treatment for finer structure, hot stamping, etc. He also focused on the reduction of weight and the pollution caused by modern-day cars, proposing solutions to the same. On top of all that, Prof. Sanjeev Das stressed experimentation and self-sufficiency by building and using machines of our own, in line with the Make in India initiative. The talk ended with an interactive Q&A round.
Then followed a two-day conference from Feb 27th to 28th, featuring the participation of teams from over 10 institutes. The two-round event was from 10 am to 4 pm on the first day. The final round on day two started at 2 pm. The conference was centred around a major discussion over the problem of the expensiveness of silicon processors. The problem statement was “Even though Silicon makes up 28% of earth’s crust, processors & GPUs made from it are very expensive. How will a normal person afford this high processing cost?”
The juries for the conference were four professors from NIT Rourkela from the Department of Metallurgy and Material Engineering. The judges were supposed to ask questions and advice amendments over the presentation and finally provide scores. On the first day of the judges were Prof. SN Alam and Prof. Debashis Chaira whereas Prof. Anshuman Patra and Prof. Anindya Basu juried the second day of the conference.
The teams were supposed to give PowerPoint presentations on the topic. The motto was to analyze different aspects of the problem and share possible solutions. This would be followed by a Q&A session with the respective judges, on the basis of which scores would be done. Opinions shared by teams were subjective but a compilation of essential points is important for the readers to know. Here are the major takeaways from the discussion:
Major points for increasing expensiveness of processors were identified as:
a) Monopoly of few companies over quarrying and manufacturing of the wafers. Intel has a 93% market share in the powerful chips used in data centre computers and an 81% share in desktop PCs.
b) Expensive processes of making silicon wafers. Photolithography is one such process.
c) Heavy duties on imports due to geological and political disputes.
Steps that can be taken to improve the situation are:
a) Recycling of GPUs and processors. For instance, a phone to be thrown in the trash could be given for recycling for the working parts to be ameliorated for reuse.
b) Use of possible substitutes of silicon, which are Antimony, Graphene, and Gallium Nitride for constructing chips.
c) Generalizing manufacturing and reduction of monopoly over quarrying.
ICT BBSR received the highest score leading to victory over the competition followed by teams from NIT Jamshedpur and NIT Rourkela getting the second and third positions respectively.
Day -3 (28th Feb)
Technical Paper Presentation
The judge for the technical paper presentation competition was Prof. Snehanshu Pal from the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, NIT Rourkela. It was organized to provide an opportunity for the budding researchers for showcasing their research work related to various fields and issues in the arena of Metallurgy and Materials Science. The participants were given a limited period of time to present their technical papers. It was followed by a Q&A session in which the judge asked them questions based on their presentation.
The first position in the technical paper presentation was bagged by Sarathi Dey from NIT Durgapur. The first runner-up was Abhinav Roy from NIT Rourkela and the second runner-up was Suyash Kumar from ICT Bhubaneshwar. The winners were rewarded with cash prizes.
Expressing his contentment post the event, Devidutta Biswajeet said:
The event turned out to be more successful than we expected, with more than 100 participants registering initially and almost all of them participating in all different competitions. Despite being online , the management and the synchronisation was really well to make the event an exciting one. Undoubtedly, we missed the charm and cheer of an offline environment but I am glad that we managed to pull of a great event.
Despite the hurdles of the online mode, the event was smoothly conducted in a very systematic and enthusiastic way and brilliantly served its purpose of bringing both research and industry together. Students could have relished the feeling of face-to-face competitions and the aura of the magnificent NIT Rourkela campus if the pandemic had not caused disruptions and the event had occurred in conventional mode. Nonetheless, Steelun retains satisfaction.
Team Monday Morning congratulates the team of EDGE 2.0 and wishes them the very best for their endeavours ahead!