IIT GUWAHATI

LIST OF THE JOINT CONCEPT NOTES
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Sl. No. Concept Note Title Parent Department/School/Center Concept Note Description
1 Categorical Duality for Behavioural Semantics Computer Science and Engineering The dynamics of state-transition system plays a major role in computer science, mathematics, physics and biology. The specification, semantics and logical description of the behavior of such systems is a fundamental topic. The field of coalgebras has evolved in category theory as a unified model for the description of such systems. In parallel, categorical duality between various kinds of logics and state-transition systems has been shown to be useful for showing soundness and completeness results, state-space minimization and learning. In this work we propose to study categorical duality in the context of coalgebras to explore the behaviour of automata and transition systems of various kinds (weighted, probabilistic, etc.).
2 Towards the development of efficient biosensors based on optimization of lateral flow assay Mechanical Engineering Nowadays, paper-based microfluidics is gaining wide attention among the researchers because, in contrast to more complex microfluidic devices, it offers quick, inexpensive, and portable medical diagnostic devices. As a result, point-of-care testing (POCT) employs such devices extensively. It is made up of a network of hydrophilic cellulose or nitrocellulose fibres that use capillary action to move fluid from an inlet to a desired outlet or area of the device through a porous material allowing proper residence time of the sample needed at certain station to ensure desired reaction. This lateral flow test, also known as the rapid test, is used for detection and quantification (this aspect needs integration of LFA with reader technology) of a variety of infectious agents, pathogens in bio-samples and chemical contaminants in food stuffs and water. Lateral flow biosensors (LFB) are another name for the special paper-based biosensors. LFB consist convection, diffusion and reaction process. As a result, in order to reach the optimum level of sensitivity and uncompromised specificity, the flow characteristics of such biosensors should be optimised. To this end, simulation bases CFD modelling is deemed necessary to optimise the flow characteristics to build the suitable biosensors. Albeit, one-dimensional flow control models are available for LFB, the two and three-dimensional models are of demanding importance but still remaining limited to date. Hence, flow optimization of LFB accounting for underlying reaction kinetics using two- and three-dimensional modelling possess great interest towards design and development of efficient biosensors as it is closely mimic the real scenario.
3 Development of expandable pedicle screws for lumber vertebrae Biosciences and Bioengineering The lower back pain was reported as the second most symptomatic reason and overall fifth most common reason for all the physician visits. Various surgical techniques were tried by physicians to treat lumbar spine fracture. Expandable pedicle screws are recent techniques where screw tip expands lengthwise to form separate flange after pin insertion thereby improving postoperative stability in lumbar fusion. The expandable pedicles were established primarily for improving fixation strength in compromised bone due to osteoporosis or pedicle screw revision. Clinically these screws resulted in greater pullout strength than conventional pedicle screws due to better bone anchorage without an increase in diameter/screw length. However, design and viable positioning of such complicated implants warrant accurate identification of musculoskeletal loading regime. In this proposed study, detailed biomechanical analyses will be performed to understand the design rationale based on patient specific loading data obtained from gait analysis. Pullout strength will be assessed for various threads using both osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic bone analogues. Standard FE validation schemes will be adopted based on predicted stress-strain field in an L4-L5 FSU. Mechanobiological throughput and osseointegration characteristics will be assessed preclinically using standard simulation strategies. Finally, a proof-of-concept design addressing the optimum design features may be selected for fabrication.
4 Reheating the early universe through Boltzmann dynamics Physics The inflationary scenario remains the most promising paradigm to describe the origin of perturbations in the early universe. However, due to the accelerated expansion, inflation cools the universe to a tremendous extent. Therefore, soon after inflation, the universe needs to be reheated quickly in order to lead to the radiation dominated epoch of the conventional hot big bang model. As the temperature of the universe rises rapidly, the reheating phase proves to be violent as the energy from the inflation is transferred to the standard model particles. More- over, the phase is highly non-linear due to the couplings between the field driving the inflation and the standard model particles, making it challenging to examine the mechanism of reheating from both the theoretical and observational points of view. Our present proposal is aimed at studying in detail the process of reheating and identifying various observational signatures related to gravitational waves, distribution of various matter field such as dark matter, electromagnetic field etc, that can help us decode the dynamics of reheating. In understanding this phase of the universe, one of the main governing dynamical equations is the set of Boltzmann operators acting on the phase space distribution function of various matter fields discussed above with collision term among those fields. Such differential equation associated with the Boltzmann operator is an well known mathematics. The development of accurate and fast algorithms for the Boltzmann collision integral and their analysis represent a challenging problem. Deriving the spectrally accurate and stable schemes for the Boltzmann equations are important to understand reheating phase evolution of our universe. Furthermore, from the mathematics point of view we strongly believe that there should be a relation between the time dependent Boltzmann operator and the spectral shift function, which has been shown to be connected with the well known scattering matrices in scattering theory of fields. The above-mentioned precise mathematical formulation will not only shed light on the deeper understanding the evolution of the reheating phase of the universe but also on the underlying mathematical properties.
