Seminar Colloquium


TOPIC: Sustainable Development

Speaker: Prof. Alan Mickelson
Date: February 23, 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 3 PM to 3 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prof. Alan Mickelson is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His primary appointment is with the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering with courtesy appointments in the Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Communities and the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program (ITP). Alan’s primary research focus is optical nanotechnology, most recently silicon photonics for computer interconnections. He has also been involved in communication and solar energy for developing communities in recent years in the last decade. Alan received his PhD from California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA, was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Byurakan, Soviet Armenia and spent four years at the Norwegian Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Fellow and staff member of the Elektronikklaboratoriet.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: A number of projects in sustainable development in which the author has been involved are discussed. The projects have involved transfer of technology from the author research group to development organizations in developing countries including Peru, Nepal, Haiti, India and Papua New Guinea (PNG). The technology consists of low solar energy and low cost Wi-Fi distribution. A focus of the presentations of case studies is to indicate under what conditions the technology transfer is effective and beneficial to the collaborating organization. The talk includes description of recent collaboration with the IEEE Smart Village (ISV) program. A quick review of the ISVs involvement with Global Himalayan Expeditions (GHE) in Ladakh precedes a discussion of the author’s ISV funded efforts to create a Wi-Fi Long Distance (WiLD) testbed in order to test communication systems at the University of Colorado at Boulder before field installation. The application of the testbed concept to transfer the latest WiLD and battery technology to PNG is the closing example.

TOPIC: Power of zero: Is zero return a natural a natural benchmark for investors?

Speaker: Dr. Sankar De
Date: November 18, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Sankar De has served on the faculty at national and international institutions including University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas-Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta, and Indian School of Business-Hyderabad. His research has appeared in leading international journals in finance and economics. His current research interests are the interface between development economics and financial markets. He has served as President of the Asian Finance Association and as a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s committee on Money, Foreign Exchange and Government Securities. He received his PhD in Financial Economics from University of California-Berkeley, Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and BA (economics) from Presidency College, Calcutta.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: As a group, the individual investors are bigger than other groups of investors in Indian stock markets, such as institutional investors, corporate investors etc., in terms of both number and value of trades in Indian stock markets. Our research indicates that the investment and trading decisions of the individual investors are driven by psychological biases well-documented in psychology literature, rather than by rational investment motives. We also identify the nature of the biases. A dominant bias is to consider zero return a natural threshold for their investments. As a result of the biases, the individual investors systematically lose to institutional investors, resulting in a massive wealth transfer. Our research findings are based on evidence from actual trading records of all investors in the National Stock Market (NSE) over a long period.

TOPIC: Why could Europe and not India create Universities?: A self-critical Assessment

Speaker: Prof. Parmod Talgeri
Date: November 11, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 5 PM to 6 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:Prof. Pramod Talgeri is currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Mandi. He also holds the position of Vice Chancellor of India International Multiversity, Pune. Earlier, he was Vice Chancellor of English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. He as awarded PhD from Munich University. He was associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University for more the 35 years where he served as Centre Head for several times. He is a receipt of a number of awards and fellowships such as Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and DAAD fellow.In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious international Merck-Tagore Award for lifetime contribution. Recently, in 2016 Prof. Talgeri was awarded the highest civilian tribute of Germany “Cross of the Order of Merit.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: Till the 16th century Europe and India had a similar level of development. Both the continents were under a deep religious influence. But In the 16th century Europe went in a different direction, in that the sphere of Religion got separated from philosophy and science, and the age of Rationalism emerged. In Europe this crucial intellectual change paved the way to Modernity. This did not happen in India. Modernity, basically a European phenomenon, propagated three fundamental Ideas: Freedom, Equality and Individualism based on the principle of rationality.

