Collating memories of UVCE etched by many of our alumni, here it is presenting to you – “Decadewise Memories”. This article is a narrative by Dr. Paul Vizhian about his time at UVCE in 1980’s.

It was a dream come true in the year 1979, when I entered the portals of this prestigious institution. Till then I had only heard of the dedicated professors who had been the architects of many eminent engineer and technologist in India and abroad. A greater part of my interaction was naturally with Professors in my own department who were highly accessible.

Even though all of them were highly qualified, it is the areas of interest some of them pursued which impressed me individually. At that time in Mechanical Engineering, research work centered around areas like stress analysis, welding of bimetals, composites etc using advanced mechanics of materials equations one could determine the maximum stress induced at any given point a tedious process as use of computers was still in its infancy.

Our professors exposed us to the use of photo elastic, birefregirent or holography techniques to not only to find stress but also to visualize the same in the materials – a process known as ‘Whole field technique’; whatever was deficient in terms of physical equipment was highly made up by the whole hearted encouragement and interaction the faculty provided.

In engineering often two or more parts are joined together. Joining or fixing parts of the same material by welding is common, but getting the same done using two different materials raises problems. I was witness to such a technique being developed and demonstrated by one of my professors.

The need for the better materials possessing high strength to weight ratio, better bearing capacity called for composite materials. We were exposed to such fresh ideas apart from participating in the study and development of a few metal matrix composites in the department. Some of these studies have been published in highly respected journals. Some of these studies were pioneered in this department especially in Karnataka.

A different experience for me was the personal involvement and interest taken by the teachers in demystifying many a complex concept either in lab or workshop.

Today pervasive use of computers have made lots of things easier, but still the importance of understanding the basic principles and logic of the concerned subject cannot be wished away – a concept emphasized again and again by our Professors.

It was also the time of major changes – from slide rule to calculators and on to computers, from good old ‘T’ square mini drafter and parallel ‘T’ square, from fountain pens to dot pens. Learning has never been the same again. I am happy that I was a part of such process and also of the institution which exposed us to such cutting edge technologies thereby enabling us to be receptive to new challenges all the time – the greatest gift a college can bestow on a student.

– Paul Vizhian S, Faculty, Mechanical Dept., UVCE