Three Cheers for PSG!

Students, Faculty and Alumni of PSG Institutions often make the headlines and turn heads with their accomplishments in academics, research, sports etc.

Growing in an environment equipped to nurture the aspirations of students and faculty in all domains, it has become a regular affair for PSGians to excel beyond expectations, even during the past 1 year of turbulence and disruption in regular day to day life.

While several PSGians had achieved many laurels in the last few weeks, The Covai Mail got the chance to connect with 3 unique personalities of PSG, and got to know more about their recent endeavors.

A bright young man from PSG College of Arts and Science has taken the chess world by storm and has entered the won the AICF World Cup qualifier online chess tournament while two bright professors belonging to PSG College of Technology and PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research have won the top honors for Research at the 2021 HumCen Awards.

Another Feather in the cap!

Karthika Renuka Dhanaraj who works as Associate Professor in the Department of Information Technology at PSG College of Technology is a recipient of the prestigious Indo-U.S. Fellowship for Women in STEMM.

WISTEMM is a Women Overseas Fellowship program supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India and implemented by the Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum (IUSSTF).

Prof.Renuka said that such recognition comes when one continues to pursue his/her aspirations in research and goes for the extra mile. She said that after she became a recipient of the Indo-US fellowship, other honors started coming her way.

Getting this fellowship is a herculean task but Prof.Renuka’s merits as a fine researcher helped her earn it. Her fellowship was for a period of four months in the USA where she took up her research under the supervision of Prof.Krishnaprasad Thirunarayan of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  The IUSSTF approved a grant-in-aid budget of $17,700 which is equal to Rs. 12.5 lakhs.

Talking about this fellowship, she said that this is a program that aims to provide opportunities to Indian Women Scientists, Engineers & Technologists to undertake international collaborative research in premier institutions in the US, to enhance their research capacities and capabilities.

On May 30th she added another honor to her résumé, when she was announced as the winner of ‘HumCen Women Scientist of the Year’ award under the category of Machine Learning by HumCen Global, a Human Centered design company with an IP Strategy dedicated to unearthing innovation and converting them into IP assets.

Upon receiving this honor, she said that this is a very nice recognition that has been given to her research work and it is indeed a pleasure to bag the Women Scientist of the Year Award.

“Today’s young aspiring women researchers must explore the fellowship opportunities that are available in and around the globe and get benefited out of them.” Renuka said.

“Once a person gets the opportunity to collaborate for research in abroad, under an expert’s supervision, it would be an eye-opener. This WISTEMM fellowship is one such fellowships that will provide great insights to women in pursuit of excellence in research in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine” she added.

She credited her mentors especially Prof.Radhakrishnan, Director, PSG IAS and K.Prakasan, Principal (i/c), PSG Tech for guiding her towards the Indo-U.S. Fellowship for Women in STEMM.

“Our Managing Trustee, L.Gopalakrishnan said to me that awareness about this fellowship should reach more number of women researchers. The Management of PSG Institutions understands the value that research fellowships could add to the researcher, student-community and to the society at large”, she added.

Research on Water & Sanitation crucial for future !

– Prof.M.Devasena, ‘Women Researcher of 2021’ Awardee

Devasena, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering Department, PSGiTech was honored with the ‘Women Researcher of 2021’ with 1,10,000 trusted votes and review by the jury amongst 600 global nominations at Humcen Awards 2021.

HumCen award 2021 seeks to discover the hidden potential and best innovative practices of the Individuals, Researchers, Academicians, Entrepreneurs, and Organisations with a Human-Centered Mindset.

Prof.Devasena is an Environmental Engineer with MS from Nanyang Technological University Singapore and PhD from IIT Madras. She works on socially driven projects in collaboration with industries and national funding agencies.

Talking over phone, she shared that her specialization is on Environmental Engineering, and she specifically focuses on Hazardous Waste Management and Solid Waste Management. With the support of PSG iTech, she is working with IIT Madras on a funded project from DST on ‘Resource Recovery from Waste’, besides collaboration with a reputed Iranian Institute on ‘Methane Contamination in Ground Water’.

  She already has worked on ‘Explosive Contamination in Soil’ and how it will affect the Ground Water among other researches. All these were evaluated by the jury of the HumCen Award, and after thorough evaluation and also with 1 lakh+ trusted votes, Prof. Devasena was announced the Women Researcher of the year.