India’s entry into scientific Modernity was hampered by the caste barriers of Brahmanism, which did not allow any social institution, which has public participation. Therefore, till the arrival of the British,India could not cultivate the idea of University, which promotes mass education and opens its gates to all members of the society. At the most, India remained at the level of Gurukul, which was meant only for the privileged class. It ignored the areas of science and technology.Whereas all European languages have the status of “knowledge language”, no Indian language is capable of writing a Ph.D. thesis in natural sciences, engineering or medicine. Particularly the indigenous scientific and technical expertise of the Indian artisans and its scientific and technical vocabulary was never accepted and therefore not included in the dictionary. This exclusion of the Indigenous knowledge has created a deep social bias against our skilled workers like blacksmiths, cobblers, barbers, masons, carpenters, farmers etc. Unlike in Europe their professions are looked down upon by the upper castes reminding us of the controversy over the title of Shah Rukh Khan’s film called “Billu the Barber”, protesting against the epithet ‘Barber’, which has acquired an inner meaning of an abuse to the community of hair dressers. Due to this epithet the members of this community are made to feel ashamed of their legitimate and creative profession. This social injustice needs to be addressed through critical reflection and affirmative action.

TOPIC: Importance of Design for a Technology Institute

Speaker: Mr. Sumer Singh
Date: October 25, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Mr. Sumer Singh is an Assitant Professor at Instrument Design Development Centre, IIT Delhi. He is currently pursuing PhD from IDDC, IIT Delhi in the area of Sustainable Product Design. Before joining IIT Delhi, he was a faculty at MIT Institute of Design, Pune. He was associated with Dutch Government for Visitors Programme on sustainability and innovation. He is a member of Design Research Society, UK. Mr Singh is also a consultant for LG and designing a universal tap adapter for washing machine. He has delivered talks at various national and international conferences and workshops. His research interests are Green Design, Sustainable development, innovative Problem solving.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: Students, especially those who opt for technological courses aspire to develop some good outcome from their education. Institutes of technologies also claim of imparting knowledge that is more practical in nature and has application of theories. However for a long time, students are trained for monotonous jobs which can be applied for a factory setup and has very less association with the day-to-day problems, requirements, and business opportunities existing in our society. Such opportunities are harnessed by industries from outside India. Through Design we can train students to harness such opportunities in society as well as engage them in work which is not monotonous in nature along with imparting practical education. Design trains students how to devise and produce objects, artifacts, interactions and systems in response to economic, technical and social needs and desires. It is a rich combination of experiences in imaginative creativity, the humanities and the sciences, with an aptitude of application of the knowledge for benefit of people. Such courses cover design education in general. Students can further be nurtured in the field of Product Design, Automobile Design, Interaction Design, and Design for special needs, Film and video Design, Animation Design.

TOPIC: Science of Climate Change

Speaker: Dr. M. Rajeevan
Date: October 14, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Rajeevan received Ph.D. in 1997 from University of Pune and currently holds the position of Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. Earlier he has held positions at TIFR, Director of National Climate Center, Adviser to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Director of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
His research interests are in the filed of climate change and extreme weather events. Currently, his research focuses on monsoon prediction that uses coupled models and decadal variability. Dr. Rajeevan’s research has made important societal contribution that are used by Indian Meteorological Department. He is recipient of several awards and recognition such as START Young Scientist, Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has published extensively in the field of climate change with over 2600 citations.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: The speaker discusses basics of climate system, global energy balance, trends in greenhouse gases, observed changes in the present climate system, details of the Earth System Models, associated Physics and numerical methods, and future climate change projections. The Earth’s climate system is in equilibrium as the incoming solar radiation is balanced by the out-going long wave radiation from the earth. Any imbalance of this equilibrium can change the global energy balance and can cause changes in different components of the climate system. Due to anthropogenic activities like industries, concentrations of greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide are increasing. This increase of greenhouse gases causes trapping of out-going long wave radiation that increases surface air temperatures, thus global warming. Associated with the global warming, there are many changes in different components of the climate system as we have observed from instrumental data. As greenhouse gases are further increasing, we should expect further warming and thus many associated devastating consequences. Climate scientists use Earth System Models to understand the past and future climate. Earth System Models are mathematical models which use the dynamics and physics of different components of the Earth System, like atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere and biosphere. The physical processes are included in the model using parameterization methods. The climate change simulations are made using Earth System Models with the help of large high performance computers.

