Interdisciplinary Activities

Interdisciplinary activities

Interactions with several faculty across the institute for problems related to the environment. Many of these collaborators have also worked with the Indo-German Center for Sustainability. The focus of interaction with these faculty members in Civil engineering, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Humanities and Social Sciences and Applied Mechanics are in the areas of Assessment of Environmental Quality and their role in Public Policy; Development and validation of waste treatment technologies for small and medium scale industries and consulting for government and local industry in pressing environmental issues


Dr. R. Ravikrishna


This research initiative seeks to advance and implement practices for gathering, processing and analysing data across different engineering and social branches. The primary aim of the initiative is to be one-stop-solution for all data analytics related needs — gathering, processing and analysing — of the IIT community as well as the larger Indian eco-system. The initiative will initially focus on analytics related to the establishment of smart cities. We will specifically focus on studies related to smart transportation, smart grids and smart water supply. The initiative will also setup physical infrastructure and the establish standard operating practices pertaining to Data Science, leading to development of broad competence in the area of data sciences across various related disciplines.
We work closely with several industry partners and government agencies to develop cutting edge solutions to real problems. There are three critical areas of research impact in this study. The first one is the area of Data Analytics− Data mining/Machine learning, Network analysis, Optimisation, Design of Experiments, etc. The second, is in the advancement of data gathering and processing related infrastructure – sensing, storage, and computing – paying special attention to secure computing systems. The third and equally important target, is contribution to domain specific advances in academic disciplines where empirical research has the potential to supplement the respective body of knowledge. The scope of this research is therefore multi-disciplinary in nature and will build on and contribute to a wide range of domains and functional applications.
Faculty from the department (Arun Tangirala, Nirav Bhatt, Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Shankar Narasimhan, Sridharakumar Narasimhan) are actively involved with ILDS contributing to methods, algorithms for data science and domain areas in smart grids and water supply.
A new interdisciplinary dual degree specialization in data science open to students from all disciplines is to be introduced from this academic year. ​ Faculty from chemical engineering are actively involved in this programme. In addition to existing courses on multivariate statistics, time series analysis and system identification, new courses on foundations for data science, artificial Intelligence in process engineering and manufacturing analytics will be offered by faculty from chemical engineering.


Dr. Sridharakumar Narasimhan

To elucidate the reaction mechanisms and kinetic of reactions few of our faculty use computations tools such as quantum chemical ab-initio calculations, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, classical kinetic pathway modeling and stochastic population balances. Some applications include micro-kinetic modeling, complex transformations in oxidation and pyrolysis, gas hydration nucleation and growth, and nanoparticle formation in microheterogeneous dispersed media. Coarse grained MD simulations and mesoscale simulations are used to fill the gap between the accessible scales in simulations and experiments. On a larger scale, computations using gradient based transport methods are used to learn about CO2 capture processes and electrochemical storage.

1. National Center for Catalysis Research (NCCR): Cutting edge research is performed in the domain of development of mesoporous heterogeneous catalysts with engineered pore size and pore size distribution. A number of complex organic transformations involving biomass model compounds and woody biomasses are carried out to selectively produce fine chemical intermediates or fuel molecules. A number of catalysts are also developed for (a) combustion reactions mainly to control automotive exhausts like NOx, CO2 and CO, and (b) electrochemical reactions related to environmental decontamination and H2 generation from water splitting, and (c) photocatalytic CO2 reduction to fuel molecules.

2. National Center for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD): Equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities, the center is involved in combustion research in thematic areas related to thermal power, automotive, fire and aerospace propulsion. A number of Chemical Engineering faculty are involved in Thermal power and fire research sub-groups in NCCRD. Thermochemical conversion of biomass, plastics and mixed solid wastes using fast pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction routes is pursued for the production of intermediates and biofuels. Moreover, combustion of Indian municipal solid wastes, modeling of underground coal gasification, microkinetic modeling of NOx reduction, and catalytic combustion in microreactors are carried out for better thermal efficiency and sustainable energy.

With an objective of understanding mesoscale systems and their behavior, our faculty uses a variety of techniques such as Monte-Carlo, Molecular Dynamics, Brownian Dynamics, Lattice Boltzmann and continuum field simulations. With a combination of these tools based on equilibrium and nonequilibrium approaches, they are involved in investigating the physical behavior of charged and uncharged synthetic polymers in glassy, melt and solution phases. Current areas and applications include thermoplastics, polyelectrolytes and polymer-surfactant mixtures, protein aggregation and disease prevention, nanoparticle-biomolecular interactions in nanomedicine, pickering emulsions for enhanced oil recovery, active systems and interfacial flows, complex fluids and rheological behaviors, microfluidic systems, multicomponent mass transfer in gases and liquids and fluid phase equilibria.

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