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Session on Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav


Plenary Speakers


Thematic Area: Field-Deployable Miniaturized Sensors ,CEO, Achira Labs, Bangalore

Title:  Rapid advances in point-of-care testing through microfluidic technologies, in a post COVID world

Dr. Dhananjaya Dendukuri


In the post COVID world, microfluidic technologies are poised to revolutionise point-of-care medical diagnostic testing.  They provide multiple benefits such as sample and reagent volume reduction, multi-parameter analysis, automated and rapid workflow and low footprint.  In India, small pathology labs, doctor's offices and home testing could benefit from these technologies through instant results for infectious disease testing as well as reduce errors due to degradation or mis-labeling of samples.  Further, point-of-care instruments allow for testing in doctor’s office and in many remote settings which are not covered by the current centralized model, thus improving the overall health of our communities.  Achira Labs has pioneered the development of an immunoassay platform using the many advantages of microfluidics.  The first test panels developed include thyroid and fertility panels and have been validated against gold-standard commercial technologies.   The talk will cover advances in microfluidics and point-of-care testing using Achira's technology as a case-study.

Brief Bio-sketch:

Dr. DhananjayaDendukuri is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Achira Labs, a pioneering point-of-care technology company based out of Bangalore. Dhananjaya returned to India with his passion for engineering and belief that technology development for underserved markets must be done locally. Starting from his early career experience as a lab scientist and R&D manager (with over 30 publications and 7 issued patents), he now has more than a decade of experience with the fund-raising, commercial, operational and regulatory aspects of building and taking diagnostic technologies to market. He has received the National Technology Award for new technologies (biotechnology) in 2016 and MIT Technology Review’s prestigious TR35 awards in India for the work that was being done at Achira.  Dhananjaya serves on the jury of the Infosys Prize and the X-prize for diagnostics.  He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT, an MASC in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Thematic Area: Waste Valorization and Circular Economy

Title:  Future Prospects of Internal Combustion Engines in a Green and Environmental Friendly and Methanol Economy

Prof. Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.


Energy demand has been rising remarkably due to increasing population and urbanization. Without the transportation by millions of personalized and mass transport vehicles based on IC engines, human civilization would not have reached contemporary living standards. Today, IC engines are facing many challenges related to fuel supply, energy efficiency, and emissions, which require serious research efforts. At this stage of technology development, IC engine based transportation and power generation systems are dependent on conventional fuels such as mineral diesel, gasoline etc., which has resulted in rapid depletion of petroleum reserves. Application of different alternative fuels such as biofuels, alcohols and other synthetic fuels need to be explored for sustainable development of automotive sector. Methanol has emerged as a strong alternate fuel candidate with the highest potential to significantly contribute towards reduction in crude oil dependence and environmental preservation. Methanol can be straightway used as a replacement for gasoline, since it has very high octane number and has been successfully used in many spark ignition (SI) engine applications. However, utilization of methanol in compression ignition (CI) engines is challenging. Various techniques to inject methanol in diesel engines include direct injection of methanol-diesel blends, port fuel injection of methanol and direct injection of pilot diesel, methanol-diesel emulsified fuels, use of methanol with ignition improvers, and use of glow plug concept. Methanol could be produced from several carbonaceous feedstocks such as natural gas, coal, biomass, and CO2.

In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges being faced by IC engines in various sectors such as automotive, locomotive, marine, and several technical aspects of using methanol, underlining its potential to be used as a fuel to power Indian economy.

Brief Bio-sketch:

Prof. Avinash Kumar Agarwalhas research interests in the areas of IC engines, combustion, fuels, lubricating oil tribology, optical diagnostics, laser ignition, HCCI, particulate and emission control etc. He has a large volume of publications with wide citations and is the top Energy researcher from India in the recently declared Stanford University listing of top 2% researchers globally. Prof. Agarwal is the Editor of ‘FUEL’, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Journal of Energy and Environmental Sustainability, and is in the editorial board of many international journals of repute. He edited “Handbook of Combustion” (5 Volumes; 3168 pages), published by Wiley VCH, Germany, the most updated combustion compilation in the world. He has received several awards and fellowships including Sir J C Bose National Fellowship (2019) by SERB, Clarivate Analytics India Citation Award-2017 in Engineering and Technology, Prestigious Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Prize (2016). He is the fellow of various national and international academies of science and engineering including the Indian National Academy of Engineering.


