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Q. What is biomedical engineering?
Pursuing a biomedical engineering course is a good option, if you care about the health of individuals and want to make a difference in their lives. “It’s a discipline which inspires you to work with living systems. A biomedical engineer applies advanced technology to the complex problems of healthcare,” says Prof. Nitin Sahai, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, School of Technology, North-Eastern Hill University. “The opportunities are wide open and a graduate can find both government and private jobs at various hospital departments, pharmaceutical and surgical manufacturing firms,” he says.
Q. What does a biomedical engineer do?
Biomedical engineer will be called to design instruments, devices or solve problems in biology and medicine which directly or indirectly relates to human health. The various functions include researching, developing devices for clinical equipment in hospitals; developing clinical laboratories; investigating medical imaging systems and devising strategies for clinical decision making for selecting seat cushions for paralytic patients.
Prof. Nitin Sahai,
“Biomedical inspires you to work with living systems. You apply technology to the complexproblems of healthcare”
Q. B.Tech Computer Science Vs MCA or MSc Computer Science. A perspective...
After Class 12, science students can preferably apply for B.Tech (Computer Science), a four-year Bachelor’s degree course and later for postgraduation studies can apply either for a two-year MSc (Computer Science) or three-year MCA (Master’s in Computer Application). A B.Tech programme mainly focuses on intensive programming, mathematical skills, hardware, operating system, design aspects, security and communication in the arena of Computer Science.
On the other hand, MCA courses give more stress on software applications whereas MSc Computer Science course gives preference to the development of computer architecture, computer system development, algorithm, database concepts, software metrics, mobile computing and flow charts. However, some subjects are common to all. “B.Tech, MSc MCA courses are more industry-specific courses. Those interested in teaching must opt for B.Tech, followed by M.Tech and PhD,” says Dr G. Sahoo of BIT Mesra. On the other hand, the MSc course primarily trains you on core concepts and sets you on a path towards pure research.
Dr G. Sahoo,
“Both MCA & B.Tech are given equal value but recruiters mostly prefer B.Tech Computer Science graduates”
Q. What is better valued – Computer or Information Technology Engineering?
Both Computer Science and Information Technology appear as twins, but they differ in terms of their objectives in the market. As per general admission analysis in most engineering colleges, the demand for Computer Science is zooming. Is it because Computer Science has better scope? Prof. Rao, Associate Professor at IIT Kharagpur’s Information Technology Dept. answers, “There is a delusion among students and parents that Computer Science is better. In reality, both CS and IT have their own inherent potential to excel in the field. CSE deals with computation grammar, programming, architecture, databases and operating systems. Whereas IT is a bit multi-disciplinary in nature which encompasses CSE, ECE and EE disciplines.” Usually a Computer Science graduate is chosen for jobs in the areas like processor design, embedded programming. Prof. Sahoo concludes, “An IT student may study same CS-relevant subjects as electives what may be a mandatory subject in B.Tech (CS) and vice versa.”
Q. Where can a student find open-ware programmes on Engineering?
Our 21st century students are embarking on a digital education revolution. The transformation of classrooms into computers led many institutes to digitise their course materials. The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) jointly carried by 7 IITs and IISc Bangalore promotes curriculum-based video and web courses. The medium is popularly called open course-ware which shares study materials to every user in digital format on the web.
These courses are available for use and adaptation under an open license, such as certain Creative Commons licenses. Besides NPTEL in India, even Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shares materials online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere. All self-learners can visit these two sites of NPTEL (https://nptel.iitm.ac.in/) and MIT (https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm) to obtain free materials based on PDF or video format.
So, what worries Prof. Joycee Mekie from IIT-Gandhinagar? “This technological academic shift has badly affected interactive classroom learning.”
Prof Ranjan Bose,
“Open-course completely syncs with current world by improving levels of learning. It has shifted from teacher-centric to student-centric learning process”
“There is a delusion among students and parents that Computer Science is better. In reality, both CS and IT have their own inherent potential to excel in the job market”
Q. Why is Computer Science degree more viable to get a job?
This course is much more rigorous than IT because it deals more with data structures, logic, programming languages, mathematics like algorithm analysis, probability and statistics. A CS student has an in depth knowledge than IT student whose curriculum is more management-driven in the context of design and use of information systems in a social context.
Q. Which are the emerging disciplines in engineering; what is the scope?
The traditional engineering structure which only gave prominence to Mechanical, Electrical and Civil is slowly being eclipsed by emerging disciplines. This transformation is because of the influence of new technologies which changed the way we perceive and engage with technical world. Today, the boundaries between engineering disciplines are fast shrinking. The new verticals are developed either by cutting out from existing discipline or combining with one or two related fields. Take a quick glance at upcoming disciplines:
Agricultural Engineering: It applies engineering science and technology to agricultural production as well as processing.
Biomedical Engineering: Uses engineering expertise to analyse and solve problems in biology and medicine, providing support to healthcare.
Leather Technology: It deals with synthesis, production and refining of leather to make commercial goods like footwear, clothing and more.
