Professor K. Umamheshwar Rao has assumed office as the new director of NIT Rourkela on February 18, 2022. He will be succeeding Prof. Simanchalo Panigrahi, who was appointed as the interim director in October 2021.
Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao was previously serving as the Director of the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), also known as NIT Surathkal. Before joining here, he was a faculty for almost three decades at IIT Kharagpur. Some of his important portfolios include Chairman (Estate), and Vice Chairman of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). He was also the Head of the Mining Engineering Department during 2006-08 and 2010-14.
The newly appointed Director aims to improve research and innovation infrastructure with the help of faculty and students to make NIT Rourkela a campus of the first choice. He would also work towards increasing multidisciplinary quotient in curriculum with special emphasis given to environmental and value-based education.
Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao said, “The expectations of the industry from the students are to have the 21st-century skills and sufficient knowledge in the niche areas like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big data analysis, 3D printing and additive technology in manufacturing. These expectations have to be taken care with a lot of involvement from the Institute. It is the time for the creation of Career Development Centre instead of Training and Placement Cell, whose objective is to create opportunities for students to upgrade their career skills, soft skills and technical skills.”
Prof. Rao’s field of specialization is experimental rock mechanics and he has been working in this area since 1989. He has guided six Ph.D. candidates with another 12 research scholars in the advanced stage of research under his supervision for their doctoral degrees.