TOPIC: Energy Efficiency of Medium Voltage Drives

Speaker: Prof. J. Holtz
Date: October 14, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 5 PM to 6 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.* Also available at conference room in Mandi campus, IIT Mandi, and and SC Classroom at Kamand through NKN facility.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Joachim Holtz graduated in 1967 and received the Ph.D. degree in 1969 from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. In 1969 he became Associate Professor and, and in 1971 Full Professor and Head of the Control Engineering Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India. He joined the Siemens Research Laboratories in Erlangen, Germany in 1972. From 1976 to 1998, he was Professor and Head of the Electrical Machines and Drives Laboratory, Wuppertal University, Germany. He is presently Professor Emeritus and a Consultant. His publications include 2 invited papers in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE, 17 invited papers in IEEE Journals, and 27 single-authored IEEE Journal papers. He is the recipient of 17 Prize Paper Awards, a coauthor of seven books. He holds 33 patents. Dr. Holtz is the recipient of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society Dr. Eugene Mittelmann Achievement Award, the IEEE Industrial Applications Society Outstanding Achievement Award, the IEEE Power Electronics Society William E. Newell Field Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Anthony J. Hornfeck Service Award, and the IEEE Lamme Gold Medal. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE. Dr. Holtz is Past Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Industrial Applications Society and of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: The total losses of medium voltage power semiconductor devices are dominated by switching losses. Operating at very low switching frequency is therefore mandatory. Low switching frequency can be achieved by using multilevel inverter topologies, optimal pulsewidth modulation techniques and, at very high power, by using series connected inverter circuits rather than series connected devices. The latter generate additional losses in their voltage balancing circuits. Parallel connected devices lead to higher currents, and consequently to higher losses. Using these guidelines, various inverter topologies are discussed. Optimal pulsewidth modulation can be achieved by off-line optimized pulse patterns, combined with online optimization at transients. An alternative approach is predictive control which is presently attracting the interest of many researchers. A predictive algorithm directly generates the firing pulses of the inverter as part of a closed loop current control system, thus eliminating a pulsewidth modulator. A gate pulse is generated whenever a predefined current error is exceeded. That error is computed as the difference between reference and actual current space vector. The next switching state is then determined such that maximum time elapses until the error vector exceeds its limit again. This minimizes the switching frequency and also the switching losses. Overmodulation and a smooth transition to full-wave operation produces maximum inverter output voltage. The error vector is represented here in a rotor field oriented coordinate system and different error magnitudes are permitted in the respective axes.

TOPIC: Realizing Strategic Advantages through Competitive Value Components of Technology

