IIT-Madras is building a world-class ocean engineering and marine technology facility

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) has been quietly building a massive Center of Excellence (CoE) to promote indigenous development of marine technology and expertise.

Researchers in this project are already involved in major marine projects in India, and their efforts have resulted in significant financial savings for the country by substituting foreign knowledge and technology.

“We are working to make this COE a global hub for the maritime sector and provide significant cost savings to India by developing not only the technology but also a trained workforce to replace foreign expertise in the Indian maritime sector,” said Principal Investigator V. Sriram. , CoE on Maritime Experiments to Maritime Experience (ME2ME), IIT Madras.

The center will develop technologies that will impact marine/coastal engineering, green shipping, future ports and marine renewable energy, among others. It will soon begin housing startups in a similar space. And it is planned to raise funds for future projects.

The center was established with funding from the Government of India's Institute of Eminence initiative to promote world-class research. Mr. Sriram said the center is run by the faculty of the Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT-Madras, namely Abhilash Somayajula, K. Murali, SA Sannasiraj, R. Vijayakumar, R. Suresh and J. Arjun, besides Emeritus Professors V. Sundar and R. Sundaravadivelu.

An example of the Council of Europe's key deliverables is the research and development of 'wavemakers' to control the testing of offshore structures before they are installed in the field. Recently, scientists here at the Discovery Campus (a satellite campus of IIT Madras) have developed as many as 152 fully internal wavemakers at a total cost of Rs 7.5 crore. In comparison, an imported device would have cost at least 45 kroner. This technology, which is cost-effective compared to imported wave generators, can now be exported to other countries.

“We have developed a next-generation smartphone-based e-Navigation for Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) that is cost-effective. We are working to create an independent and reliable navigation and communication system by developing a local Satellite Automatic Identification System (SatAIS) by launching several AIS Cubesats to reduce the prohibitive cost of a SatAIS-based real-time ship subscription. tracking, fleet management and maritime surveillance,” Murali said.

“Our vision is a world-class facility at IIT Madras in ocean engineering,” said Mr. Suresh Rajendran. He added: “Through this center, we are entering the niches of prototype testing for coastal and port engineering applications, autonomous marine vehicles for research, surveillance and transportation, and AI and ML applications in the maritime field. All these are essential ingredients in building a healthy blue economy for the nation,” he noted.

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Godfrey Kemp

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