I joined Metallurgical Engineering department at IIT Bombay in 1963 as my first choice in engineering branch selection. A good friend of my father, Principal of Poona Engineering College, Professor G. K. Ogale was a metallurgist. He motivated me to join the field of metallurgy. In Pune, only candidates at the top of the class would get admission to the metallurgy branch in the early 60s. The field was more exciting than what I expected. Problem solutions were rarely solved by equations alone but needed more thinking. Often, multiple solutions were possible that appear to be equally promising.
Exciting areas in Materials Science have changed over the years. Aerospace materials, Nuclear Materials, Automotive materials, Biomedical materials, Nano materials, Semiconductors are some of the exciting areas of Materials Science. After graduation from IIT Bombay, the prospects for both employment and advanced studies are extremely bright, not just within India, but internationally. This factor has remained unchanged for the past 50 years since my graduation. Even the American industry and universities recognize the exceptional quality of IIT education.
I completed Ph. D. at the University of Florida under the guidance of an internationally recognized authority of that time, Professor Robert Reed-Hill. Continuing my graduate study research on zirconium, I have been working in the nuclear industry for the past 42 years. After selecting technical field instead of management, I have achieved the highest technical position in Westinghouse Electric Company (Consulting Engineer). I have volunteered in the committee activities of American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM International) as chairman of several B10 committees. I have organized ASTM Zirconium Symposia in nine countries (Hyderabad, India in 2013) in the past 30 years. I became ASTM Fellow in 2014. I have 10 patents and have published more than 70 papers.
IIT Bombay made me an independent thinker ready to face any situation and find solutions. When I arrived in the US, it was like landing on the moon: I did not know anybody, everything was totally new and strange to me, there was nobody to guide me and I did not have money. But I had the dream and boldness ingrained in me by IIT education. That was the biggest asset provided by IIT Bombay.
First and foremost, congrats on making it through the Joint Entrance Exam. Now begins the arduous and overwhelming process of choosing your majors/branch. I have been in your shoes and it is not a trivial decision. So don't be bogged down if you're feeling confused and a little lost.
I graduated from the Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science department (MEMS or sometimes referred to as Meta) in 2013 with a dual degree. I was very interested in applied physics and considering the constraints that my JEE rank imposes on me, I tried to find the perfect compromise between studying something that I found interesting, and going to one of the older, more established IITs.
Metallurgy and Materials Science is an amazingly multidisciplinary field. It lies at the intersection of Physics, Chemistry, Chemical and Mechanical engineering. There are endless possibilities in this field if your interests lie in studying physics or chemistry. Three of the last six Nobel Prizes in physics have gone to material scientists! Some of the most talked about discoveries of the last decade, like Graphene, have been related to this field.
IIT Bombay has a very good curriculum when it comes to MEMS. I was very satisfied with the courses running in the department and the manner in which the courses were conducted by most faculty members. Like any other major, you'll have to go through a couple of courses which you don't find all that exciting or interesting, but there are plenty of intriguing courses to fuel your curiosity. Apart from courses, the department has a very strong undergraduate research culture. The professors are very friendly and engage with the students in a constructive way. Your experience in the department is very rewarding if you work hard and are willing to learn.
There is plenty to do at IITB apart from academics. There are excellent sports facilities. You'll have plenty of opportunities to hone your managerial skills during the myriad of cultural, technical and organizational activities going on around the year. Personally, I was very active in hostel and the department councils. Those were some of the most memorable days of my life.
Due to our illustrious alumni, IITB has a stellar reputation in both industry and academic circles. If you've done well in your courses and extra curricular activities, then finding a job or getting an admit to a top graduate degree program is not very difficult. What is special about this place is that it prepares you for much more than just a job. People from this institution have been seminal in setting up the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Mumbai, what is referred to as Powai Valley, India's equivalent to Silicon Valley. After graduation, I got a job at Gulf Talent through the placement cell. The job was in Dubai with a lush pay. But like many of my peers, I chose to go to graduate school instead. Right now i'm working towards my doctoral degree in Material Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I expect to finish my education by 2017.
In closing, I'd like to congratulate you again on being some of the best minds in India and I hope I was able to answer some of the questions that you might have had. Remember, this is just the beginning. The possibilities are infinite. Best of luck and happy choosing!
Congratulations on clearing the JEE Advanced Test and welcome to the Indian Institutes of Technology! At IIT Bombay, as freshers, you'll be assigned a student mentor. Having been on either on side of the student-mentor relationship it's equal fun to be either! For most of you, the experience at IIT might be a first which will more likely go unparalleled throughout your lifetime. Beginning with academics, going with the general consensus, here at the IITs, the ranks and not interest determine your field. Computer Science might be in vogue but don't discount what other multidisciplinary fields might have to offer. I'd advice reading a bit about what lies in store over the next 4 or 5 years before making a decision. Talking to current and former students, student representatives and faculty will help immensely.