Thematic Area: Resource Constrained Translational Technologies

Title:  Device Edge Computing – towards frugal Intelligent Systems

Dr. Arpan Pal , Distinguished Chief Scientist,TCS Research


In this talk I will introduce Device Edge Computing as one of the means for creating frugal Intelligent Systems leading towards AI-driven IoT (AIOT). I will cover some application use cases of the same in different business domains like Manufacturing, Healthcare, Wellness, Oil & Gas, Spacetech etc. I will also introduce some tools and techniques like Signal Processing driven AI, Network Architecture Search, Auto-pruning etc.  to convert large-AI models suitable for cloud to Tiny-AI models suitable for frugal, resource constrained edge devices. Finally I will conclude with introduction to some futuristic technologies in this space, like Neuromorphic Computing, Metamaterials and Nano-sensing Systems.

Brief Bio-sketch:

Dr. Arpan Palhas more than 30 years of experience in the area of Intelligent Sensing, Signal Processing &AI, Edge Computing and Affective Computing. Currently, as Distinguished Chief Scientist and Research Area Head, Embedded Devices and Intelligent Systems, TCS Research, he is working in the areas of Connected Health, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Retail and Remote Sensing.

He is on the editorial board of notable journals like ACM TECS, Springer SNCS and is on the TPC of notable conferences like ICASSP and EUSIPCO. He has filed 180+ patents (out of which 95+ granted in different geographies) and has published 160+ papers and book chapters in reputed conferences and journals. He has also written two complete books on IoT and Digital twins in Manufacturing. He is on the governing/review/advisory board of some of the Indian Government organizations like CSIR, MeitY, Educational Institutions like IIT, IIIT and Technology Incubation centres like TIH.

Prior to joining TCS, Arpan worked for DRDO, India as Missile Seeker Scientist and in Rebeca Technologies as Head of Real-time Systems. He is a B.Tech and M. Tech from IIT, Kharagpur, India and PhD. from Aalborg University, Denmark.



Theme – 4: Nanostructured Surfaces for Functional Materials and Systems

Title: Liquid Infused Slippery Surfaces:  From Fabrication to Functionalities

Prof. Suman Chakraborty , Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.


Obtaining no-maintenance, self-healing and long-lasting surface finish is a panache for surface engineering, not only because of aesthetics, but also to meet the desirable functionalities of the concerned products. Liquid infused slippery surfaces (LISS) have shown great promises in this regard. However, retaining the desired stability of the infused slippery layer at extreme conditions when other engineering alternatives would invariably fail remains to be one of the underlying challenges and opportunities at the same time.

The aim of this talk is to delve with some fundamental scientific and technological issues concerning the stabilization dynamics of liquid infused slippery interfaces. It is shown that a solid surface that otherwise dewets spontaneously can be stabilized to form a LISS film by harnessing rose-petal mimicking microstructrues. LISS on a copper plate with silicone oil as the lubricating liquid is shown to repel low surface tension liquids even at high temperature. For drops impinging on LISS, it is found that the lubricating layer viscosity orchestrates an under-damped oscillation during the later transients. Finally, a liquid infused slippery interface on cellulose filter paper is shown to be highly durable, offering self-propelling features of soft moieties having emerging applications in energy harvesting and medical diagnostics.

Brief Bio-sketch:

Prof. Suman Chakraborty is a Professor at IIT Kharagpur and Sir J. C. Bose National Fellow. His current areas of research include microfluidics, nanofluidics, micro-nano scale transport. He has been awarded the Bhatnagar Prize  and elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow of ASME, Fellow of all the Indian National Academies of Science and Engineering, recipient of the G. D Birla Award for Scientific Research, National Academy of Sciences India – Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award for Application Oriented Research, IIT Roorkee Research Award, RajibGoyal Prize for Young Scientists, Indo-US Research Fellowship, Scopus Young Scientist Award, and Young Scientist/ Young Engineer Awards from various National Academies of Science and Engineering. He has also been a Humboldt Fellow. He has a large volume of impactful publications as well as patents/ licensed technologies and a unique expertise in technology development for the under-served.