5 Hydrogen Blends and its Optimized Fuel Characteristics in Internal Combustion Engines Mechanical Engineering Traditional engines cannot be utilized directly with hydrogen, unless the combustion systems are modified. Hydrogen is used as a secondary fuel in internal combustion (IC) engines to enrich fuel quality in terms of engine performance and emission. A primary fuel is used and hydrogen is added to the fuel to control the combustion. Hydrogen is either directly added to the combustion chamber or through the inlet manifold by forming a homogeneous mixture with air. However, the primary fuel is directly injected to the combustion chamber. This study proposes the use of modern artificial intelligence (AI) based techniques to optimize the blends and various parameters to obtain a performance enhancement, while reducing the emissions. Nano-catalysts can be used to improve the performance of the IC engine, while nitrogen oxides (NOx) absorbing materials can be used and their concentration can be optimized by AI techniques.
6 Synthesis and applicability of 3d metal encapsulated nano/micro-structured material for catalysis Chemistry Organometallic catalysis has led to revolutionary advancements in organic synthesis for the production of fine and bulk chemicals. Noble metal complexes are mostly used for this purpose. However, due to its high cost, there is growing interest in catalysis with earth-abundant alternatives. Various well-defined 3d-transition metal complexes have recently been developed for catalysis. The main drawback of homogeneous catalysis is the difficulty of reusing the catalyst and separating metal impurities from the desired product. Thus, the development of 3d-metal-based heterogeneous catalyst, which can perform various types of catalytic processes under milder conditions, would be extremely advantageous. To achieve this well-engineered incorporation of metals in heterogeneous support would be beneficial. Recently, thermal decomposition metal complexes on carbon support were used to synthesize metal encapsulated N-doped graphitic carbon. However, the field is in a nascent stage and has the potential to open up a new avenue in the area of heterogeneous catalysis. In this context, we intend to study the comparative reactivities of Mn, Co and Fe metals. Furthermore, alteration of the ligand motifs, nature of the support, and reaction parameters would be performed to change the microstructure and final composition of the catalyst which will help to fine-tune the catalytic process.
7 Development of Surface Wettability Modified Hydrogel Materials for Flexible Sensors: Implications in Wearable Healthcare Devices Chemistry From the past decade, various wearable sensors are widely investigated due to real-time, low-cost, and long-term monitoring of human physiological signals. So far, however, most sensors have been based on elastomers such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), Ecoflex and VHB. The mechanical and bio-chemical incongruity between these elastomers and human tissue limit their practical applications. Here, conductive ionic hydrogel may be considered as a promising candidate in developing next generation wearable sensors because of their intrinsic biocompatibility and low Young’s modulus. Though, hydrogels have been studied from the last few years, there are still unsolved challenges in hydrogel-based wearable sensors, such as accidental water spillage, water evaporation, weak interface bonding, and the lack of cost-effective fabrication techniques for practical applications. The Institute Postdoctoral Fellow (IPDF) propose to develop a bio-inspired wettability modified conductive hydrogel for the fabrication of wearable sensor devices. A tough and stretchable ionic hydrogel material will be synthesized with its modified surface wettability. These hydrogel would help to build strain sensors to monitor movements of human locomotion. The encapsulated ionic hydrogel will be sandwiched between flexible electrodes to fabricate capacitive sensor array to explore different tactile sensors in terms of pressure sensor and physiological signal monitoring.
8 RoFSO based integrated space-air-ground all-optical communication system for 6G interconnects Electronics and Electrical Engineering A radio over free-space optics (RoFSO) based integrated space-air-ground communication system is a promising solution to the increasing demands for massive connections, high data rates, low latency, spectral efficiency, and ultra-reliability. The current 5G network employs heterogeneous integration of communicating devices using satellite or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networks. However, RoFSO-based integrated space-air-ground overlapping layers have a further scope of implementation in the 6G network, providing full-spectrum support to the diversified multiple radio access technologies (multi-RATs). The UAVs have inherent vibrations, random positions, and orientation, resulting in optical intensity degradation due to non-orthogonality between the transmitted signal and the photodetector plane. These critical factors must be considered for establishing an efficient interconnection amongst the communicating devices. The ground base stations get high-speed access through the RoFSO link, which will help develop all-optical network infrastructure. This proposal aims to study the impact of random fluctuations and orientations of UAVs with respect to mobile units and ground stations, integrate space-air-ground communication links, and implement orbital angular momentum and polarization multiplexing to enhance system capacity and spectral efficiency. Components optimization and comprehensive performance analysis must be performed to validate the feasibility of the proposed system for 6G networks.
