Thursday, January 25, 2018

Today's Personality - Bernard Tshumi

Born25 January 1944 (age 73), Lausanne, Switzerland

Born in Lausanne, Bernard Tshumi (1944) is unanimously considered one of the key interpreters
of deconstructionism
Born into the art (his father was Jean Tschumi, 1904-1962), he graduated from EHT in Zurich in 1969, has dual nationality (Swiss and French) and lives and works in Paris and New York.
In the seventies he taught at the Architectural Association of London, then at Princeton and Cooper Union; from 1988 to 2003 he was Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University in New York.
In addition to teaching, the first part of his career focused on criticism and issues in architecture, coming up with a multidisciplinary approach (borrowing from music and film) “in which certain members of the French structuralist movement, such as Focault, Bataille and Derrida, played an important role” (Jetzer).
This is the time of his important essays Manifestoes (1978), The Manhattan Transcripts (1981) and Architecture and Disjunction (1994). 
Applying these eclectic, innovative positions, Tschumi won the 1983 competition for a general plan for Parc du XX Siècle at Villette in Paris, completed in 1998. 
The Parc is one of the best-known deconstructionist architectural projects, a complex work rich in constructive tension, in which “the concepts of repetition, discontinuity, break-up, fragmentation, transformation and superimposition so important in his studies are finally given concrete form in a large-scale project” (Carbone).
Tschumi then addressed various urban planning issues, working on masterplans and competitions with his studio. The many projects he has worked on in the past fifteen years include the National Contemporary Art Centre in Lille (1998); Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University in New York (1999); the Faculty of Architecture at Marne-la-Vallée (2001) and the University of Florida in Miami (2003); the general headquarters of Vacheron Constantin in Geneva (2005); the Limoges Concert Hall (2007); the Blue Tower in New York (2004-06); and the Museum of the Acropolis in Athens (2009).

 Bernard Tshumi selected works
-Zoo, Parigi (Francia), 2014
- Progetto Carnal Dome, Rolle (Svizzera), 2013
- Progetto di masterplan Mediapolis, Singapore, 2008
- Blue Tower, New York (USA), 2007
- Concert Hall, Limoges (Francia), 2006
- Sede Vacheron Constantin, Ginevra (Svizzera), 2005
- Interfaccia Flon transport system, Losanna (Svizzera), 2002
- Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, San Paolo (Brasile), 2001
- Facoltà di Architettura, Marne-la-Vallée, Parigi (Francia), 2001
- Stazione, Flon, Losanna (Svizzera), 2001
- Progetto Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh (USA), 2000
- Museo d’Arte Africana, New York (USA), 2000
- Alfred Lerner Hall - Columbia University, New York (USA), 1999
- Parc de la Villette, Parigi (Francia), 1998
- Centro nazionale d’arte contemporanea, Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing (Francia), 1997

      Official web site:

Source: tag/bernard-tschumi

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Famed IIT Madras Has Opened up Its Labs for Students and Visitors. Go Check Them Out!

With an annual footfall of more than 40,000 visitors and participants, Shaastra is one of the biggest inter-college fests in Asia. It is the only student-managed event in the world and the first ever festival to be ISO certified.

In a first, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has opened its doors for the public.
Established in 1959, the institution is known for the cutting-edge research that students conduct. In an attempt to expand and engage with more researchers, the institute has decided to make the laboratories open to visitors on Saturdays.
The current opening of doors is part of the ongoing Shaastra 2018 tech fest.
From a hand-held device to detect adulteration in milk to testing of the aerodynamics of projectiles and studying the reaction of the human body to Ayurvedic therapies, PhD scholars working on a host of projects welcomed students from other colleges to their labs to showcase their work, as reported in Times of India.

This is a great opportunity for students from other colleges and institutions. Almost 500 students were allowed to access the laboratories after going through an online registration process.

“Institute open house is a window to the world of research and development at the level of nuts and bolts that happens in laboratories of IIT Madras, be it at the hardcore scientific, or engineering level, or engineering level, or at the abstract and theoretical level,” said MS Sivakumar, Dean (students), and IIT Madras.

With an annual footfall of more than 40,000 visitors and participants, Shaastra is one of the biggest inter-college fests in Asia. It is the only student-managed event in the world and the first ever festival to be ISO certified.


