Online Short Term Course (STC) on Smart Functional Materials for Emerging Applications

TEQIP-III sponsored Online Short Term Course (STC) on “Smart Functional Materials for Emerging Applications” was organized by Department of Applied Sciences, Punjab Engineering College (Deemed to be University) from 19-21 August, 2020. The STC was coordinated by Dr. Sonu Kumar, Dr. Veeranna Yempally and Dr. Prem Lata with the primary objective of enriching the participants with the basic concepts and current knowledge of scientific advancements in the area of functional materials and polymers having unique properties, and promising applications, for e.g. towards catalysis, renewable energy, sensors, nanotechnology, biomedicine, etc.. Around 150 participants (faculty members and research scholars) from various universities/institutes across the country registered for this event and the lectures were delivered by eminent speakers from IIT, IISER, CSIR lab and other University/Institute of national repute.

The event started with the welcome address by Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi (Director, PEC) in presence of Prof. Harminder Kaur (Head, Applied Science Dept. and convener of this STC) and Prof. Arun K. Grover (Emeritus Professor, Applied Science Dept. and Former Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University). Prof. Sanghi appreciated the efforts of course coordinators and the organizing committee for creating such platform comprised of eminent speakers and broad audience from reputed institutes/universities.

Prof. Amitava Patra (Director, INST Mohali) inaugurated the event and delivered the first lecture of the STC on nanomaterials for efficient light harvesting systems. He discussed on luminescent nanomaterials for photonic applications and fluorescence energy transfer of quantum dots, and metal nanoclusters. Then, Dr. Venkataramanan Mahalingam (Professor, IISER Kolkata) delivered a talk on colloidal lanthanide-doped luminescent nanocrystals and further emphasized on their applications such as molecular sensing, photocatalysis and bioimaging. In the closing lecture of day 1, Dr. Ashootosh Ambade (Principal Scientist, CSIR-NCL, Pune) discussed with the participants about the synthesis and applications of end-functionalized polymers and dendritic polymers.

Prof. Sabu Thomas (Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam) delivered the first session lecture of day 2 and shared his research works with the participants on interfacial modification in nanocomposites to tailor functionalities. He elaborated on hybrid polymer nanocomposites, thin films and fiber materials derived from natural resources. Then, Dr. Uttam Manna (Associate Professor, IIT Guwahati) delivered his talk on design of durable bio-inspired wettability in particular superhydrophobic materials for prospective outdoor applications. Dr. Narinder Singh (Associate Professor, IIT Ropar) discussed on his lecture over the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for sensor development. In the closing lecture, Dr. Pradip Paik (Associate Professor, IIT BHU) delivered his talk on design and engineering of polymeric nanocapsules and discussed for their stimuli-responsive systems for drug delivery application.

Prof. S. Anantha Ramakrishna (Director, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh) started the 3rd day of the event by delivering his talk on active switchable metamaterials and discussed about their microwave and infra-red applications in the defence sector. Then, Prof. Prakash Wadgaonkar (Emeritus Scientist, CSIR-NCL, Pune) introduced to the participants about the synthesis of functional polymers and their complex architectured materials. Subsequently, Dr. Ashish Pal (Associate Professor, INST Mohali) delivered his lecture on biomimetic functional supramolecular materials and elaborated their structural precision to diverse applications. The last lecture on the closing day of the STC was delivered by Prof. Amitava Das (Professor, IISER Kolkata and Former Director, CSIR-CSMCRI, Bhavnagar) on the topic of stimuli-responsive assemblies for predictive responses. He further explained about the polymeric capsule based systems to meet their biomedicinal applications. The feedback from all the participants regarding the content and quality of the sessions were impressive and satisfactory. The organizing committee based on the feedback received from participants firmly believes that the audience has gained and enriched their knowledge in the field of functional materials and potential applications.

The event was finally concluded with the vote of thanks where the coordinators of the STC acknowledged and expressed their gratitude to all the invited speakers for sharing their research experiences, to Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi (Director, PEC) and Prof. Harminder Kaur (Head, Applied Science Dept.) for their full support, Dr. Sanjay Batish (TEQIP coordinator) for financial support, Ms. Navdeep Kaur for technical support, and to all the participants to make this event very successful.     

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