9 Super-resolved fluorescence microscopic imaging for biomedical applications Physics The optical imaging lab in the Physics department of IIT Guwahati, in collaboration with Imperial College London, recently developed a Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM). The STORM can provide resolution up to about 50 nm of biological specimens and has immense applications in cancer research and diagnostics. STORM works on the concept of single-molecule localization and provides high resolution, and can be used on live samples. Specific sample preparation techniques and special buffers are required for STORM imaging. Physics Department, IITG is involved in building a super resolution STORM microscope at a much lower cost. The BSBE department of IITG has the expertise in regard to sample preparation and cancer signaling. The IPDF will be involved in STORM imaging for biological specimens and will be trained in instrumentation and sample preparation. The candidate can preferably be either from Physical science or biological science area. The applicant should have used optical microscopes on biological samples. The mentor from the Physics department of IITG will guide the IPDF on the instrumentation side, while the mentor from the BSBE department of IITG will guide the IPDF in cancer biology and signaling.
10 ESTIMATING OF ENVIRONMENTAL CARRYING CAPACITY OF DEEPOR BEEL, GUWAHATI Civil Engineering Resource and environmental carrying capacity (RECC) is an important foundation for the long-term development of wetlands. The accurate evaluation of the RECC of wetlands is of great significance to natural ecosystem, which are rapidly deteriorating. This proposal constructs a support index and pressure index to calculate the level of support resources and the level of environmental pressure that human activities induce in wetlands; in addition, this proposal analyzes the factors affecting RECC. The primary areas of focus will be evaluating (1) the support index and the pressure index of wetlands, (2) The RECC of wetlands, (3) The resources, the environmental services and the pressure of human activities on those services in all localities, based on their development status (4) The ability of resources and the environment to support human activities in India’s wetlands. (5) Common obstacles to the improvement of all wetlands' pressure indexes. This study will support a comprehensive understanding of India's large-scale RECC status and provide a reference for the formulation of a scientific and pragmatic urban development strategy.
11 Vision-based Hand Gesture Recognition System for Neural Rehabilitation. Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence The objective is to develop a vision-based hand gesture recognition system for neural rehabilitation of patients with hand disabilities. Arthritis, hand injury, and stroke impede the normal functioning of the hand (like writing, grabbing, holding, movement of fingers, etc.), thus affecting the patients' daily activities. Hand rehabilitation programs help restore some of the hand’s functionality. Still, they have some limitations: first, a hand rehabilitation system generally involves a lot of sensors and equipment, which increases the cost, and second, a patient needs to visit a hospital/therapeutic clinic for consultation/therapy very often and faces discomfort due to the queues or the travel fatigue. Therefore, with the goal of developing a low-cost and more accessible solution that the patients can access in their homes, we will develop: (1) a vision-based artificial intelligence (AI) model using deep architectures for dynamic hand gesture recognition, and (2) an application with a Graphical User Interface (that will use our AI modeling as the backend) running on a PC or a mobile device that the patients can use for hand rehabilitation exercises associated with hand abduction, adduction, extension, flexion, opposition, and arm movement.
12 Quantum-mechanics guided design of fluorescent biosensors for application in healthcare School of Health Science & Technology Detection of disease-specific biomarkers is one of the critical mandate to achieve effective and affordable healthcare. The advanced disease diagnosis approaches emphasized non-invasive techniques, for which fluorescence technology has proved to be an indispensable tool. Fluorescence probes with a characteristic donor-acceptor π-conjugated system are potentially applicable for imaging and controlling the spatio-temporal dynamics within a cell. Examples of some fluorescent probes includes coumarin-343, PS525, and KS2 for detecting Na+ and K+ ions in body fluids, hydrocoumarin derivatives for Cu2+, HPO for Zn2+, and oxyaminoluciferin for Fe2+ ion detection in body fluids. Though several such probes have been exploited to date as theranostics; however, their applicability is limited due to poor quantum yield. This property can be improved by understanding and tuning the underlying photochemistry. It includes detailed investigation of processes like photo-induced isomerization, intramolecular charge transfer, and intersystem crossing. Additionally, designing probes with the wavelength of absorption near red light (~700 nm) enhances their clinical applicability due to improved penetration ability into cellular systems. This is precisely the scope of this joint concept, where the design of fluorescence molecular probes will be guided using state-of-art quantum chemical methods followed by spectroscopic studies, including analysis of the solvatochromic effect. Lastly, the evaluation will focus on their suitability to translate into paper-based sensors for probes with the desirable spectroscopic and analytical properties.
