Saturday, 29 August 2015

INTERVIEWED: Mr. Saraju Mohanty

By: Aayushi Jajodia

1.       One always cherishes the time spent in college. Let us begin the interview on a lighter note by taking a trip back to the time when you were an undergrad at the college.  How was life back then?

That’s really an interesting question. I really started studying seriously after joining Electrical Engineering undergraduate program. I actually saw a clear focused career path as compared to high-school or 12th class education. I always enjoyed every aspect of Electrical Engineering.

2.       You were a bright student, a university rank holder in fact! Shouldn’t miss this opportunity to take some advice from you.

Time is very precious. Give best to what you are doing. For example, if you are an undergraduate student completely studying the prescribed syllabus is your responsibility for your future career, not your instructor’s. Getting involved in student union, etc. is not part of your undergraduate education, even though there is some relevance in development of leadership skills. Spending more time on partying and other activities will cut-down time from essential, useful activities.

3.       As your undergraduate project, you had worked on Electromagnetic Radiation of High Voltage DC systems and their detection. No doubt it seems very impressive! I am sure our readers, especially the students of electrical engineering background, would be more than delighted if you could share with us anything else associated with it and also some tips and advice while selecting a project .

It is quite pleasant to remember the project at this time when in particular people are talking about effects of electromagnetic radiations associated with mobile phones on us when using on a daily basis. My undergraduate project was an experimental one. We really simulated high voltage up to 400KV in the lab facilities available at CETB. We conducted various experiments to study the effect of voltages generated because of proximity to high voltage. We analysed the various harmonics present in the voltage signal and average voltage. Then examined the effects on communications signals. A good team, a sincere professor, and a out-of-the-box topic are 3 key elements of project selection!

4.       We heard about the upcoming IEEE iNIS-2015 in the college Facebook group, of which you are General Chair! Could you please share something more about the event that would motivate CETians? Also, what should be our road map to do such symposiums and events here in CET-B Campus?


I have been chairing various conferences in India for the last decade. This year IEEE iNIS (IEEE International Symposium on Nanoelectronic and Information Systems) is initiated with an intention to provide a platform for both hardware and software researchers to interact under one roof for the development of circuits and systems for efficient and secure information processing. Faculty and researchers from CS, IT, EE, Electronics, Instrumentation can attend the meeting and present their research findings. A dedicated student research symposium is being planned as an integral part of IEEE iNIS 2015. I think CETB students should participate in this meeting and take advantage of the meeting. I have tried to hold meetings in CETB campus several times in the past, which has not materialized for various reasons. There is a need for strong dedicated local leader. No doubt a meeting is organized for 3 days, but it takes a yearlong effort in the back-end for the success of those 3 days. We can hold an event in CETB campus anytime. But, frankly speaking it is not important if a meeting is held in campus, rather important is if faculty and students travel to international meetings out of their campus to get exposure to scientific community.


5.       You have published numerous journals, headed several projects, have several patents and you have also written few books, one of them being on Nanoelectronic Mixed-Signal System Design published under McGraw-Hill publications. You have made some major contribution in your field of studies. How accomplished do you feel at the moment? Anything you are working on currently?

It feels really good to have these scientific contributions. I hope these contributions have significant social impact. For example, major impact on industrial development, impact on students careers, and training of future researchers. Currently, my research group consisting of 5 Ph.D. and 5 M.S. thesis students focus on emerging technology based mixed-signal design, hardware for Internet of Things (IOT), low-power hardware design, etc.

6.       For all the readers could you share your specialization in the field that you have pursued? What are the scopes available in this domain?

In general, I have been working on hardware designs for energy-efficient digital signal processing. I have worked on digital design as well as mixed-signal (combined digital and analog) designs. Digital watermarking research was a part of my hardware assisted digital rights management (DRM) research which got lots of attention from scientific community as well. There is ample scope in hardware design research. I always believe, if I compare hardware and software, that hardware is an independent entity whereas software needs hardware to run. Various efficient sensor design, energy-efficient DSP, energy-efficient SoC, efficient hardware for IOT, efficient hardware for bigdata are some current interesting problems to work on.

7.       You had appeared GATE examination in the year of 1997, leading you to pursue your further studies at India’s one of the prestigious institutions, IISc. Share with us the life and experiences you had there.

IISc, Bangalore is India’s most prestigious institute as that is the only Institute from India that sometime appears in global ranking of Universities. Actually, I got admission twice to IISc Bangalore. In 1996, I got admitted into Electrical Engineering program and in 1997, I got admitted into System Science and Automation (SSA) program. I later on realized that my decision to join SSA was excellent one that allowed me to learn both CS and EE areas. This helped to build my background for my future research during Ph.D. IISc, Bangalore is extremely competitive as most of the colleagues are top rank holders of their respective undergraduate institutes. IISC, Bangalore campus is a very classic and the best place in India for training for future research. Computational facility is one of the best that I have seen!

8.       What was your motivation and who were your mentors who helped you shape your path to where you are today?

I had planned right on the orientation day of CETB in 1991 that I will be a professor in an engineering institute. I wanted to complete Ph.D. before joining any position. Of course, due to some family pressure, I worked for a Govt. public sector. But, I did not spend much time as it was the transition time from undergraduate to graduate studies. Thus, I can say I was self-motivated.

9.       How do you like to while your time away when you aren’t teaching at the university? Any kind of hobby that you like to indulge yourself into?

Time really flies. But, there is a need to relax from time to time so that we are not exhausted. I watch movie, TV series, documentary etc. In particular, Indian mythological series are my favourite. I also enjoy movies related to ancient cultures, as well.

10.   You had attended the Global Alumni meet last year in the month of December which was held at C.E.T. It must have been a homecoming filled with memories.  How do you want to see our college grow in years to come? What are your expectations and hope from the institution?

CETB is a government funded institute. CETB students are top quality. CETB really needs to work to significantly improve visibility. That will happen in many ways, including faculty and students travel to various international conferences, publishing in journals, and inviting researchers to campus for talk. CETB should be made a University, quality faculty need to be hired, and lab facility needs to be improved further to take the Institute in an upward growth.  Being a government college has its own advantages and disadvantages.

11.   This brings us to the end of our interview. To conclude, what parting advice would you like to give to our readers?

There is no substitute to hard work and sincerity and don’t compare yourself with others; everybody is unique.

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