Aug 21, 2016 | By Benedict

According to director UB Desai, the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) is looking to secure up to $15 million in research funding over the next two years as it seeks to contribute to the fields of 3D printing, 5G broadband, internet of thing (IoT), and clean energy storage.

The Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad

Established in 2008, IITH is one of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology created by the government as part of the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 2011. The public university is home to over 2,000 students and 165 faculty members, and has an average of 3.7 PhD students per faculty. According to director UB Desai, the institution is now looking to strengthen its research and development activities through sponsored research funding.

Since its inception eight years ago, IITH has already secured around $20 million of sponsored research projects in a range of fields. However, university faculty wish to increase the cumulative workload in order to make a significant mark in industries like 3D printing, 5G broadband, and IoT. “We are already working on several large proposals in the realm of Rs two crore to Rs 30 crore [$300,000 to $450,000 each],” Desai told Press Trust India (PTI). “In two years, we should hit the $30 million mark; we may reach a target of $35 million in two years. We want to be looked upon as a research institution.”

With the 3D printing industry maintaining its global ascent, IITH is looking to expand its additive manufacturing operations. The reasons for this adoption are, according to Desai, twofold: by acquiring significant 3D printing resources such as 3D printers, 3D printing materials, and even staff with expertise in AM, the university can better educate its students on a seemingly future-proof manufacturing technology. Furthermore, by committing to serious additive manufacturing research projects, the university could develop advanced technologies for the industry, potentially putting IITH on the global 3D printing map.

In addition to potential 3D printing research, IITH hopes to secure sponsored research funding in the area of telecommunications. 5th generation mobile networks, or 5G, is the term used to describe the next phase of mobile telecommunications standards, following the now-commonplace 4G. With 5G expected to be rolled out by 2020, IITH wants to contribute significantly to its development in order to heighten the university’s reputation worldwide. “We want to do a lot of work in 5G,” Desai added. “We want to get some of our ideas and patents in 5G standards.” The university will also pursue research in the areas of IoT and clean energy storage.

IITH director UB Desai

The university’s commitment to securing new sponsored research projects, 3D printing-related and otherwise, reflects its overall philosophy concerning teaching methods. “Today, students engage best when they are doing something,” Desai explained. “They are unable to engage in a situation where they are in the classroom and I am talking for one hour. After ten minutes, they are turned off. We want to create a space or some sort of system where lot more doing is involved. You learn the same principles, theories, concepts, everything, but by doing and playing, creating a nice harmony between the doing and the theory part of it.”

IITH has so far filed 30 patents and hopes to add 30 more over a two-year period. The university is also in the process of building a corpus, a task which is being aided by the recently established IITH Foundation in the U.S.



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