Speaker: Prof. L. S. Ganesh
Date: August 30, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 5 PM to 6 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.* Also available at conference room in Mandi campus, IIT Mandi, and and SC Classroom at Kamand through NKN facility.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. L. S. Ganesh is currently working as professor at IIT Madras in Department of Management Studies. Dr. Ganesh received his Ph.D. degree from IIT Madras in 1986. He worked as an Assistant Professor in the Education Management Sector at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, during 1986-87. He served as the Head of the Department of Management Studies at IIT Madras from July 2004 till July 2008. He also coordinated the establishment of strategic academic relationships through MoUs between IIT Madras and leading national and multinational institutions and business organizations. Prof. Ganesh served as key member of some national-level projects sponsored by ISRO and MHRD, and also of international projects concerning Integrated Coastal Zone Management sponsored by the World Bank and the UNDP. Dr. Ganesh has published extensively in International Journals.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: The talk's focus is on India's competitive capabilities in global markets, particularly those dealing with Technology. Strategic Advantages enable a country to enjoy market success, or even dominance, in the long-term. In our contemporary world, Technology is the key to achieve Strategic Advantages in global markets. The basic types of Strategic Advantages obtained and enjoyed through the relevant Technologies – not just through their market perception (more dominant in the short-term) but in their experienced reality (more valuable for the long-term) – are all ultimately based on the fundamental principle of Value Differentiation. Cost Leadership, Unique or Distinctive Functionalities, Value for Money, Market Entry Timing, Market Niche Choices, Strategic Alliances, etc., or any combination of these, which are widely discussed in the literature, are all specific modes and manifestations of Value Differentiation. For realizing competitive advantages we must carefully choose and understand the Markets we wish to compete in and the Value needs of Customers in those Markets. Concurrently, in the larger context of different basic human necessities, viz., safety and security, health and wellness, education, housing, clothing, communication, transportation, entertainment, adventure, etc., we must identify the scope for strategic advantages that can be realized through Technologies. A deeper understanding of Value will then enable us to correctly identify the competitive components embedded in Technologies that we must imagine, conceive, develop and sell successfully in global markets through systematic, effective R&D and Product management practices.

TOPIC: New Generation Microfluidic Devices: Towards Make in India

Speaker: Prof. Suman Chakraborty
Date: April 01, 2016 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Suman Chakraborty is currently a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India, and Indian National Academy of Engineering Chair Professor. He has been awarded the Santi Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize in the year 2013. He has been elected as a Fellow of ASME, Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc), Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Science (FNASc), Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (FNAE), recipient of the Indo-US Research Fellowship, Scopus Young Scientist Award for high citation of his research in scientific/technical Journals, and Young Scientist/ Young Engineer Awards from various National Academies of Science and Engineering. He has also been an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and a visiting Professor at the Stanford University. He has 300+ Journal publications.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: Traditionally, Engineering was considered to be compartmentalised, with super-specialised branches. However, with the advent in time, Engineering has become more interdisciplinary, involving a fusion with physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biological sciences. In this talk, the speaker will discuss on some emerging facets of engineering research in general, and some related activities of his research group in particular. These activities include topics in microfluidics and nanofluidics in general, with particular emphasis to healthcare and energy related applications. It is envisaged that although some of these new technologies are only in the nascent stage and confined in the laboratory scale at this stage, they will be dominating the realm of technology development and futuristic grand challenges in the years to come.

TOPIC: The Problem of Human Origins

Speaker: Prof. Vinayak Eswaran
Date: March 08, 2016 (Tuesday)
Time: 5 PM to 6 PM
Venue: A1-NKN, Kamand Campus, IIT Mandi.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prof. Eswaran is currently working as Dean Faculty at IIT Hyderabad. He had served at IIT Kanpur in Mechanical Engineering Department before moving to IIT Hyderabad. He has earned B.Tech from IIT Kanpur and PhD from State University of New York at Stony Brook, U.S.A during 1980 to 1985 and PDF from Cornell University, Ithaca, U.S.A., during 1985 to 1987. He was also visiting Assistant Professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook, U.S.A. during 1987 to 1988. He joined IIT Kanpur in 1988 as Assistant Professor. He has more than 26 years of experience in academics and research. He is Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering and had Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in 2002-2003. He has worked in many diversified fields. One of his most cited work is in Anthropology.

ABSTRACT OF THE TALK: Ever since Charles Darwin published his seminal book, “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural selection” in 1859 the question has been asked how humans evolved. Over the last 150 years, the picture of human evolution has become increasingly clear, with its origin being in Africa some 2.5 million years ago, starting with an ape-like species called the Australopithecines (“Southern Ape”), and evolving through many stages of the genus Homo (“Man”) till our own species called Homo sapiens (“Intelligent Man”). The last stage of this evolution, which involved the disappearance of archaic human types like the Neanderthals, is still a subject of much controversy.

Seminar Archive