IIPE to focus more on research

V.S.R.K. Prasad

V.S.R.K. Prasad  

The foundation stone for the campus of the newly formed Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) will be laid on Thursday by the Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister for Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu at Vangali village in Sabbavaram mandal of Visakhapatnam district.

The sprawling campus will be coming up on 201.8 acres of land allotted by the government of Andhra Pradesh and the entire project cost is estimated to be about Rs. 800 crore, which will be spent over a period of 10 years.

The cost will be borne by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and will be backed both financially and academically by oil majors such as HPCL, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, OIDB, BPCL and Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Talking to The Hindu , V.S.R.K. Prasad, Advisor, Academics, and Director (in-charge), said that the campus would be not just another academic campus but the focus will be on research.

“We will be allocating a sizeable chunk of the funding to build state-of-the-art laboratories with the latest equipment,” he said.

“The research work will not be confined to petroleum, but energy, especially alternative and renewable energy will be given equal importance. And more importantly, the research work will not be limited to the students of the institute alone, but will be open for students and researchers from these domains from across the globe and top institutes in India,” he said.

Prof. Prasad pointed out that apart from the regular undergraduate B. Tech and PG courses in petroleum, energy and chemical engineering, IIPE would offer research-specific certificate courses and short-term training.

Foreign collaboration

While the first undergraduate batch started in August this year, the institute already has three top-class institutions such as Texas A and M University, Oxford and Robert Gordon University, negotiating for collaborative research.

“All the three institutes have been in touch with us and we are finalising the working model,” said Prof. Prasad.

Innovative ideas

According to the Academic Director, IIPE was started with the idea of fostering innovative ideas.

“Very shortly we will be initiating an innovative idea called the ‘Tinkering Energy Lab’. This will give the students a free hand to cultivate out-of-the-box thinking,” said Prof. Prasad.

The institute will be mentored by IIT-Kharaghpur for the first three years, and would likely to move to the new campus by 2020.Right now it is functioning from Andhra University College of Engineering and the construction is likely to start in the beginning of 2017.

“By 2018, we intend to move the first batch and by 2020 the entire college will be shifted. But it all depends on how fast the State government builds the compound wall as per the agreement and hand over the land to us. The architecture and planning of the project will be taken care of by HPCL,” said Prof. Prasad.

We will allocate a sizeable chunk of funds to build state-of-the-art laboratories with the latest equipment.

V.S.R.K. Prasad

Academic Director of IIPE

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