National Scholarships Portal

National Scholarships Portal is one-stop solution through which various services starting from student application, application receipt, processing, sanction and disbursal of various scholarships to Students are enabled. National Scholarships Portal is taken as Mission Mode Project under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)

National Scholarships Portal is one-stop solution through which various services starting from student application, application receipt, processing, sanction and disbursal of various scholarships to Students are enabled.
This initiative aims at providing a Simplified, Mission-oriented, Accountable, Responsive & Transparent 'SMART' System for faster & effective disposal of Scholarships applications and delivery of funds directly into beneficiaries account without any leakages.

The Mission Mode Project (MMP) of National Scholarships Portal under the National e-Governance Plan aims at providing common electronic portal for implementing various Scholarships schemes launched by Union Government, State Government and Union Territories across the country.

• Ensure timely disbursement of Scholarships to students
• Provide a common portal for various Scholarships schemes of Central and State • • Governments
• Create a transparent database of scholars
• Avoid duplication in processing
• Harmonisation of different Scholarships schemes & norms
• Application of Direct Benefit Transfer
• Simplified process for the students
All scholarships information available under one umbrella
Single integrated application for all scholarships
• Improved transparency
    System suggests the schemes for which a student is eligible
    Duplicates can be reduced to the maximum extent
• Helps in standardisation
    Master data for Institutions and courses at all India level
• Scholarships processing
• Serves as a decision support system (DSS) for Ministries and departments as up-   
    to date information will be available on demand.
• Comprehensive MIS System to facilitate monitoring every stage of Scholarships
    distribution i.e. from student registration to delivery of funds


Vidya Lakshmi is a first of its kind portal for students seeking Education Loan

About Vidya Lakshmi

Vidya Lakshmi is a first of its kind portal for students seeking Education Loan. This portal has been developed under the guidance of Department of Financial Services, (Ministry of Finance) , Department of Higher Education (Ministry of Human Resource Development) and Indian Banks Association (IBA).The portal has been developed and being maintained by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited. Students can view, apply and track the education loan applications to banks anytime, anywhere by accessing the portal. The portal also provides linkages to National Scholarship Portal.
Shri Arun Jaitley, Honourable Union Finance Minister in his budget speech for FY 2015-16 said: "India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age. Our young people have to be both, educated and employable for the jobs of the 21st century. The Prime Minister has explained how Skill India needs to be closely coordinated with Make in India. Yet, today less than 5% of our potential workforce gets formal skill training to be employable and stay employable. With a view to enable all poor and middle class students to pursue higher education of their choice without any constraint of funds, I propose to set up a fully IT based Student Financial Aid Authority to administer and monitor Scholarship as well Educational Loan Schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram. We will ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds. The IT based mechanism under the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram is expected to provide to students a single window electronic platform for Scholarships and Educational Loans."

About NSDL e-Gov

NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) was originally setup as a Depository in 1995 and has over the years used its inherent strengths, project management capabilities & technology expertise to deliver state of the art e-Governance solutions which has helped Governments to identify and clear bottlenecks, promote transparency, reduce service delivery costs and deliver public services efficiently. The solutions have efficiently made use of information and communication technologies as a tool for delivering public services and benefits to society at large. Some of the key e-Governance projects undertaken by NSDL e-Gov are:
       i.            Tax Information Network (TIN)
     ii.            Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) for National Pension System
  iii.            Electronic Accounting System in Excise & Service Tax (EASIEST)
  iv.            GST Pilot Project
     v.            Registrar for Aaadhar enrolment and eKYC/Authentication Services
  vi.            National Judicial Reference System
NSDL e-Gov works closely with various Government agencies for designing, managing and implementing e-Governance Projects. Over a period of time, NSDL e-Gov has gained varied experience and expertise in areas that help Governments overcome various challenges faced by them in fulfilling their core responsibilities of delivering public services to the society.
NSDL e-Gov has also established Service Centre network across the country which serve as access points for the general public and are efficiently used by Governments to deliver quality services in a user friendly and transparent manner to the citizens. Visit for more information.


Kerala startup finds robotic solution to end sewer cleaning deaths - A group of engineering students developed a robot, named Bandicoot, to do the job of manual scavengers.

