New Department @ IITD: Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE)

In an effort to boost the study of materials and promote multidisciplinary research, IIT Delhi has started a new department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE). The department was formally inaugurated on January 4, 2018. Department Head Prof A K Ghosh maintains that the new academic unit will conduct state-of-the-art research in the field of materials at a global scale.

In an interview with Dr Vanita Srivastava, Prof Ghosh elucidates on the future plans of the department, the research areas that would be focused on and more.

How will this department help the research and academic ecosystem of IIT Delhi?

Besides opening opportunities for national and international collaborations, the new department will foster collaboration with various labs and assist in creation of materials specific research ecosystem. The new department will address longstanding requirement of research in the area of materials which so far had been addressed by faculty members scattered across various departments and centers. In its formative year, the department will dynamically focus on a few identified materials engineering area based on the national needs and emerging research trends.

What is the faculty strength at present? Is there a plan to increase the strength?

At present our faculty strength is ten(10). The process for recruitment is on and we have received an enthusiastic response for faculty positions from across the globe. We plan to increase the faculty strength to 20 by 2019.

What are the main programmes of the department? When is the undergraduate course going to be introduced?

Recently MS(R) and M.Tech in Materials Engineering have been approved by the Senate for the new Department. These programs will start from July 2019. The existing M.Tech program in Polymer Science and Technology is going on at a good pace. We have also started Ph.D in Materials Sciences and Engineering and the admission process is on. started. We are also developing a curriculum for the B.Tech program in Materials Engineering and are hopeful of starting it from July 2019.

What are the research areas that the department will focus on? What kind of multidisciplinary research are you looking at?

The core research strength of the department will be in the areas such as structure property processing correlation, advanced material synthesis, processing and characterization, materials modelling, polymeric materials, alloys, composites and structural materials, nanostructured materials and materials for sustainable technology. Considering multidisciplinary research, we would like to focus on energy, environment, biodegradability and health care. Collaboration with industry for material development is also a priority area.

What are your future plans for the department?

We plan to adopt an industry centric aggressive growth strategy to build a strong department engaging the existing faculty and recruiting new ones with various specializations in the emerging areas of materials science and engineering. The future research landscape will tread through 4 dimensional materials characterization with materials modelling, multi-scale computational materials science and meta materials.