Textile Engineering: It is the application of technical knowledge for the processing and production of all kinds of textile fabric and yarns.
Marine Engineering: It involves the construction and maintenance of ships, other sailing vessels, ports.
Mechatronics: Integrates the classical fields of Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, Math and IT.
Power: Deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power.
Medical Electronics: Integrates engineering with Biomedical Sciences. You will develop imaging devices to solve medical issues.
Prof. Mangala Joshi,
“We draw knowledge from various disciplines to create products for every sector from defence to health. You should know relevance of each subject material”
Q. Is interdisciplinary the way forward in engineering education?
Over the past decade, the interdisciplinary knowledge has fuelled a lot of buzz in engineering education. The combination of different fields of knowledge is helping engineers to meet demands of changing environment.
“Earlier, we used to think if we are doing Electrical Engineering then why to link Mechanical? The perception has changed today - If an electrical student is making a robot, then he cannot ignore the application of mechanical aspects like how much motor load is required? So uniting disciplines is a best choice for an efficient device,” says Prof. Joycee Mekie, IIT-Gandhinagar.
Q. What is the future of Textile Engineering?
If you look around you will find textiles everywhere – they touch our daily life. “The traditional textile is more or less saturated. The textile discipline has gone much beyond normal apparel or home decoration. It is the expansion of technical textile products which have led to sweeping industry changes,” says Prof. Deepti Gupta of Textile Dept. at IIT Delhi. Textile is the third largest sector globally. “The future of textile is bright in India. We need quality textile engineers who can understand and handle sophisticated machines,” adds Gupta. From entrepreneurship view, it has paid back a great deal. Those students coming from textile families have translated their theoretical, practical engineering knowledge into business.
Q. What does a Textile Engineer do?
Textile engineers deal with all kinds of textile products and machinery. They acquire aptitude to create sophisticated products like bullet-proof jackets worn by fire fighters for nuclear attacks, healthcare textile (doctor, nurse’s gown) and automotive textile used in cars, train, planes. With the adaptation of textiles in the medical industry, patient care has benefited greatly. Textiles are now becoming materials which are being used to make artificial organs. Textile engineers create stuff which can be implanted inside the body for temporary or permanent purpose. So textile engineers have the potential to build new plants adopting high-end technologies. For freshers, it is not a well paying job initially. You have to make your hands dirty, handle labour in production house.
Prof. Deepti Gupta,
“The future of textile industry is bright in India. We need quality textile engineers who can understand and handle sophisticated machines”
Q. What’s the difference between Aerospace & Aeronautical engineering?
You can follow in the footsteps of aviation pioneers like the famous Wright brothers by going for a B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautical Engineering. Aerospace studies relates well to rocket science which include everything from gliders, helicopters, UAV’s, MAV’s, missiles, rockets and satellites. Whereas Aeronautical Engineering caters to flying vehicles operating within the Earth’s atmosphere like aircraft.
“To excel, a student must have a good grip over Maths and Physics,” says Professor R Santhana Krishnan, Department of Aerospace, Hindustan Institute of Engineering Technology, Chennai. As a student of B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering, you will learn subjects like Fluid Mechanics, Astrodynamics, Statics and Dynamics, Control engineering, Materials Science. “I teach how lift is produced in the aircraft and make students familiar with hydraulic systems used in engines,” says Prof. Krishnan.
Aerospace Engineering graduates can start their career in public and private sector defence and space organizations, such as HAL, NAL, DRDO and more.
“Both courses are almost same. Aerospace has a wider scope because it focuses on subjects like space dynamics and rockets”
Q. How does a diploma in Materials Management help engineers?
Akhilesh’s love for cars fuelled his curiosity about how cars are manufactured. He followed his dream. A degree in Mechanical Engineering allowed him to join Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest passenger car company. After being appointed at the metal sheet department, which is part of the supply chain division at Maruti Suzuki, Akhilesh felt the need to join a course in Materials Management. This management domain is being increasingly seen as a ‘profit centre’ that is actively engaged in cutting costs and boosting profitability of a company.
He analyses vendor price quotes, places orders and checks whether metal sheet parts are supplied in line with the specifications. Just-In-Time (JIT) the Japanese method fascinated Akhilesh. “It boosts efficiency as goods are received only when they are needed in the production process, thereby reducing inventory,” he says. His technical knowledge helps him grasp fresh designs coming from engineers, which in turn enables him to place precise orders with the vendors.
“It’s a challenge to get work done by local vendors most of whom have yet to graduate to compliance with international standards,” says Akhilesh. Often, he has to play the role of the representative of a vendor and take responsibility for any glitch detected by the quality department. Thus, his job represents a mix of technical knowledge and market negotiations.
Q. Which institutes offer programmes in Material Management?
Dip in Public Procurement & Supply Management
College of Materials Management (Jabalpur)
GDMM/PGDMM/ MBA and others
Degree or Dip in Engg/Tech/Mgmt with two years experience
PG Diploma in Materials & SCM
Advanced Diploma in Materials Management