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Over the weekend (19th-20th May) IIT Bombay was host to the National Chemical Engineering Conference, ChEmference. The conference took place at Victor Menezes Convention Center, a day after the annual symposium of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Research Scholar Symposium (RSS).The two events provided an opportunity for students to present their research and have a chance to interact with industry representatives as well students across the country. With 50 students from IIT Bombay and 70 students from across the country, the events were well attended.

Research Scholar Symposium(RSS), held on Friday the 18th of May , started with an”>”>dresses.html”>”>dress by the Director Prof. Khakhar. The day progressed with talks from distinguished speakers including Dr. Ashwini Nangia, Director of National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and Prof. Prasanna Gandhi of our very own mechanical department. Events like 3 minute thesis talk, poster presentation and oral presentation saw IIT-B students presenting their research. The best of these were chosen to go on for ChEmference. The day ended with a valedictory function.

ChEmference officially began with Director Khakhar’s”>”>dresses.html”>”>dress the next morning. On similar lines to RSS, the conference held various talks from people both in academia and industry on both days. Some noteworthy mentions being Dr. Diermar Hueglin’s (Vice President, BASF Chemicals India) talk on Green Process Development, Prof. Satyajit Mayor’s (Director National Centre for Biological Sciences) talk and talk from Prof. Sirshendu De from IIT Kharagpur.

Along with these, the final round of presentations from the students were held. Through posters on the first floor foyer, students showcased their findings and got a chance to see work going on in various institutes. Workshops were organized on presentation skills, writing original research articles and effective proposal projects and grants which were very well received.

Some of the event’s time was also allotted for networking which ensured that students got a chance to interact not only with other students but also faculty and industry delegates present. The conference had particular emphasis on industry-academia relations. One panel discussion also focussed on commercialization of research aimed to”>”>dresses.html”>”>dress issues students faced while going to market with their ideas.

The conference also comprised of a cultural program to show, to put in words of Pankaj,convener of the conference, “that we are just not nerds only into academics.” Students showcased their varied talents, from Indian classical music to Insync putting up a lavni performance.

The conference had an aim to bring together students and speakers not only from various institutes but also disciplines. If the conference had taken place in February as originally planned, it would have been able to attract a greater number of students. The delay also caused certain issues, that prevented international participation.
But hopefully it’ll get bigger and better next year.

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