Innovation

IET National Scholarship Awards winners talk about their novel ideas

Soham Naha
Soham Naha
Posted on 30 Mar 2022
10:45 AM
(L-R) Akshata Patil; Dhivakar Kumararaja Malarvizhi; Amrita Kesh.

(L-R) Akshata Patil; Dhivakar Kumararaja Malarvizhi; Amrita Kesh. Students

Advertisement
Summary
The finalists competed against more than 1,400 students in a four-phase online assessment
Winners look for post-COVID waste disposal solutions and environment conservation

A Coimbatore boy who has come up with an efficient system for removal of COVID waste from the sea, a Durgapur girl who has used Machine Learning (ML) to combat fake news and a Maharashtra girl who has developed a plastic waste management system won the India National Scholarship Awards 2021 given away by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The finalists competed against more than 1,400 students in a four-phase online assessment that tested their STEM fundamentals. Shortlisted candidates were asked to present innovative engineering solutions to key societal challenges outlined by the Scholarship Advisory Committee during the regional round.

Advertisement

Edugraph spoke to the three winners on their innovative ideas and more. Excerpts:

Dhivakar Kumararaja Malarvizhi, 4th Year, Electronics and Communication Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli

This is the first time I took part in such a competition. My grandmother spotted an advertisement for the IET India Scholarship Awards while reading the newspaper. I looked up the website and their past works and objectives piqued my interest.

The problem statements inspired me to come up with a design for a cost-effective and efficient COVID plastic waste removal system from the sea.

Globally, 129 billion face masks and 65 billion hand gloves are generated every month and a large portion of them reach the oceans. This has led to an increased risk of entanglement for a wide variety of fish, animals and birds. During my sophomore year, I was inducted as a part of the Designers’ Consortium at the Technical Product Design and Innovation club of NIT Trichy. I was exposed to the fields of mechanics and product development and that helped me build the necessary expertise to tackle the problem statement.

It took me 15 days to come up with the basic idea and a month more to develop it to be workable in the long run.

If circumstances permit, I would love to take this idea forward and ensure that it gets implemented.

Amrita Kesh, Second Year, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur

My presentation was an infographic on the use of technology and Machine Learning (ML) to combat the fake news infodemic.

As engineering students, we are always scavenging for opportunities and one of my dear friends encouraged me to apply for this award.

The idea came to me after a lot of brainstorming. It took two weeks to create a preliminary model and I’m still working to improve it. It required a lot of in-depth knowledge in various fields of Computer Science, from APIs to sentiment analysis.

Turning this idea into a start-up will need a lot more research. I might publish a research paper on it, which could consequentially help someone else come up with a start-up idea.

Winning a national-level event such as this made me feel humbled. As one of my favourite professors told me, ‘Be grounded and keep working’. I will try to follow that.


Akshata Patil, 4th Year, BE Mechanical, Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Technology, New Mumbai

Akshata Patil from Reliance Township, Nagothane, 120 kilometres away from Mumbai, won the third prize and Rs. 60,000.

As an individual, I am driven by creativity and innovation and have a constant zeal to build something that can contribute towards overall sustainability, something that most industries have adapted to in recent years.

So, when I came across the problem statement, I immediately connected since it aligned with my interests.

I proposed to develop a sustainable and efficient waste management production line using a circular economy to deal with plastic waste generated by the pandemic to prevent marine disasters and help the environment.

Millions of discarded single-use plastics have been added to the terrestrial environment and could cause a surge in plastic washing up the ocean coastlines and littering the seabed. Without concerted efforts around waste management, the pandemic may be the reason for another environmental disaster, affecting the level of plastic in our oceans.

It took me about a week to get the rough draft of the idea on paper. Later, I worked on fine-tuning the idea that included researching existing solutions, technical details of the proposed solution and the overall business plan of the idea.

The research was carried out by extensively going through papers, scientific articles and further thinking out of the box to propose a solution to a real-life problem which is seen by everybody but noticed by few.

I would certainly try to carry this idea forward. It feels surreal to have won. It has been an extraordinary experience. Apart from providing a solution to a real-life technological challenge, I got to interact with eminent personalities from science and technology and received their insights into the solution during the mentoring sessions.

Last updated on 30 Mar 2022
10:52 AM
Advertisement
Read Next