Hyderabad: After three years as the Controller of Examinations at the Osmania University (OU), Dr Sriram Venkatesh recently assumed charge as principal of the University College of Engineering, OU.
During his stint as the Director of Internal Quality Assurance Cell, OU, the University secured an A+ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Presently, he is also heading the Centre for Product Design, Development and Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing Centre), OU. Chatting with Yuvraj Akula, Dr Venkatesh, who is a professor of mechanical engineering, shares his plans for new courses, trends in engineering courses and more…
Plans for the college
Engineering education should be supported with practical aspects. Industrial exposure among students is lacking. So, we are planning to organise industrial visits for students every semester. This apart, we are planning to send faculty to reputed institutions like IITs to study best practices.
We have focused on research, innovation and incubation, and are encouraging faculty, PhD and postgraduate students to take up research and publish the same in reputed journals. There are plans to introduce incentives for faculty and students who publish their work, author books or file patents. The incentives could be reimbursement of 50 percent of expenditure towards article processing charges.
Trends in engineering
Presently, students are focusing on computer science and engineering and Information Technology courses for job opportunities. As there is not enough recruitment in the core sectors, students of mechanical and civil engineering programmes too are choosing IT jobs. If the governments announce employment in core sectors like electricity, irrigation, industries and PSUs, students of core streams will have ample job opportunities.
Enhancement of seats
The college introduced artificial intelligence and machine learning, and Mining programmes at the undergraduate level this academic year. As there is a ME in mining programme in the college, we have introduced BE in Mining course which is being supported by the alumni.
Next year, we have plans to have an additional section for electronics and communication engineering. Since its inception, ECE has had 50 seats while other branches have 60 seats. We are planning to enhance seat intake in ECE to 60 and one more section, probably on a self-finance basis. We will write to the university seeking enhancement in the number of seats in ECE.
Projects and internships
What students learn beyond the curriculum is important. Due to the pandemic, not many students were exposed to industries. The college is collaborating with industries for internships for students. Postgraduate students are being encouraged to carry out projects in association with industries like DRDO, BHEL and ECIL. Accordingly, agreements are being planned.
To motivate students, we are re-starting alumni talks as part of which our eminent alumni will deliver lectures once a month.
3D printing centre
It is a Centre of Excellence that prioritises research projects at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels besides offering internships. It provides consultancy services in product development and 3D printing to defence companies and other industries. Currently, a DRDO project is underway. The centre is also developing medical implants.
In association with the Engineering Staff College of India, the Centre is organising training programmes in 3D printing and scanning for PSUs. An open elective in 3D printing technology, which is open for all branches except mechanical engineering, was also introduced.
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