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Engineering sustainable development

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Today's complex environmental challenges need strategies that combine engineering and field expertise with management skills. This M.Tech. course promises to cater to this demand.

TACKLING POLLUTION: A student of the M.Tech Environment Engineering and Management course making a point in the classroom (rear, at right). Photo: T. Singaravelou
TACKLING POLLUTION: A student of the M.Tech Environment Engineering and Management course making a point in the classroom (rear, at right). Photo: T. Singaravelou

With growing emphasis on sustainable development and with the enactment of stringent pollution laws that govern polluting industries, there is now a heightened need for experts who could provide feasible solutions to control and prevent pollution in large scale industrial operations.

The Pondicherry University established the Centre for Pollution Control and Energy Technology (CPET) in 1991 with the objective of churning out experts to tackle the problem of pollution. The centre, which receives more than 90 per cent of its funds by way of sponsored research, consultancy projects and industry-oriented training programmes from agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Water Resources and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, instituted a full-time M.Tech course in Environment Engineering and Management in the year 2007.

According to S.A. Abbasi, CPET coordinator, “this unique course strikes a balance between hard technology contained in environment engineering courses with socio-economic and regulatory issues associated with environment management.”

The students undergo rigorous training on the technological aspects of pollution control and are expected to be ready to design competent plants by the end of the course that help largescale industries to comply with the environment laws of the country and thereby protect the environment. Divided into four semesters, the two-year course provides both theoretical and practical knowledge in aspects of environment engineering.

In the first semester, students undergo training in subjects such as biology and microbiology in environment engineering, numerical methods and computer programming that helps them create computer-aided simulations of future largescale environment issues and techniques of modelling for pollutant transport.

In the second semester, the course moves into management mode where aspects of Environment Impact Assessment, environment audits and Life Cycle Assessments of industries are studied. This focuses on minimising the impact of establishing new industrial units on the environment and on various social and economic aspects.

In the second year, the students are expected to work on a project in any one of the frontier areas of research and development in environment engineering. They then submit a thesis apart from working out strategies to provide solution for major issues of contemporary relevance in their respective areas of research.

Employers of the first batch which passed out in 2009 included regulatory agencies such as pollution control boards, several NGOs working on issues of pollution and academic institutions apart from industrial houses.

The annual intake for this course is 20. Students who have completed a B.Tech. or an M.Sc. course are eligible to apply. Admissions are based on an all-India entrance examination conducted in May every year.


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