In his letter to all alumni, Director IIT Roorkee, Prof Pradipta Banerji, laid out the mission and offered his apologies for his inability to attend the Reunion in Chicago. In this letter, he shared his thoughts that he planned to discuss during this event. He also solicited feedback on his thoughts.
He had to return earlier used this occasion to communicate to alumni his mission to increase the multi-disciplinary research being done at IIT Roorkee, to bring in a culture of innovation at all levels of students, such that they find engineering exciting and also learn that engineering today requires multiple disciplines to work together to develop any new product.
He invited all alumni to participate in the institute’s growth by interacting with their alma mater to improve governance structure, providing help in automating all administrative and academic processes, providing assistance in bringing industries from within India and abroad to fund research and innovation at IIT Roorkee, providing funds to attract new faculty, students and for faculty and students to attend conferences, and providing funds for new infrastructure.
FULL TEXT : LETTER FROM DIRECTOR IIT ROORKEE, PROF PRADIPTA BANERJI
Dated : 7th September,2012
Hello to all the Roorkee alumni:
I am extremely sorry that I could not attend the Grand Reunion 2011 in Chicago, despite having made all plans to do so – due to events back in India that were unforeseen and, I felt, required my urgent presence in Roorkee. After all, we are reminded of the maxim “Man Proposes, God Disposes”. I have learnt that the reunion event was a major success, and give kudos to the alumni team that worked tirelessly to put it all together, and to the alumni who financed it.
In this message, I would like to share some of my thoughts that I had expected to discuss with all of you in Chicago. Of course, one has to take a rain-check on the discussion, but do, please, provide me your feedback on my thoughts, as only well thought-out plans can be implemented and be sustainable.
Primarily, I want all of the alumni of this great institution, which only in its current avatar is known as the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, to participate in whatever way that they feel comfortable towards the goal of regaining the glory and pride of place that it once had in India and Asia. The different ways can possibly include – and in no way is this a comprehensive list – interacting with your alma mater to improve governance structure, providing help in automating all administrative and academic processes, providing assistance in bringing industries from within India and abroad to fund research and innovation at IIT Roorkee, providing funds to attract new faculty, students and for faculty and students to attend conferences, and providing funds for new infrastructure.
My mission is to increase the multi-disciplinary research being done at IIT Roorkee. Another focus area is to bring in a culture of innovation at all levels of students, such that they find engineering exciting and also learn that engineering today requires multiple disciplines to work together to develop any new product. It is imperative that industries participate in this culture of innovation, so that any innovative product developed at IIT Roorkee is relevant to industry or to society at large. Along with this a culture of entrepreneurship will also be cultivated through entrepreneurship boot-camps, etc. In this direction, I intend to start several centers of excellence at Roorkee over the next couple of years. These may include:
Center for Innovation and Design – where the focus would be training students on the “Contemplate, Innovate, Design and Operate” principle for solving real life problems, and the importance of product design will be highlighted to ensure that the innovative product is ultimately useful. It is expected that certain equipment and software would be made available in this center, to ensure that actual products can be developed for proof of concept.
Center for Urban Development – where the focus would be on training town planning and city professionals in integrated city development: which, includes urban planning, disaster planning and management, urban habitat design, and infrastructure planning and design. The ultimate goal is to do projects for integrated development of a few cities. This builds on IIT Roorkee’s strength in Civil Engineering and Architecture and Planning.
Center for Packaging – where the focus is on developing innovative packaging solutions for industry, who would be an integral part of the center, providing the funding and the equipment needed to develop the innovative packaging products for commercialization by them. This would build on IIT Roorkee’s strengths in Pulp and Paper Technology, Polymer Science and Process Engineering, and Material Science.
There are centers of excellence in energy science and engineering and healthcare engineering that are in the pipeline, but are at too early a stage of development to talk about. All centers will be centered on existing strengths at IIT Roorkee.
However, to make these centers successful and indeed be spires of excellence, IIT Roorkee needs to continually attract new faculty at all levels, who have a culture of research and innovation. I would require the help of my alumni to identify possible candidates that IIT Roorkee could hire. I may also suggest that my alumni who are in research and academics may consider spending time as visiting faculty at IIT Roorkee in mentoring faculty and the proposed centers.
I would like to end by saying that it is important for IIT Roorkee to have broad strengths across all science and technology disciplines, and thus I would like to dispel the thought that I am only interested in multi-disciplinary research and innovation. Without the basic research and development of expertise in a broad swath of disciplines, the multi-disciplinary centers would not be sustainable.
I solicit the feedback of alumni on these thoughts, and would love to hear about other areas where you could work with IIT Roorkee. It is important to remember that all of us – alumni, faculty, staff and students – are important stakeholders in the brand IIT Roorkee, and we need to build strong relationships amongst ourselves to ensure that brand IIT Roorkee becomes a beacon, that others are drawn to or inspired by, in the years to come.