5 - SRM Institute
in industry interaction
School of Bioengineering at SRM University ranks third on infrastructure score and fourth on industry interaction score. It creates an excellent
environment of academic freedom, where bright minds meet, discover and
School of Bioengineering at SRM University offers BTech
biotechnology, postgraduation in biotechnology and PhD programs.
The department has 17 independent laboratories, equipped with
state-of-the-art equipment for microbiology and immunology,
biochemistry, molecular biology, genetic engineering, plant cell and
tissue culture, animal cell culture, bioprocess technology and
The department works with other departments, national and international
industries and R&D institutions to develop expertise in
molecular biology, metabolic engineering, protein engineering,
immunology, biotransformations, biodegradation, plant biotechnology,
animal biotechnology, marine biotechnology, enzyme technology,
bioseparations, biosensors, bioprocess engineering, pharmaceutical
biotechnology and many other fields.
The department has good relationship with the industry. The institute
has concentrated towards the empowerment of its graduates with globally
competitive skills for employability. In this regard, the institute is
supported by an international advisory board for biotechnology,
represented by Prof. CR Lowe of Institute of Biotechnology, Cambridge,
UK, and a corporate advisory board for biotechnology is represented by
prominent leaders in the industry.
allow the industry to train our students”
Ramasamy, dean, School of Bioengineering, SRM University
What are the new
modules you have added to align your education with industry needs?
In the second year, we identify the student's strength and
interest, and provide them with eight structured add-on elective
courses. Besides the credit course, the students are provided with
industrial training, industrial visit and need-based industrial site
and project execution training. We allow the industry to train our
students based on their requirements through specially designed course
content and hands-on-training in which the industry's
representative offer the course as a visiting faculty.
Hence the department delivers the students requirement from second year
to final year to promise a good career after graduation. Our center for
institute-industry-initiative co-ordinates this activity through
designated faculty of the department. We provide a unique platform for
our students through an open interaction with students, industry and
young prospective students from plus-2 level along with the project
presentation by our BTech and MTech students.
What are some of the research projects that the students or faculties have initiated?
To avoid duplication and wastage of resources our students and
faculties work on focused research and the initiates taken by them
include biofuel cell, community structure and metagenomics of
methanogenic environment, oil synthesizing genes associated with
jatropha and its sequencing, algal biofuel, and converting cellulose to
ethanol. Parallel externally-funded projects provide additional support
for such initiatives. The University of Queensland provide the model
and support for the fuel cell part and towards the development of
decentralized energy production for villages and small scale industry.
We have a basic study to unravel the action of neuro-endocrine system
in aging and the metabolites and functions are monitored using specific
cell line. Secondary plant metabolites with pharmaceutical importance
is investigated with four known medicinal plants for diabetics and
arthritis through plant tissue culture and cell suspension culture. To
enrich this, molecular detection and biosensors are developed in
association with the Penn State University.
Environmental biotechnology is another important area where we rope in
the industry and government support in bioremediation of
heavy metals, sequestration of radionuclei and biotransformation of
toxic insecticides and metabolites. This research area is further
supported by our nanotechnology center and medical college to develop a
nano filter for odour removal from the contaminated atmosphere. All
these focused activities will provide solutions for local problems and
enhance the knowledge base in science and technology.
Did the school
received any funding recently?
This academic year we have received two major supports from the
DST-FIST and Ministry of Food Processing for infrastructure
development. We have received support from DST, DBT, CSIR and ICMR for
nine individual scientists, ranging from young scientist award, project
support to networked projects. Private industrial support for research
is also attracted from Noni Research Foundation, Ramvijai Biotech,
Ashok Leyland Biofuel, IVC Labs and Medical Research Labs. All
Rs 5.28 crore. Our university also supports pilot projects,
collaborative and international projects to the tune of
Rs 3.5 crore from the trust funds.
What are the faculty
focused initiatives taken by the university?
We have faculty training programs abroad. Through this program Dr
Wilkinson Santhosh was deputed for two months to the US for research
training in cancer immunotherapy at the University of Central Oklahama.
Dr K Suda is undergoing training for a year in the University of
Minnesota for the development of molecular kit. Two young assistant
professors were deputed for summer courses in the University of Punjab
and National Toxicological Research Center, Lucknow. Four faculties
underwent teacher update from Central Technical Teacher Training
Institute at Taramani. Two faculties were deputed for state-of-the-art
fuel cell training at the Queens University.
Seven faculties are supported for part-time doctoral program. One
candidate is deputed for FIP.
Best teacher award and cash award for publication (Rs 5,000 for
national and Rs 10,000 for international publication in peer reviewed
journal). Special incentive are given for the staff who supported the
student to excel in curricular and co-curricular activities. In-house
training for the new faculty, special instrument handling short courses
and equipment supplier supported trainings are also given.
What is the institute
doing to familiarize the students with industry?
Industrial training, industrial visit and all India tours are included
in the curricular activity. In addition, special arrangements are made
to invite corporate leaders, managers and industrial researchers to
interact with the students. Center for Industry-Institute-Interaction
co-ordinate and link the industry for project work and research
linkages. Industry is allowed to involve in all curriculum planning and
execution. Further overseas instrument manufacturers and industrialists
are encouraged to address the students, interaction and counsellings
are organized frequently. We have a separate corporate advisory body
for the department and the university.
What percentage of
your students on an average get placed in biotech companies after
post-graduation and how many prefer to go for higher studies?
This is an area which cannot be answered straight. Majority of students
clearing BSc and MSc in biotechnology, and BTech are differentiated by
a different training and career. Vast majority register for campus
placement and simultaneously try for higher studies. Majority get
direct entry into PhD (86 from SRM biotech). Part of them join the
industry or software company in life science stream and quit after they
get fellowship. About 50 percent student pay their own tuition fee with
bank loan and manage to get fellowship or assistantship after one
As a group they select management program in UK or Europe. With self
employment possibility, a few select Scandinavian countries for
integrated higher studies with industrial support. Few get luxurious
studentship, fellowship and tuition fee waiver to tune $120,000 per