The University of Madras, in association with the University of Northampton, United Kingdom, will set up a centre for waste management where research in the area of disposal of waste, particularly e-waste will be carried out.

Nick Petforg, vice-chancellor, University of Northampton, who was in the city recently to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate this, said: “The focus of the centre is to find ways to deal with waste. Computer waste or e-waste will be one of the main areas of concern since it is a growing problem. Research will be carried out on various means of recycling waste and alternative waste processing technologies,” he said.

The universities also plan to collaborate and offer joint Ph.D programmes. G. Thiruvasagam, vice-chancellor, University of Madras said: “Scholars from one university will travel to the other and gain industry experience too. We will speak to industry associations such as FICCI and CII and find out what kind of academic assistance they would require in this area.”

The research will be interdisciplinary and will involve students from other departments such as health, economics and geography as well. Additionally, the two institutions will also offer a joint, online MBA course in waste management.

The syllabus will be designed by faculty members from universities, and industry representatives. Another plan on the anvil is networking with other universities interested in waste management.

The universities have a few other plans lined up on their agenda.

To begin with, they are organising an international convention on e-waste management.

“This will be organised in the second week of July. We are inviting experts from all over the world,” Prof. Thiruvasagam said.

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