With a Decade of Accomplishments, IIT Mandi celebrates 11th Foundation Day

Mandi: Indian Institute of Technology Mandi celebrated 11th Foundation Day on 24th February 2020. Since its inception, the Institute has been making rapid strides in Science, Technology, Innovation, Academics, Entrepreneurship, Research and Development. On this occasion, Prof. Sumant Nigam, Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, USA, attended the event at IIT Mandi campus, as the Chief Guest.

Addressing the Institute during this grand occasion, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves who has been the Director of IIT Mandi since its day one, said, “11 years ago, we laid the foundation stone of IIT Mandi. From the beginning, IIT Mandi adopted a strategy of working on research directed towards solving major challenges of the society. The unique practicum based learning approach helped the students to get familiar with the collaborative inter-disciplinary culture. Our faculty, students and alumni have carried the name of the Institute throughout India and to distant corners of the world. IIT Mandi is on its way to becoming a global leader in the upcoming years.”

The event was attended by all the faculty, staff and students of IIT Mandi. During the event, the Institute’s Archives team presented a slideshow of photographs of the evolution of the campus.

Speaking during the occasion, Prof. Sumant Nigam, Chief Guest of 11th Foundation Day at IIT Mandi, said, “IIT Mandi has made a bold approach in terms of innovative research. I request the young engineers to always keep a curiosity-driven approach for everything you do. This will take you to great heights. The world is changing rapidly and things that you will learn here during your Bachelors and Masters degrees will help you throughout life. I congratulate Prof. Gonsalves for parenting the Institute for 11 years”.

“I am amazed to see how much IIT Mandi has changed in the past 5 years – since I completed my B. Tech in 2015. This is a proud moment for me to be a part of the 11th Foundation Day celebration at IIT Mandi. The Institute has not only taught us basic subject knowledge but has also taught us the qualities of becoming someone who can help the society at large. I thank Prof. Gonsalves for teaching us the first lesson of leadership”, said Mr. Ather Aamir Khan, alumnus of IIT Mandi and Indian Administrative Services Officer of 2016 batch, during the event.

Mr. Siddharth Gangal, alumnus of IIT Mandi and Co-founder of the start-up, The Solar Labs, said, “I am incredibly thankful to IIT Mandi for how it has shaped me. When I came here as a student, the Institute was a startup in itself and being here – working in various practical course activities and participating in various student club events, educated me on a number of key aspects that relate directly to running my own company. It is amazing to see how IIT Mandi has grown in these 10 years”.

Since the first batch of 97 students got admitted in July 2009, the Institute has grown by leaps and bounds with more than 1140 alumni who are scaling new heights and achieving great success. IIT Mandi honoured such young achievers for their extraordinary efforts and success on this occasion.

⮚ Mr. Ather Aamir Khan, an Indian Administrative Service Officer of 2016 batch gained All India Rank #2 is currently serving in Rajasthan Cadre, was honoured with the ‘Excellence in Service to Society’ award. He has been awarded for his distinguished work in eradication of child marriage and improving education & infrastructure in Bhilwara schools. He has also been working on rehabilitation of silicosis (Pneumoconiosis) affected people in Badnor and heads the Special Task Force which has been curbing illegal sand and mining mafia in Bhilwara district.

⮚ Mr. Mohit Kumar Malhotra, Scientist / Engineer ‘C’, National Control Law (CLAW) Team, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, was honoured with the ‘Professional Excellence’ award. He is one of the youngest members of the CLAW team and is responsible for real-time monitoring of prototype aircraft’s flight and providing real-time support to the test pilots in case of any mid-air or on-ground failures. He has played an instrumental role in the success of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas in various domestic and international platforms. He was also a part of the team of Scientists who demonstrated the Air-to-Air Refuelling capabilities first time in Gwalior. Presently, he is doing higher research in the Aerospace Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) – Bangalore. His area of research is centred around Guidance Theories for Collision Avoidance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

⮚ Mr. Arpit Narechania, presently pursuing a Ph.D in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA, was honoured with the ‘Professional Excellence’ award. He started his professional career with Khosla Labs where he helped build a lending start-up to solve India’s financial inclusiveness problems. He also developed software for the Andhra Pradesh government to monitor municipalities and for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to flag spam SMSes. He is currently building automobile analytics software with Ford Motor Company and an educational app with Verizon 5G while pursuing a doctorate.

⮚ Dr. Satyanaran Patel, Assistant Professor, Discipline of Mechanical, Engineering, IIT Indore, was honoured with the ‘Academic Excellence’ award. After obtaining his Ph.D from IIT Mandi in the year of 2016, he was awarded Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research in the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany, for two years. In November 2019, Dr. Patel was selected as an Assistant Professor in Discipline of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Indore. He received the Young Scientist award in the domain of Materials Engineering by Venus International Research in 2019. Recently, Dr. Patel was also awarded the Dr. R. L. Thakur Memorial Award for Young Scientist from The Indian Ceramic Society, India, in 2019.

⮚ Mr. Siddharth Gangal and Mr. Ankush Jindal, co-founders of The Solar Labs, were honoured with the ‘Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Management’ award. The Solar Labs currently provides solar developers a SaaS platform that helps them understand how much solar PV can be installed on a roof and give a layout that maximizes energy generation for that roof. Currently, 60+ solar EPC and developer companies are using the Solar Lab’s platform, including Waaree, Sterling Wilson, Renewpower. World Bank has used the Solar Lab’s platform for the analysis of more than 50 MW of solar projects.

The award ceremony was followed by a cultural programme presented by the faculty and students of IIT Mandi. IIT Mandi has the vision to provide young students with a platform to enrich themselves with varied experiences in addition to academic endeavours, the Institute arranged a sports event for the children from schools around the campus during the Institute’s Foundation Week. The winners of the different sports were also awarded during the event.

History of the Institute

The foundation stone was laid at Kamand, the site for the permanent campus of IIT Mandi, on 24th February 2009. The admission of the first batch of students took place in July 2009 and their classes were conducted from 27th July 2009, onwards. A transit campus of IIT Mandi had been developed at Vallabh Government College, Mandi in August 2009. The buildings of the transit campus were handed over by the Himachal Pradesh Government to IIT Mandi in November 2009. In September 2012, the 1st batch shifted to Kamand campus. The Mandi District Administration has also contributed to the growth of IIT Mandi and has collaborated with the Institute on various projects.

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