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Title: Some Aspects of Materials Education
Authors: Basu, A
Keywords: Curriculum
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Citation: NMD-ATM 2016 Conference, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India, 11-14 November 2016
Abstract: With overall improvement of human intelligence, socio-economic condition and several other factors it becomes mandatory to keep on changing the learning content of a student and the teaching learning procedure. In our country, materials engineering is a field which conventionally is more attractive for research than undergraduate study. Time has come to take concrete steps to match the industry demand and to attain the level of outcome based accreditation which is becoming mandatory for many institutes at least at undergraduate levels. Apart from these heavily loaded thoughts, attracting young bright students in this specialization is the prime need. Though the institutes across the country have diversified name of the departments which teach such courses along with similar diversities in name of the undergraduate degrees, the course content is necessarily similar to some extent. During curriculum development, without bothering about the name at least 70% of the course content may be made highly similar so that there may be short time exchange of teachers and students across such likeminded institutes. Moreover, for such activities, the credit system and evaluation scheme should also be streamlined across institutes through national initiative though institutes are independent in nature. Total similarity is not possible and not prescribed as every institute and department has its own identity, specific strong points and location based needs. Such recent initiatives show that major modifications are necessary in the initial semesters of undergraduate curriculum. Introduction of mathematical approach as far as possible in every course of materials engineering is a better concept in lieu of mindless abstract mathematics. Recently, due to national initiative, faculty members are moving towards ICT based teaching approach and producing more soft content like MOOCS etc. Such e-resources are plenty in this field; one has to carefully serve them to ignite the minds of young students. Referring available cross institute e-resources with proper guidance and real life examples at every stage of teaching starting from thermodynamical approach of day to day happenings to understanding the structure property of daily used components may be a winning strategy. Product oriented student project is need of time to fulfill make in India approach. But it should also be kept in mind that materials engineering does not come with conventional ‘product’ and need of basic research is evergreen and is must for a student who is just starting his first project. Moreover, to fulfill product oriented research, industry academia interaction is prime necessary and until change in national policy and mindset it will continue as it is, in spite of such many discussions.
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