Manual scavenging, an abominable practice that claims several lives across the country every year, could soon be a thing of the past with a group of young engineers from Kerala developing a robot to do the sewage cleaning job.
The Kerala Water Authority that manages the sewage department in the state has already placed orders for 50 robots, christened as Bandicoot.

To market their invention, the young engineers have started a startup called ‘Genrobotics’. After receiving patent for the robot from India, the company has now applied for the world patent, applicable in 150 countries.
Manual scavenging is a caste-based occupation mainly involving cleaning septic tanks, sewers and gutters.

Despite legal bans, the dehumanising practice continues in the country. According to one estimate more than 1200 people died from manual scavenging related activities between 2014 and 2016 in the country.
The start-up claims the Bandicoot is the tech solution to the social malaise. Genrobotics says it will go global only after “fixing the country’s nagging problem.”
Apart from sewer lines the robots can also be pressed into service for other under-water activities.

Death of three sewage workers on the outskirts of Bangalure two years ago prompted the young techies to think something out of the box to tackle the problem, which is often being called India’s shame, said Vimal Govind, the 24-year-old CEO of Genrobotics. Govind is a mechanical engineer.
“I worked more than one year in the TCS to earn some money to fund the stage one of the project. We all nine classmates of MES Engineering College in Kuttipuram came around quickly and developed the first prototype in six months,” added Rashid K, a software engineer.
Initially they struggled to find fund for the project, but now they say money is pouring in from different sources.
Manufacturing cost of the machine is somewhere between Rs 3lakh and Rs 5 lakh, Rashid said. Their machine weighs 80kg but the main operating part that goes into the hole weighs only 30 kg.

Once installed atop a clogged sewage line, a wire carrying camera goes inside the hole and beams pictures of the problem on the screen atop.
After gauging the problem, the robot dismantles itself from the main machine and goes into the hole taking tools such as a shovel or a jet pipe, depending on the magnitude of the problem, and cleans the system.
Young scientists claim a robot can manage three workers’ three-hour schedule in 30 minutes.

To operate the machine, the Genrobotics wants to engage manual scavengers so that they don’t become jobless.
“Even a small boy can operate our system. We will train these workers. It is their product. We are planning to move a proposal under the Prime Minister’s flagship Swachh Bharat scheme to train them,” said Govind, who recently visited Taiwan for a presentation.
“Our guiding spirit is our former President A P J Abdul Kalam. He always used to say dream, dream. The young India is committed to fulfil his dream of becoming a fully developed nation sans hunger and strife,” said Jaleesh, another member of the team.
He said talks are on to produce these machines commercially.
Kerala’s IT department, which is the first in the country to formulate a start-up policy is upbeat over the achievement of the youngsters.
“The noble product shows social commitment of these youngsters. Many firms including the BPCL promised help to take their innovation to the next stage,” said state IT Secretary M Sivasankar.

In an international conference conducted recently by the American Society of Research, out of 13 papers submitted, a paper on Bandicoot was selected as the best.
The paper was published in the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research.


Railways are hiring engineers: Here's your guide to applying

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways (MoR), has released an official notification inviting applications from interested and eligible candidates for various engineering posts in different departments.
All interested candidates have to apply in the prescribed format latest by 27th January 2018.
Here's what you need to know.

Details about the vacancies in MRVC

According to the official notification, the MRVC has 18 vacant posts.
The MRVC needs eight, six, and four project engineers from civil, electrical, and telecommunications engineering backgrounds respectively.
Selected candidates will be assigned to projects with tenures of five years. The initial contract will be for two years, and is extendable by three years depending on project requirements and candidate performance.


Eligibility criteria for the jobs

Interested candidates are required to hold a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and/or Telecommunications Engineering with at least 60% from a recognized university or institute, as well as a valid GATE 2017 score.
Candidates are eligible only if they're 30 years or below as of 27th December, 2017. However, candidates from reserved categories will have relaxed age limits.

How to apply for the MRVC jobs

Candidates can only apply offline, and can find the form on the MRVC site or here.
After filling the form out, affixing a photograph, and signing, candidates will have to mail scanned copies of the form to
Candidates will also have to submit scan-copies of their GATE 2017 admit cards and score cards, engineering graduation marksheets and certificates, age proof, and caste certificate.


Saturday, January 06, 2018

Big data, IoT in engineering course from next year

 First year engineering students will study big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of things and undergo mandatory induction programme and internships from academic year 2018-19 as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has revised the curriculum for the four year undergraduate programme.

