New Areas of Engineering in India

 By: Sarfraj Ahmed
In the 90s, the stress was more on core sectors like mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics, mining and metallurgy. But today robotics, Bio-Engineering, Bio-Technology, Nano Technology, life sciences and biology, energy and the environment are some of the new areas that offer ample scope of the new areas that offer ample scope of research and application.

Robotics: The study of robotics involves the science and technology of robots and their designing manufacture, and application. The future of robotic in India is closely linked with what the rest of the world does in this area and how quickly we are able to adapt to the changing scenario. Perhaps the day personal digital assistants will be replaced by personal robotic assistants is not far off. For one, believes robots will soon be a part of every home. All the IITs have some research activities in this area. Those interested can opt for a Mater's or PhD degree in any of the associated fields such as mechanical, electrical or electronics engineering or computer science and focus on robotics-related courses and research.

Nano Technology: This field revolves around the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nano-technology deals with structures 100 nanometers or smaller, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. In the future, Nano Technology will also let us fabricate a new generation of products that are cleaner stronger, lighter and more precise and efficient. This particular discipline penetrates in to every aspect of science and engineering, and promises a new paradigm of manufacturing. In fact, it our eyes could see tiny cluster of atoms and our finger could act as tweezers able to pluck atom by atom we could produce anything and everything on our table top from a grain or rice to a motor car.

Bio-Medical Engineering/Bio Engineering: It provides scope to engineer biological system, covers areas like detection and monitoring of minute changes in cells and metabolic releases to replacement of heart valves. Today's healthcare science is more measurement engineering than perception and medication.

Clean Fuel/Energy Technology: One of the greatest problems of sustainability is emission of oxides of carbon. Fossil fuel has evolved and remained the most viable energy source in our efforts for power generation-be it in the form of electricity or heat for cooking or horsepower for driving an automotive. Carbonaceous source used for industrial processes like metal and chemical processing also contribute significantly. Awareness driven necessity has triggered aggressive research efforts to try alternate sources as also devise methods and processes to minimize emissions leading to climatic catastrophes like global warming, Ozone layer depletion, acid rain, and so on.

The renewed thrust on the energy and the environment in today's world is one of our biggest challenges to implement an effective energy strategy that will give us abundant, reliable and affordable energy supplies while protecting the environment. Energy use and supply is of fundamental important to society. It has made the largest impact on the environment as a result of the large scale and pervasive nature of energy-related activities. The technological and scientific aspects of energy and environment questions including energy conservation, and the interaction of energy forms and systems with the physical environment, are creating a paradigm shift in the way engineers are facing the challenges of manufacturing products that are highly energy efficient and contribute less to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Life science and Bio-Technology : A revolution is taking place in the knowledge-base of life science and bio-technology, opening up new applications in healthcare, agriculture and food production, and environmental protection, and environmental as well as new scientific discoveries. The expansion of the knowledge base is accompanied by an unprecedented speed in transformation of frontier scientific inventions in to practical use and products. As probably the most promising of the frontier technologies, life sciences and bio-technologies, life sciences and bio technology can have a major role to play in achieving wealth generation and employment in India.
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