IIT Gandhinagar faculty wins Distinguished International Associates Award by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK

Gandhinagar: Prof Arup Lal Chakraborty, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), has been selected for the Distinguished International Associates Award by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. The award includes funding of £10,000 over a period of two years and participation in an international network of Distinguished International Associates supported by the Academy through annual events and online engagement opportunities.

The Distinguished International Associates award is presented to excellent international engineers from different sectors, who are engaged in cutting-edge engineering research or innovation and have existing research collaborations in the UK that they would like to intensify.

Prof Chakraborty has been selected for this award for collaborative research with Prof Ken Grattan, OBE, FREng from the City University of London as the UK partner for a project titled “UAV-based laser spectroscopic monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions in urban and rural India”. The participation of the Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, India, as an industrial partner, will play a significant role in this research. A start-up named Nearchi Solutions, led by Dr Chandan Kumar Jha, one of the recent PhD students of Prof Chakraborty, will also provide significant support for the project.

The project involves developing reliable, highly sensitive and portable laser-based measurement systems to measure the concentration of greenhouse gases (CO, CO2, NO, N2O etc) in the urban and rural parts of India. The aim is to engineer systems that would be sufficiently small, lightweight and robust to be placed on UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones) to measure the distribution of these gases at various heights. The findings and results from this research would help in placing such compact systems on the public transport systems for a wide-area urban pollution-monitoring network that would be attractive for smart cities.

Besides this, Prof Chakraborty has also been awarded another grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering worth £80,000 also with Prof Ken Grattan as the UK partner. This project is part of the Transforming Systems Through Partnerships scheme of the Academy that aims to support capacity building in engineering teaching, research and innovation between UK academics and partner countries’ universities to address local and global development challenges. The activities will complement each other.

Sharing his thoughts on receiving the award, Prof Arup Chakraborty said, “Prof Grattan and I are grateful to the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, for giving us the opportunity to work on ambient air pollution, which is one of the pressing issues of modern times. The project will help us monitor the distribution of air pollution levels in different parts of the country, which would hopefully contribute to formulating appropriate mitigation strategies.”

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