Erudite Lecture Series
Organized by Department of Mechanical Engineering, FISAT
The Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT) organized an invited lecture marking the occasion of National Science Day on 28th February 2018, where Padma Bhushan award recipient Dr. A.S. Pillai, Founder CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace was the resource person. This was the 3rd lecture in their Erudite Lecture Series organised every year.
Dr. A. S. Pillai, the Founder CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace, currently serves as Honorary Distinguished Professor (ISRO), Honorary Professor (IIT Delhi), Visiting Professor (IISc).
Relevance of Science Day
National Science Day is celebrated all across India with great enthusiasm on 28th of February every year to commemorate the discovery of the “Raman Effect‟ by the Indian physicist, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, popularly known as CV Raman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930 for his excellence and perseverance in the field of Science.
The 28th of February, 1928 witnessed the discovery of this noteworthy phenomenon. For this reason, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) recommended to the Indian Government to designate 28th of February as National Science Day to honor this great personality.
Sir CV Raman conducted research on many aspects of physics among which the “Raman Effect‟ became his mind-blowing success and discovery which has been marked in Indian history. Raman Effect is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the eminent physicist while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. His inventions and efforts were appreciated by honoring him with various awards including the Nobel Prize in the year 1930. In the year 2013, the “Raman Effect‟ was designated as an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society. Hence the National Science Day is a great day for Indian Science and scientific community.
The basic objective of observation of National Science Day is to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people.
Profile of the Resource Person
Dr. A. S. Pillai graduated in Electrical Engineering from Madras University, underwent Management Programme at Harvard Business School, and obtained PhD from Pune University and D.Sc from Tumkur University. Four decades of vast experience in ISRO and DRDO under the great visionary leaders Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam made him a technology leader in the field of launch vehicles and guided missiles.
His contributions to the successful development of SLV-3 and evolution of PSLV configuration for ISRO have been remarkable. His contributions are commendable in the development of Agni, Prithvi, Nag and Akash missiles for DRDO. He is the founder, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace, who design, develop, produce and market the advanced supersonic cruise missile BRAHMOS. A well known defence technologist, Dr. Pillai is regarded as the Father of BrahMos. He is decorated with 12 Honorary Doctorates from reputed universities of India and Russia and several Fellowships from prestigious engineering and management institutions.
He authored many books including Revolution in Leadership and Nano Science and Nano Technology for Engineering. He co-authored with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for the books Envisioning an Empowered Nation and Thoughts for Change–We Can Do It. He received numerous prestigious awards including Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research Award, Organization for Industrial, Spiritual & Cultural Advancement International Award from Japan, Lal Bahadur Shastri Award and most importantly Padma Shri (2002) & Padma Bhushan (2013) by the Govt. of India for his contribution to Aerospace and Missile Technologies. He also received the Order Of Friendship by the Govt. of Russia, the highest award for foreign citizens.
The inaugural function programme began with an invocation and Dr. George Issac, Principal, Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT) welcoming the gathering. Mr. Paul Mundadan, Chairman of the Governing Body of FISAT presided over the function and delivered the presidential address. Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai, Founder CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace was the chief guest and he inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp followed by an inaugural address. His introductory remarks about the relevance of national science day and the Nobel Prize winner CV Raman were informative and well applauded. Later on he delivered a key note lecture based on the theme “Innovation & Convergence of Technologies”.
Dr. K.S.M. Panicker, (Director-Academics), Dr. C. Sheela, (Vice Principal), Dr. Sunny Kuriakose A., (Dean-Student Affairs), Dr. Jose Cherian (HOD, Mechanical Engineering) were also present during the inaugural function and extended their whole hearted support.
Focal Theme: Innovation and Convergence of Technology
Erudite Professor Dr. A. S. Pillai ,in his motivational lecture addressed the recent advances in technology and their convergence specific to Indian strategic sectors ranging from environment to space exploration and defence technology. He started his lecture with Raman Effect and several other great inventions which influenced human life. He revealed India’s prosperity dynamics through areas where India made its footprint like nuclear engineering, the revolution in satellite communication, Moon Mission – Chandrayaan-I, Mars Orbiter Mission – Mangalyaan, and to the future of ISRO’s Manned Space Missions (2020 – 2040).
He then went on to topics like evolution of war weaponry and evolution of India as a missile power. He described the challenges faced in the development of Prithvi missile, the re-entry of Agni missile and anti-tank Nag missile and how India attained the capability to design and achieve realization of critical technologies. The success mantra is simple and straight; “TECHNOLOGY DENIED IS TECHNOLOGY GAINED”.
He then elaborated on the INDIA – RUSSIA joint Venture BrahMos which is a role model in every sense. India ventured into the world of hypersonic missiles through BrahMos missile which has universal striking capability. Different versions of BrahMos have been inducted to Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. India currently has the capacity to launch BrahMos from land, air, sea and under water. He also covered the recent developments in areas like Smart materials, Robotics , Nano Technology and Bio-sensors.
A brief Question – Answer and discussion session regarding the topic followed the lecture.
The sessions were followed by a valedictory function in which Mr. Paul Mundadan, Chairman of the Governing Body of FISAT awarded a memento to Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai as a token of love and gratitude.
Dr. George Issac, (Principal), Dr. K.S.M. Panicker, (Director-Academics) and Dr. Jose Cherian (HOD, Mechanical Engineering) were also present during the valedictory function. The programme coordinator Mr. Rejeesh C R, Asst. Professor, Mechanical Engineering Dept. gave the vote of thanks. The function ended with the National Anthem.