Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras has joined hands with Deakin University, Australia, to establish India’s first Bilateral Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing. The MoU to establish the Centre, which will be based out of IIT Madras Research Park, was signed on 28 November 2017 and was inaugurated on 14th March 2018.
The IIT Madras-Deakin University Centre of Excellence on Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (www.deakiniitmcoe.iitm.ac.in) is being set up with seed grant from both Deakin University and IIT Madras. The CoE will execute the recently funded Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) project. The Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Madras, in collaboration with the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University have come together to establish the CoE.
Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Trade and Innovation, Victoria, Australia, inaugurated the Centre of Excellence and unveiled the Signage in the presence of Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, and other dignitaries.
Key research areas of this Centre includes next generation wear-resistant and high temperature alloys, smart and functional materials such as nano-spun fibres and nano-composites for bio applications besides Light and strong materials which encompasses Novel forming techniques for ultra-high strength steels.
The Centre will collaborate with Industries and R&D Organisations such as International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory and Defence Institute of Advanced Technology.
Speaking about this Centre of Excellence, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “This is the culmination of a long, productive and growing Relationship between IIT Madras and Deakin University. We started with faculty and student exchange, graduated to a joint PhD programme, and now to a CoE in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing. The CoE leverages the combined expertise of the faculty of the two universities and will create new materials and next-generation manufacturing techniques at the global cutting-edge.”
The CoE would strive towards establishing a world-class additive manufacturing facility at IIT Madras that complements the facilities at Deakin University. This would position IIT Madras as the Additive Manufacturing research leader in India, and also strengthen Deakin University’s eminence in the field.
Ms. Ravneet Pawha, Deputy Vice President – Global and CEO – South Asia, Deakin University, shared, “The IIT Madras-Deakin University Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, a first of its kind is going to create new milestones with innovations in the field of Advanced Materials. Putting together the expertise of both the institutions in establishing research work, the CoE is set to be a leader in the coming years. It will play a strategic role in enforcing methodologies of the future.”
The expected outcomes and impact of this centre includes cutting-edge science and innovation, new significant infrastructure at IIT Madras, accelerated growth in student numbers under the joint doctoral program and increased industry interaction and technology translation besides demonstrated collaboration for bilateral funding opportunities and Joint grant proposals, conference and workshops.
The existing researcher-to-researcher relationship and joint doctoral program between IIT Madras and Deakin University would form the platform for growth and increased research commitment through the CoE.
Although IIT Madras and Deakin have invested some seed funding for this CoE, the Centre will be self-sustaining soon with funding from Government, industry and various HR programmes that will be conducted by the CoE. There are a number of industries which are already collaborating with both IIT Madras and Deakin University and they are likely to be the funding partners for the CoE.
Additional funding from the industry would also be raised for the Centre through specific sponsored and consultancy projects. Regular workshops and hands on training programmes that would be conducted would be for the benefit of academia, research labs and industry. The Indo-Australian Workshop on Advances in Materials and Additive Manufacturing is the first workshop of the CoE, which is being organised between 21-22 March 2018 at the Research Park, IIT Madras.