Since her UG days, Prof. Devasena focused on how the irresponsible disposal of wastes have affected the environment, and how actually these wastes can be utilized for beneficial purposes if they are managed properly.

She firmly believes that faculty’s research will have a direct impact on Students’ education and will also help them guide the inspired students take up research works. “In our society, we have many issues related to waste management. Today, students are very inspired to find solutions for these challenges. When we throw them a problem, they come up with splendid solutions, using current technologies. We just have to be there as a mentor for them.”

“In our college, there are many students who are interested in giving innovative solutions to these kind of environmental projects. They concentrate on how irrigation and water-efficiency could be improved using technology.”

“Students work as Multi-disciplinary teams and collaborate to find solutions. The current generation of students are very keen and interested to address the issues public is facing, and our research could give them additional inputs, guidance and mentoring. Taking up research is very important for any college’s faculty today”

By 2030, the UN wishes to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, and also achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. Water and Sanitation are among the Sustainable goals we wish to achieve, and Prof.Devasena thinks more research on these areas needs to be focused.

She says that being a Professor at PSG iTech is a great boon because the institution gives phenomenal importance to Applied Research.

“Whatever research we do, we are encouraged to go beyond publishing our research papers. We are encouraged to go to the field, collaborate with students, involve them to work as a team. The college’s Management motivates us to take our research and projects to next level. They give us seed fund to do projects when we just have a Proof of Concept. The Principal, the Heads of various Departments here are all very supportive and encourage us to go forward with research that can benefit students and society.

Prof. Devasena wishes to focus more on Sanitation projects for public’s benefit, like recovery of nutrients from waste. She also shared that she would be focusing on grey-water management. “I want to give people a modular way to manage wastes”, she added.

Our College is proud of our faculty!

– Prof. Chandramohan, Principal, PSG iTech

Prof.Chandramohan, congratulated Prof.Devasena upon winning this award. He said “Our college is very happy for Prof.Devasena winning this award. She got the award based on her performance as a researcher, and she will be definitely getting more awards for her research and for teaching. ”

Talking about the importance of Research, he said “for faculty members, teaching and research are very important. All our faculty are encouraged to do research and apply for sponsored projects. We motivate them to publish their research papers in reputed journals. “When a faculty publishes his/her papers in Scopus Indexed Journals, we honor them with awards and rewards.”

“In today’s academic arena getting a research project grant is very difficult because so many colleges’ professors are in line with their unique project proposals. Competing with IITs and other prestigious institutions, many of our faculty bag sponsored-projects frequently. Prof.Devasena has two projects in hand now. On the college’s part we do our best to support their research works”.

“When faculty involves in research, they get enhance their knowledge. They will be sharing that with the students, and the students will be motivated to undertake research of their own.”

Victory gives Confidence, Defeat gives Experience

– Grandmaster P.Iniyan, FIDE World Cup Contestant

18 year old Indian Grandmaster P.Iniyan, who pursues his UG degree at PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore won the AICF World Cup qualifier online chess tournament, and got qualified for the International Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs) World Cup, scheduled to be held in July, this year.

Hailing from Erode district, Iniyan pursues his BBA Degree at PSG CAS and he is in his first-year.  This young man speaks with such a calm tone, and sounds so down to earth.

While most of us were playing hide and seek at the age of 8, Iniyan started to compete at International levels. His journey to become a Grandmaster got fulfilled in a tournament held at France, when he was 16.

Talking about his first experience with Chess, Iniyan said “I have been playing Chess since I was five-and-half years old. I began playing it like all other games, and my parents were interested in taking me to the next level. They joined me in an academy.”

Iniyan started excelling in Chess, and the game took him around the world, and now he is heading to Russia where the FIDE World Cup is scheduled to be held.

“I did not find Chess to be a complicated game. I would say that it was my deep interest in this game that keeps me going against pressure. Without Interest, I cannot have gone forward. I think that Skills become less effective when we work without interest.”

“As much as I have won, I have had my fair share of defeats. When I win, victory gives me confidence to go for more. When I lose, I understand what sort of strategies will work and what won’t. Defeats gives valuable experience.”

Like many, he too considers veteran Chess icon Viswanath Anand as his role model, and he also has immense respect for the legendary Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer.

Iniyan says that he has set his priorities straight, and he wants to become World Chess Champion and also be the World No.1 in ranking.  The FIDE World Cup will be played from July 10 at Sochi in Russia. After more than a year, Iniyan will be competing in a physical environment.