IIT Madras eyes coastal and port engineering research through ‘discovery campus’


The new ‘discovery campus’ of IIT Madras, recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will focus on coastal and port engineering research and in the process recruit researchers for its projects by 2022.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, told
Education Times that there has always been a deep interest in industrial and applied research. The discovery campus aims to attract a steady stream of international scientists and students to conduct advanced research in niche areas.

“The discovery campus is not a knowledge park or research park that most IITs have at the moment. While research parks house companies and startups, the discovery campus will carry out only the large research projects,” he adds.

One such project is the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts, which is being built in the discovery campus with the financial support of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

“The centre has unique facilities including a bridge simulator that will enable simulation of port operations at various Indian ports, and the large Sedimentation and Erosion Management Test Basin for emulation of the Gulf of Kutch or the mouth of the Hooghly. It is becoming imperative to conduct research in this area since the country is intensifying its port infrastructure rapidly and coastal management gaining importance,” Ramamurthi says.

Similarly, a solid propellant combustion modelling facility attached to the centre of propulsion technology supported by DRDO is also being developed at the new campus.

“This centre is carrying our research with a long-term horizon in the area of propulsion, on specific problems defined by DRDO. These are research challenges to be overcome before specific system development can be taken up in the future. Some of the facilities for testing need a large, isolated area and they are being built in the discovery campus,” Ramamurthi says.

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