I personally had no choice since I wanted to come to IITB and hence got "stuck" with MEMS, or so I thought then. It turned out having a degree in a multidisciplinary field helps you gain a lot of knowledge which bodes well for your future as I can testify. The academic facilities at IITB are among the best in the country. You have an excellent central library and internet access on campus. The faculty are well renowned, extremely resourceful and have extensive research and/or industrial background. Most of them are ex-IITians so you bonding is never an issue!
The vast array of extra-curricular activities are one thing that sets IITB or for that matter all IITs apart. Personally, being inclined towards sports, I maxed out that aspect of my life at IITB. Whether it be the Inter IIT sports meet or the perennially-running intramural events you are always busy and more importantly fit and happy. There are a plethora of options on the cultural side too. Then you have opportunities in holding prestigious institute level positions of responsibility which is rare for a college where you'd be a day scholar. Most big events like Mood Indigo and Techfest are completely student run. The experience and learning obtained at IITB through extra-curricular is truly immense.
I'd like to mention something about the placements at IITB. I am of the opinion that selecting a stream and/or campus based solely on future job prospects seems far-fetched and downright unnecessary but I do understand the concern in today's competitive world. That said, an average IITB graduate does earn more than one from any other IIT. I got a pretty generous financial package accompanied with added intangible benefits (advantage of staying back in Mumbai) as did many of my peers. I had the opportunity, as part of the placement team, to actively take part in organizing the placements as well as preparing my batch-mates for the much anticipated. Each of the aforementioned activities help in landing a job or getting an admit in the foreign university. The times are such that everyone wants a well rounded individual even if he is an undergraduate.
IITB has another big advantage in that it is in Mumbai. That too in the upscale locality of Powai. Admittedly recreation is important and that's another thing IITB gives you better than most other IITs.
Ashwin Ganapathy is a 2013 dual degree graduate from MEMS department. He has previously worked with Axis Bank Ltd. in Mumbai as a Business Analyst (Manager) in Credit Card Analytics team of the Business Intelligence Unit and is currently pursuing his MS in Electrical And Computer Engineering at UC Davis, CA.
I am Yash Sheth and graduated from MEMS in August 2014 with a dual degree (B.Tech + M.Tech specialization in ceramics and composites) and currently I am working at Apple Inc.
Before I joined IIT-B we had a counselling session on the day we were supposed to fill out our preferences for the field+IIT where we wanted to study. After discussing with a few seniors present there, I had an option whether to give preference to the stream of study I wanted or the campus where I wanted to study. Although it wasn't a black and white decision, some streams at other IITs were on the higher side of preference list but in the end I decided to choose IIT-B over other IITs and the reasons were as follows:
1) I was looking forward to a combined "study + fun" environment and IIT-B had a perfect balance of both, a rigorous curriculum and plethora of activities going in and around the campus which helps for overall growth
2) I lived in Bombay so it would be convenient to enjoy both independent life as well as spending time with family.
3) Being in the city, one would expect the job scene to be better than other IITs (Which was bubble that bursts when one gets to know of placements@IITs though the jobs are pretty good but the salary quoted in the newspapers are for a few and after the foreign currency conversion rates but do not consider the PPP, however let that be a topic for another day)
So after having decided on my campus preference I choose a list of fields i wanted to and was glad that I got into MEMS.
From the courses, I learnt about different materials, polymers, ceramics, composites and batteries and what not. In my final year as a part of my thesis I got to work with Applied Materials and such interaction with professionals while on campus itself helped my get a professional attitude right from the start.
From the placement perspective, very few companies come with focus solely on Material Science students, but there are a lot of jobs out there if you want to pursue this field and also other analytics/banking/consulting jobs if you want to move out of this field. I got placed at TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductors Manufacturing Company) through campus placement ad worked in Taiwan for 9 months before I started working for Apple in Singapore recently. Alternatively students who are enthusiastic about the career prospects in this field could pursue a PhD. It is a very interesting field to remain in if you get a liking for it and although the job prospects may not be much in India but there are plenty of opportunities if you are fine with living abroad.
The Metals and Materials Association, IIT Bombay is an organisation of students, faculty, staff
and alumni of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science. Its objective
is to promote student - faculty interaction by inter/intra-departmental activities and events and
to work together for elevating and propagating awareness in field of metallurgical engineering
through a wide spectrum of activities and events.
The events organised by MMA include Fresher’s Nite, Kurta Day, Department Trip, Department SportsDay , Formal Day, Informal Get Together, Valedictory Function.
Padarth, IIT Bombay is the Annual Technology festival of Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science. It was founded in 2007 to provide a platform for encouraging interactions and invoking innovations for those involved in the field of Materials Science. Padarth also provides a platform to present ideas and technologies in professional manner, with a plethora of events ranging from workshops to competitions.
The newsletter of our Department, Dhatuki, brings out the best in creative thinking of the
students and shows that we as a department are continuously growing and expanding in
research. Materials Science has been portrayed as the prime aspect in our editorials but we
don't forget to leave out the fun part as well.
Dhatuki is not just a newsletter. It is a mission to explore the field of materials science, to get its readers enthused about the latest buzz in materials research and to acquaint them with all the golden opportunities that shall be knocking at their doors in the near future.