Q & A. Engineering physics is a suitable option for those who have a strong interest in physics and aptitude in science and engineering. Only a few institutions offer B.Tech. level programme in engineering physics.

I have passed my Plus Two examination and would like to know about the courses available in engineering physics. Kindly let me know if it is possible to pursue any engineering discipline at the postgraduate level after graduating in this discipline.

SIDHARTH VISHNU BHAKTH, EMAIL

Engineering physics is a suitable option for those who have a strong interest in physics and aptitude in science and engineering. Only a few institutions offer B.Tech. level programme in engineering physics. Four-year long B.Tech course, five-year integrated M.Tech. course. and five-year dual degree M.Tech programmes are being offered by institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Institute of Technology of the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Selection to these institutes is through a national-level IIT joint entrance examination conducted annually.

Meritorious students who have passed Plus Two or equivalent examination in the regular stream with 60 per cent marks in aggregate in physics, chemistry and mathematics are eligible to apply for IIT-JEE. Final year Plus Two students are also eligible to appear for the exam.

Study facilities

IIT-Madras, Bombay and Delhi offer B.Tech programmes in engineering physics. Institute of Technology at Varanasi under the Banaras Hindu University offers five-year integrated M.Tech. course in engineering physics. IIT-Bombay offers five-year dual degree M.Tech programme in engineering physics with specialisation in nanoscience. The Department of Physics of IIT Bombay offers both B.Tech and dual degree M.Tech in engineering physics. The B.Tech. programme is the oldest of its kind in the country. The curriculum lays stress on the basic physics that underlies new technological developments. The programme offers basic physics courses such as classical, quantum and statistical mechanics, electromagnetic theory and courses in atomic and molecular physics, nuclear physics and quantum electronics. At the same time, students are exposed to computer programming, computation method and simulation techniques in physics.

The engineering physics students are also offered electives in several applied areas such as VLSI technology, electronics instrumentation and fibre optic communication. A dual degree programme in engineering physics was started in 2005-06. After the five-year long programme students are awarded a dual degree B.Tech. and M.Tech. in engineering physics with specialisation in nanoscience. This programme focuses on nano-scale physics and nanotechnology in a wider sense. Several new courses covering both theoritical and experimental aspects of nano-scale physics are included in this new five-year M.Tech. programme.

At IT-BHU

The Institute of Technology (IT) of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi offers a five-year M.Tech. integrated course in engineering physics which trains young students in the area of space physics, plasma physics and fibre optics. Courses in solid state physics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamic, statistical mechanics, materials physics, applied nuclear science and remote sensing are also included. For more details visit www.itbhu.ac.in.

Admission is based on IIT-JEE that covers three separate sections on chemistry, mathematics and physics. In Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode will be the test centres. For more details visit http://jee.iitm.ac.in

Career prospects

Those who successfully complete the above courses will have employment opportunities with government organisations such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), and National Physical Laboratory apart from teaching profession. Multinational campuses recruit the finest fresh talent to retain their competitive edge. Campus placement facilities are also available in IITs.

Other higher study options

Those who successfully complete B.Tech. in engineering physics can utilise the following higher education facilities. GATE qualified candidates are eligible to get scholarship/fellowship.

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorke–247667 conducts M.Tech. in solid state electronic materials. It is a suitable higher study option for meritorious B.Tech. degree holders in engineering physics. The institute also offers M.Tech. in computer science and engineering and M.Tech. in information technology. Entry qualification is BE/B.Tech. degree in any branch. (www.iitr.ernet.in).

Amrita School of Engineering, Ettimadai, Coimbatore-641105 under the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham conducts M.Tech. in remote sensing and wireless sensor networks. Entry qualification is BE /B.Tech in any branch or M.Sc. Maths/physics/computer science with minimum 70 per cent marks (www.amrita.edu).

International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore–560100 offers M.Tech. programme. A first class BE / B.Tech. is the minimum qualification for admission. Selection is based on an online admission test and interview (www.iiitb.ac.in)

Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata- 700108 offers M.Tech. programme in computer science; M.Tech. in quality, reliability and operations research. Meritorious engineering/ technology graduates are also eligible for admission (www.isical.ac.in/deanweb).

National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology, Hatia, Ranchi- 834003 conducts M.Tech. in environmental engineering. Bachelor's degree holders in any branch of engineering or M.Sc. degree in physics/ chemistry/ environmental science (with mathematics) are eligible for admission (www.nifft.ernet.in).

Amrita Centre for Nanoscience under the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi – 682041, conducts M.Tech. course in nanomedical science courses. B.Tech. holders are also eligible for admission(www.amrita.edu)

National Institute of Industrial Engineering, NITIE, Vihar Lake. P.O, NITIE, Mumbai – 400087 offers PG diploma in industrial engineering. GATE qualified first class engineering/ rechnology graduates in any branch are eligible for admission www.nitie.edu.

BU-DRDO Centre for Life Sciences under Bharathiar University Campus, Coimbatore- 641046 conducts M.Tech. in remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Any graduate in engineering are eligible for admission. Selection is based on an entrance test and interview (www.b-u.ac.in)

Cochin University of Science and Technology, Thrikkakara, Kochi-22 conducts M.Tech. in computer and information science. Meritorious BE/ B.Tech. holders in any discipline are eligible for admission (www.cusat.nic.in)

Rajiv Gandhi Poudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal – 462036 offers M.Tech. in energy technology and environment management. BE/ B.Tech. holders in any branch with 55 per cent marks and above are eligible for admission (www.rgtu.net). Another higher study option is an MBA or PG programme in management conducted by leading business schools.