Officials said that the revised curriculum comes seven years after it was last updated by the AICTE to make engineering graduates more employable. The revised curriculum released on Friday will be adapted by all affiliated engineering collegesacross the country from next academic year.

A committee constituted by the ministry of human resource development and the AICTE has recommended a model curriculum which was released. The model curriculum was prepared by keeping in view the latest industry trends and market requirements in all major engineering subjects. More than 14.76 lakh students study in 3,224 engineering colleges in the country, as per AICTE figures including IITs, NITs, IIITs and BITS.


FEATURE: Autonomous vehicles welcome simulation - Simulation is bringing products to market faster – and letting manufacturers offer new value-added services

Forgot your pencil? Nowadays, if you work in manufacturing, that’s probably not as much of a problem as it used to be. Gone are the days of blueprints, rulers and pencil-sharpeners. Make way for simulation.

Of course, simulation in itself isn’t new; companies have been using it for some time now. But in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and next-generation autonomous and connected vehicles, simulation software is becoming ever more important. When there are a lot of driverless cars, not the few here and there we have today, how will they behave on our roads? How will they affect traffic jams, and do we need to change our infrastructure and upgrade our street furniture for a seamless transition to an autonomous future? Simulation is key to predicting what will happen – and it’s equally crucial to actually making these next-generation vehicles.
“With the urgency created by the market needs, and the accessibility to high-power technology and data, simulation is no longer thought of as a third wheel in product development, but rather poised to drive design decision making, and hence force a paradigm shift in the evolution of designs themselves,” says Vikram Vedantham, senior business development manager for simulation at Autodesk.

Designs have evolved in complexity at a tremendous rate, he adds, and “the need for customisation implies that each design can behave very differently from a variant”. There is a rapid adoption of new-age materials such as composites, and the rapid growth of plastics and additive manufacturing – which change the way designs are built and studied to understand manufacturability and performance.
“Prior art, tribal knowledge and experience are certainly great guiding pillars in decision making, but design complexity and the need for innovative designs establish simulation as a critical toolset for detailed design insights throughout the product development cycle,” says Vedantham.

A step ahead
Fabien Letailleur, manager of the SIMULIA industry solutions brand at Dassault Systemes, agrees. “Only simulation can create a virtual equivalent of a product performing in a given setting, and inform engineers effectively so that they are able to adapt the designs that they are responsible for,” he says.
Simulations are extremely useful to map many processes in manufacturing autonomous vehicles; take control units, which have to be larger than in non-autonomous vehicles, for cooling, structural integrity, and so on, says Letailleur. It’s also possible to use simulations to evaluate driver interactions with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, driver comfort based on the behaviour of autonomous vehicles, and for radar systems, he adds.

Thanks to simulation software, it’s now possible to predict how an industrial component is going to operate and respond to the environment – well before the product gets to market. Not only will this improve the design and drive down maintenance costs, but it will also streamline operations, said Chris MacDonald, a senior director at PTC, at a recent conference held by ANSYS in Tokyo. “Dynamic system models with connected insight, sensors, multi-physics, data from virtual sensors… together that creates not just a digital representation but enriched complex analysis,” he said.
Simulation allows for the so-called Digital Twins to come to life – a product that is the exact copy of the real thing, but in a virtual world. “Our ability to be proactive when we service that product becomes a lot more powerful when we can expose our simulation, bring our smart connected world together, and build both deductive and inductive learning models. Digital Twin is a game changer for the industry.”

Getting real
Another game changer is realtime simulation. “Having access to real-world data in real time opens up new ways to provide value-added services to end users,” says Letailleur. “For example, when a car travels over a pothole, sensors measure the force transmitted to the chassis and body and send that data to the cloud. Simulations can then be performed using the force data on a digital version of the vehicle to evaluate potential damage to the chassis or body.” The driver can then be alerted about the severity of the damage and the maintenance or repair procedures needed to fix it.
“This new business model allows the OEM to provide additional services to customers by combining real-world force data with simulation,” he adds.

