Ground rules

Two new MTech courses introduced by IIT Kharagpur will have wide acceptability in the industry

India Today Jagran Josh AglaSem Swarajya

Starting next semester, that is July 2019, the Mining Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur will throw open two new MTech programs – one in GeoMechanics for Mineral and Energy Resources, and the other in Safety, Health and Environment. The Department so long allowed an MTech in Mining Engineering, which will be replaced with the two new ones. However, it also allows a Dual Degree in Mining Engineering and in Safety Engineering that will continue.

“The MTech course in GeoMechanics for Mineral and Energy Resources will cater to a wide spectrum of branches such as Geology, Mining, Civil or Petroleum Engineering, that is any other branch of science and technology that has something to do with earth,” said Prof. Debasis Deb, Head of the Department of Mining.

GeoMechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behaviour of geological material, that is, soil and rocks. GeoMechanics assesses when the stress to a geological formation during activities such as assessing mine stability, oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing or water/gas flooding or depletion or related processes, exceeds the strength of any formation, what are the risks and opportunities and recommends mitigation plans. An expert in GeoMechanics will, therefore, have wide acceptability in relevant industries.

The Mining Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur has been dealing with GeoMechanics for long. The Civil Engineering Department also teaches geotechnical aspects, but mostly regarding the soil. Petroleum Engineering also touches on the subject. “But there were no Masters program here in IIT Kharagpur or any other the other IITs specializing in Geomechanics,” said Prof. Deb.

Every process industry like mining, chemical industry or car manufacturing etc that deals with production involving manpower requires a person or department where people are trained in Safety, Health and Environment or what is called SHE. “A holistic approach towards safety and health in the workplace is the need of the day, especially in India, where we think safety is somebody else’s job. But if we can give the necessary knowledge to Masters-level student – whether from Mining, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, or Petroleum engineering – that culture will be engendered.”

The Mining Engineering department already runs several short term courses on SHE that helps in the training and retraining of personnel involved in the mining, chemical and petroleum industry. In recent times, safety aspects have been focused in emerging areas such as safety engineering, risk assessment and safety management plan, loss control, ergonomics, human behaviour and virtual reality. The MTech course will address these thrust areas of safety as well emerging methods which can be used as valuable techniques by the safety management to deal with risk assessment and management of industries

The two courses will admit 11 students in each course. Admission to these courses will be through GATE examination. BTech students from the mining, civil and petroleum engineering departments can opt for the MTech course in GeoMechanics. Students from mining, civil, petroleum, chemical, mechanical, electrical, production engineering can opt to do MTech in Safety, Health and Environment.

Photo Credit: Suman Sutradhar

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