One morning, Sam Johnson, a marathon runner was running down his usual route when suddenly he was hit by a car. As his right leg was in a very bad state the doctors had to amputate it but gave him a prosthetic leg to help him walk. Not losing hope, Sam Johnson started walking with his prosthetic leg and within months was able to run with it. When a person wants to know how a prosthetic is built, they realize that they have to specialize in bio-mechanics which is a combination of biology and mechanicals.
Institutes in the West have understand the crucial need for interdisciplinary nature of technology and offer their students inter-disciplinary electives, to enable to be both industry in all emerging areas. The Indian education Institutes have not followed their counterpart institutes in the West and only a few engineering colleges offer such inter-disciplinary electives. This is where R.V. College of Engineering located in Bangalore takes a different approach and provides its students with the chance to have a better understanding of all the fields. In doing so, students are able to combine developments in multiple fields and engage in innovation, invention and even discovery of next generation concepts which will enhance their chances to become better inventors, entrepreneurs and researchers.
"Our key focus is to ensure that we build interdisciplinary capability with a special emphasis on sustainability and inclusive technology," says Prof. B.S. Satyanarayana, Principal of R.V. College of Engineering.
Students at R.V. College of Engineering are given an opportunity to combine any branch of engineering with their core branch, by selecting multiple global (interdisciplinary) electives in order to do so. Further he could also carry out his project in any department along with a partner in that department. If a student wants to pursue his/her interest in geographic information systems, global navigation satellite systems, analytics and web mapping, the student can select Geo-informatics - a global elective which is a combination of civil and information science engineering. A student interested in bio-photonics or biosensors, could be either in Biotechnology or Electronics or Instrumentation, he could choose appropriate electives from all the three departments from fifth to seventh semester, and carry out a project in the interdisciplinary area during his final semester. The project could be in waste management, to a sensor array for medical or environmental diagnostics to even next generation lighting. With an elective in this field students will now be able to further their interests in life science, medicine, agriculture, and environmental science. R.V. College of Engineering also offers itsstudents studying electrical and electronics engineering a variety of subjects such as Large area and Flexible microelectronics, Nanotechnology, Material Science, and nano-electronics which will help them grow and become better engineers.
"With a subject like nano-electronics, I now have a better understanding of how to build more powerful computer processors," says Tanya Arora, a seventh semester, Electrical and Electronics Engineering student.
The college is able to provide all these normal and global electives to its students due to its massive infrastructure. With a step forward into the research and development domain R.V. College of Engineering boasts about its huge facilities and labs worth Rs. 25 crores that it has built over the years. The institute has developed complete indigenous production facilities to produce the equipments for researchers, entrepreneurs and its students. These centre have taken material development to the next level, where a student can start literally from the simulation of an atom or molecule, to growth of materials, devices, design of zigs and fixtures to fabrication of complete systems including integrated circuits, process monitoring, characterisation equipments and packaging facilities. New materials being developed include, amorphous, nano and polymeric materials and blends there of for application including electronics, solar cells, sensors, nano magnets, ceramic and polymer membranes with inclusions of nano materials. This is also supported with an excellent characterisation facilities including electrical, optical, structural, morphological, mechanical, rheological, tribological, chemical, compositional, magnetic, and optoelectronics properties. Thus ensuring that the engineers understand both the fundamentals and the latest that is happening in the domain.
"By building a next generation device like a plasmonic solar cell and being able to characterize it with advanced instrument like a custom designed, all in one, Near Field Scanning Optical Microscope (NSOM), RAMAN Spectroscopy, Photoluminescence and Nano Electric Characterization, the students will not only get a unique opportunity not feasible even in many developed countries, but also possibly discover original phenomenon," Prof. Satyanarayana claims.
The institute in the past 10 years has started to offer Masters in engineering programs and Doctoral programs as well in order to ensure that the institute is able to utilize its infrastructure to do more research.
Holistic Development is Crucial
With a plan to ensure that the students studying at R.V. College of Engineers are leading in academics and also in co-curricular activities, the institute has made it mandatory for students to earn two to four credits,by participating in co-curricular and extra curricularactivities. The institute has over 60 different clubs to hone a student's skills in music, dance, theatrics, debates and also in developing satellites, autonomous vehicles, race cars or under water vehicles. The institute also considers sports activities a very important part of co-curricular activities and has set up the necessary infrastructure for use. In 2013 RVCE was ranked No 1 in sport among all engineering colleges (>200) in Karnataka under VTU.
With a lot of famous music directors, actors, sports personalities as part of its alumni, R.V. College of Engineering has ensured that its students are always supported to pursue their interests to their full extent.