MVJ College of Engineering hosted a Meet on Industry – Academia Collaboration on September 22, 2017 at the Smt. Rajalakshmi Seminar Hall. The event was presided over by Dr B.N. Suresh, President, Indian National Academy of Engineering and Mr Mohandas U., President, Consortium of Electronics Industries Karnataka (CLIK). The event was graced by sixteen industry participants, distinguished members of the Governing Council of the MVJCE and Shri M J Balachander, Chairman, MVJ College of Engineering (MVJCE).
The event commenced with the welcome address by Shri M J Balachander, Chairman, MVJCE. Shri M J Balachander extended warm welcome towards the Chief Guest, Dr B.N. Suresh, President Indian National Academy of Engineering, Mr Mohandas U, President Consortium of Electronics Industries Karnataka (CLIK), the Industry C-Suite, the members of the Governing Council, Students and Faculty participants of the Industry Academia meet. In the Introductory Remarks, the Chief Guest highlighted that industry insistently echoes that graduating engineering students are “not employable”. Based on his vast international experience, and experience in starting IISER, he stated that all premier academic institutions world over has very high collaboration with industries in their respective countries. When he joined the Governing Council of MVJCE two years ago, he made it his ambition to bring in the same culture in the institute. He stressed on the need to encourage innovation, industry applicable / scalable projects in students. He set the tone for the meet stating that the meet should help us in “Defining the Problem”, “Understanding the Problem”, try “Defining the Options” and try coming up with “Different Solutions”. He also stated that the topics for discussion in the second half of the event should cover:
(ii) Engineering problems, the industry can feed to the institute
(iii) Guest lectures by industry experts
(iv) Faculty exposure to industry
(v) Short term courses for industry
(vi) Collaborative and Consultative Projects
He closed the opening address stressing that the bond established today during this interaction should continue and all stake holders should freely participate in the discussion. The Guest of Honour Mr Mohandas in his special remarks started with stating he is satisfied with the quality of graduating students from engineering colleges. He advised the students present that if they know their core subjects well, they meet 90% of the industry requirements. He also advised the students that they should know their projects very deep and opined that the depth of knowledge was missing among the student community. He reiterated that ensuring high quality and reliability are very important to the Industries and the students need to remember that. After concluding his special remarks Mr Mohandas introduced all members of CLIK present to the audience.
The remarks were followed by short presentations on Ideas, Innovations and projects of the students of MVJCE, short video clip on Tomorrow’s Engineers, Tinkering Lab of MVJCE, strengths of the faculties of each department in the college were also presented. The first session concluded with a short video on the College bringing out its multi-facet aspect in providing all round growth to students.
The second session started instantly with the Chief Guest asking all members in the audience to participate without any inhibition in the discussion. The following were the major points that emerged during the discussion.
Internship: Dr Suresh started with the question as to Hoe to make internship interesting? Mr Madhav from ERI Pvt Ltd stated that based on his experience with internship to UG students that a check list of what to do and better accountability of student participation would make the whole exercise more meaningful as most in the industry feel that there is no commitment from either the college or the student. Other from the industry also echoed the same view. Mr Joydeep from M/s Coco Cola mentioned that instituting a detailed report from students would make the whole internship more meaningful. Mr Shivaram from M/s Kennametal suggested higher level of interaction between faculty prior to, during and post internship programmes. He also mentioned that students from IITs carry out projects over six months in his company regularly.
Defining Engineering Problems from the Industry: Mr Shivaram form M/s Kennametal stated that small industries do not have all the test facilities etc., and these can be offset by using the Laboratories available in the college. Mr TK Subramanian from M/s General Electric suggested that there are many problems that can be taken up by academia that industries are struggling with, as an example he suggested that one can work on reducing losses from flow from orifices etc. He advised that faculty and students can innovate in basic engineering problems on improving efficiencies / reducing losses as these are the day to day problems faced in the industry. Mr Narayan from M/s Robert Bosch opined that there is a tendency of students to quickly jump to solutions without dwelling on analysis of all aspects of the problem. When the discussion moved on to the time taken / time available to solve the problem Dr BN Suresh suggested that there can be an option for the students to carry the problem back from industry to the college and work on it during the curriculum days also after due consultation with the concerned industry. Dr Ramachandra opined that there should be more interaction in the form of visits by faculty to the industry while addressing the problems. Mr KVN Prasad from M/s Gemini Electro Corp opined that students can interact with industry (specifically SMEs) from their 3rd year so that there is time available for solving problems. This would give time and adequate interaction between the parties to come up with joint solutions.
Lectures from Industry. Almost all members of the industry welcomed this point and were eager to share their practical knowledge and share their experiences with students and faculties. Abhishek Anand of 1st year also voiced his opinion from the student community that lectures from industry practitioners would be great from the student’s point of view.
Interaction of Faculties with Industry. Dr BN Suresh started the discussion with his opinion on the subject that he believed that faculty should have adequate industrial exposure. He went on to say that the college administration should work out how to implement a programme wherein faculties can take a sabbatical like six months industrial exposure on a rotation basis. All members of the industry welcomed this suggestion and reiterated that they would also benefit with such intimate interaction with faculty as they would get to know the latest developments in their field from the faculty. Dr Ramachandra (from the GC) stressed that this should not be taken lightly as in his opinion he felt faculty as the weakest link in the chain.
College providing short term courses to industry. Mr KVN Prasad of M/s Gemini Electro Corp stated that SMEs need technical support from the faculty and welcomed the point. Dr BN Suresh opined that industry should not interpret this for faculty solving system problems in the industry but look for refresher courses for the employees in their firms.
Dr. Nikhil Vijay Shende, Chief Executive Officer, S & I Technology Solutions Limited emphasized on enhanced learning through working on watered down versions of industry problems as IPR issues could be a concern for the industry.
Mr. Vasanth Kumar Narayan, General Manager, Robert Bosch Innovations and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd stated that it is of paramount importance to identify the right areas and use the capabilities and facilities of institution.
Dr. B.N Suresh accentuated the importance of innovation and incubation in the academic tenure of the student.
While delivering special remarks, Mr., Mohandas U., President CLIK said that students need to have in-depth knowledge of projects completed during their academic tenure. He emphasized on internships for familiarization towards industry at work. The student is expected to have deeper knowledge of the subjects. Mr. Mohandas U also emphasized on usage of college facilities to enhance learning experience. Students should consider Small and Medium Enterprises over Multinational Companies for a holistic understanding of the industry concerns.
While addressing the meet, Mr. Mohandas U., President CLIK, Bangalore also offered to engage the faculty members to work on industry concerns and offer solutions. He also said that industry delegates would welcome the proposal to offer the refresher courses and crash courses for students and faculty members to enhance the knowledge and skills. The industry experts also emphasized on enhanced level of involvement of the faculty members in the teaching learning process.
Industry Stalwarts welcomed the notion of providing application based and real-time knowledge to the students. For a holistic knowledge delivery, the industry and faculty members could join hands and take up collaborative lectures blending the practical industry knowledge and theoretical concepts.
CLIK offered to enter into a memorandum of understanding for internships and other collaborations with SMEs that would work out efficiently.
Concluding the session Dr. B.N Suresh, President INAE stated that Industry – Academia Collaboration has been an extremely rewarding experience for the stakeholders of the event and would fulfil long term and short term developmental goals.