At PTC, the Creo Product Insight software is “the missing connection that enables IoT data to connect to CAD and consequently simulation,” says Paul Sagar, the firm’s vice-president of product management. “Real-world data is invaluable in the design process as it enables us to fully understand how a product is being used and how it is performing, and enables engineers to replace their design assumptions with actual factual data. This eliminates the risk of a design being over- or under-engineered, reducing the development costs.”
And saving costs is crucial in manufacturing – as well as saving time. Lucid Air, for example, a new luxury-class electric vehicle from Lucid Motors, was built in just three years thanks to simulation, said Alberto Bassanese, the company’s manager of multi-physics and optimisation, at the conference in Tokyo.
Even though Lucid Motors still visits the wind tunnel periodically, most development happens through simulation, he said. “It’s all about reducing the impact outside of the car, a conflicting situation you can only access through simulation.”

Freedom to experiment
It goes beyond that, of course. Simulation helps to derive insights early and often through product development, to guide design decision making, says Vedantham. “If used to determine durability and longevity of the product, simulation has already been shown to reduce engineering change orders and reduce warranty issues. Simulation also allows users to experiment with alternative materials and design variants and hence impact the ‘green initiatives’ within organisations.”
Sagar of PTC agrees. “Simulations save companies money in multiple ways. The obvious one is reducing the number of expensive physical prototypes needed, but also there is the fact that more options can be evaluated, ensuring that a better design is achieved.

“This inevitably helps to reduce the Cost of Poor Quality by ensuring that the designs are engineered correctly the first time and reducing product recalls. Adding Creo Product Insight also then ensures that the engineering requirements and specifications are based on actual versus assumed data.”
And what about safety? Simulation has long been applied to various crash situations – and, in the context of autonomous vehicles, “companies can use simulation to validate the programming of the car before having to put physical prototypes on the road; they can evaluate many more challenging situations in a shorter amount of time than in real life,” says Letailleur.


4 Ways Robots Will Lead Ocean Exploration

Space was once referred to as the “final frontier.” But there remains a frontier on Earth: The oceans. There is still much to explore in the depths of the world’s oceans, and resources that may change the world. Energy, valuable metals, and food are just some of the resources that the oceans could help provide as technology grows.
Robots will be playing a key role in ocean exploration and here are four ways they’ll be doing it.

1) Artificial Intelligence
Traveling the ocean floor can be challenging for robots, which normally progress in a direct, straight line. Which means any navigation done must be handled by a human. That’s why artificial intelligence is being studied at Oregon State University’s College of Engineering as a way to give robots the ability to adjust their movements to the environment, without a human having to make the decision. The algorithms being developed should allow the robots to take in new information, such as ocean currents, and change its direction. Robots being able to take more efficient paths could save energy, allow for longer expeditions, and free up humans for other work.

2) Mining
The deep seas are a treasure trove of valuable metals such as gold, silver, platinum, copper, cobalt, manganese, and zinc. And robots could be the key to accessing these treasures.
Most of the mining possibilities are centered in the Pacific Ocean, including the Central and Eastern Manus Basin near Papua New Guinea. While the waters there are deep – around 3,400 feet – a robot could navigate there.
Canadian company Nautilus Minerals is currently developing a copper and gold mining program on the seafloor in Papua New Guinea that is planned to be operational in 2019. The robots it plans to deploy include two kinds of cutting robots and a collecting robot to gather the materials.

3) National Security
Protecting our waters and shores may soon fall in some part to robots. The Washington Post reported that the Navy has opened a competition for unmanned submarines that can navigate autonomously. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are both vying for the deal.
The subs would be primarily used for surveillance, as well as for finding and defusing mines ahead of ships such as aircraft carriers. These robots are part of a military idea that considers robotics as the workforce, and drones as “force multipliers.” Robots are seen as augmenting human efforts in combat, but not taking over.

4) The Environment
Liquid Robotics, a subsidiary of Boeing, is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help protect and preserve the Hawaiian and American Samoa marine sanctuaries and monuments. The Wave Glider, Liquid Robotics’ autonomous surface ocean robot, will be a key part of monitoring and surveilling the area, gathering datathat would be too difficult or expensive with more traditional research.
Sensors mounted on robots as small as surfboards will be able to monitor coastal waters, giving information on everything from pH and salinity levels in the water to the presence of sharks.
Stanford University has developed Ocean One, a humanoid robot with stereoscopic vision, eight thrusters, and two arms that can explore ocean depths for research that would be too dangerous for people to attempt.