VNIT earthquake engg students, faculty to visit Nepal soon

Nagpur: Students of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) pursuing MTech in structural dynamics and earthquake engineering will visit Nepal, which was rocked by a devastating earthquake last month that claimed nearly 8,000 persons. The students and their faculty from the applied mechanics department would provide technical support to Delhi-based NGO SEEDS, which is working on disaster recovery management.

“Our visit is scheduled sometime in June or July, depending on the dates allotted to us. We will visit Kathmandu and adjoining areas, where damage is maximum. We’ve already inked a pact with SEEDS for providing technical support to them. It would be a big learning experience for all the students specializing in the field,” professor Ramakant Ingle and assistant professor Rajneesh Kumar told TOI.

Ingle and other faculty members from the department had visited Gujarat when a quake struck the state in 2001 and killed 20,000 humans. They had also visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2004 when a tsunami struck there after a massive quake in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The students were excited about their first visit to a place hit by an earthquake. “We will be studying the pattern and devastation caused by the quake,” says Rishikesh Rathi from Kolhapur. Endorsing him, Payal Galani from Raipur added that they would observe the designing pattern of old houses in the area and whether quake prediction could be made more accurate.

Rahul Kabade and Akshay Yadav said it would be big learning experience as they would get to know practical applications they studied in the classrooms. Sheetal Ingole said she would be more interested in studying sustainable development during their visit.

A majority of students from this batch of 22 are interested in making their career as civil engineers. VNIT is the third institution after IIT Roorkee and NIT Silchar to start the structural dynamics and earthquake engineering course.

“The placements are good, with companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) hiring them for their research and development department. Many renowned construction firms also avail their services for designing quake resistant structures. Their services are sought after in making bridges, chimneys, dams and other big projects,” Ingle and Kumar said.

At the department, the students are taught to calculate magnitude and intensity of earthquakes, designing quake and wind resistant structures that can withstand the immense pressure during calamities, building masonry structures and special tanks for storing water and other liquid material. “We also conduct many workshops for creating awareness among the common people and also professionals like designers and structural engineers regarding earthquakes and notions associated with it,” the teachers added.


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