Special Correspondent

ISRO exhibition attracts a large crowd; novel engineering solutions proposed

Open source hacking workshop and `ANSYS' draw large number of participantsHAM enthusiasts take part in `fox hunt'Former NASA scientist delivers lecture`Perfect Machine', a robotics event, tries to replicate a game of football

SURATKAL: Engineer 2006, organised by the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NIT-K), Suratkal, saw students from more than 40 technical institutions in the country vie for top honours on Friday.

An exhibition by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) attracted a large crowd. The exhibition focussed on India's might in the space exploration arena, and the role engineers have in ISRO's space programme. The exhibition is open to the people.

"Srishti - socially relevant engineering" had the participants proposing novel engineering solutions to problems that plagued society. The winning teams had proposed solutions for challenging problems such as non-conventional energy, harvesting and desalination techniques. Some of the workshops that drew a large number of participants included the open source hacking session and "ANSYS" on computational fluid dynamics.

Fox hunt for HAM enthusiasts had many teams constructing HAM receivers to track a hidden beacon.

A lecture by Jayanth Murthy, a former NASA scientist and a researcher at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, was also held. Dr. Murthy spoke on space exploration and the various issues connected with it. He exhorted students to pursue astrophysics saying that a developing nation such as India needed to invest in fundamental scientific research.

A robotics event, Perfect Machine, saw a large number of participants building mechanical robots and pitting them against their opponents' robots in an effort to replicate a game of football.

Teams from institutions such as NIT Warangal, NIT Durgapur, NIT Surat, SASTRA, Amrita Institute of Engineering, BMSIT, RVCE, MSRIT, besides the home team from NIT-K participated.

The symposium will go on till Sunday. Some of the attractions for Saturday include "INDIGenius", a forum of rural entrepreneurs, which will showcase innovations, and a videoconference by Richard Stallman of Free Software Foundation, the precursor to modern day Linux.