13 Design and Fabrication of Thin film microsensors and their integration with supercapacitors for Improved Sensing Parameters Electronics and Electrical Engineering Developing highly selective and sensitive handheld breath analyzers for non-invasive disease diagnosis is a challenge for all of us. Two terminal devices, particularly chemiresistive and capacitive devices, are simple to develop and less sophisticated. At the same time, three-terminal devices like TFTs (thin film transistors) extend better control to the end user and are more stable. However, these claims are crude and need experimental evidence side-by-side for a particular receptor film. In this project, we will investigate a two-terminal vs. three-terminal device’s sensing performance keeping most of the parameters constant and, most importantly, for a similar receptor thin film. The other problem with these devices is their demand for elevated temperature for optimal performance. We have observed that thin film-based devices mostly suffer from film poisoning, which is responsible for poor recovery in room temperature operated devices. To fix this, we propose recovering the sensors based on supercapacitors, where the latter will be used to provide a pulsed form of energy to the former.
14 Machine Learning-based Attacks on Secured Hardware Computer Science and Engineering Many semiconductor companies use offshore third-party foundries to manufacture their chips. While cost-effective, this fabless model introduces security concerns. Since the foundry has access to the chip layout, it can reverse engineer the chip's functionality and steal the designer's intellectual property (IP). IP theft of this nature is a serious concern. One approach to preventing IP piracy is logic obfuscation in which the circuit functionality is locked using an additional key input. The IC only functions correctly for a secret key value, known only to the designer. The correct key is not revealed to the foundry. When fabricated chips are received from the foundry, the designer activates the chip by loading the correct key in a tamper-proof memory. There are plenty of works on logic obfuscation – both on attack and defense sides, both at gate level and RTL designs. Since the oracle (activated chip) is available, correct and corresponding incorrect pairs of outputs can be generated from oracle and locked circuits. A combination of Heuristic Search Strategies and Machine Learning approaches can predict (almost) correct keys by learning from input-error association patterns. Thus, this work aims at exploring Machine Learning approaches to attack a logic-locked circuit for key prediction.
15 Biogenic Emissions - Impact on Air Quality and Climate of NE India Civil Engineering Northeast (NE) India has immense forest resources and is the most forested zone in the country. From an air pollution or climate change point of view, these forests are the sources of biogenic emissions such as isoprene, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, which are categorized as non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and are precursors to formation of other air pollutants such as ground level ozone (O3). Also, through secondary aerosol formation these contribute to biogenic aerosols. Biogenic emissions from vegetation are dependent on the solar radiation falling on it, which is again controlled by the aerosols and clouds. Thus, NMVOCs have impact on both air quality and climate, which can be studied with the help of meteorological and air quality models such as WRF-CHEM, etc. The key objectives of this study could be: 1. Contribution of biogenic emissions to the air quality of NE India. 2. Change in biogenic emissions over NE India due to influence of aerosols. 3. Contribution of biogenic aerosols to the radiative forcing. 4. Contribution of biogenic aerosols on the rainfall of NE India. Dr. Selvaraju: Characterization of biogenic VOCs, chemical properties. Prof. Sharad Gokhale: Estimation of biogenic emissions over NE India, modelling and its impact on air and climate.
16 Artificial Intelligence to aid Design for Sustainability Design Design for Sustainability (DfS) is a challenging task for designers, particularly in the early stages of problem identification and conceptualisation, due to the multitude of factors to be considered. Understanding the lifecycle to better identify problems, poor knowledge of the potential impact of proposed solutions and the combinations of design decisions, the weightage of the three dimensions of Sustainability (social, economic, environmental) are but a few factors needed for making the best possible trade-offs. Add to it, designers seldom have the training or time to make evidence-based decisions from existing research and cases, due to tedious methods and tools available for DfS. Through this IPDF, we will explore how Artificial Intelligence can aid in creating Design for Sustainability supports, with a focus on those based on methods, guidelines and heuristics. The design support will target the problem identification and design conceptualisation stages and build on available databases developed by the Mentors. The applicants should have expertise in development of applications using Artificial Intelligence.
17 Enzyme Bioengineering in regulating their mechanistic pathway using computational tools Chemistry A proficient array of enzyme is present in nature for the synthesis of intricate natural compounds. Natural products have varied chemical structures, therefore enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of natural products serve as potential source of biocatalyst. Efficiency and selectivity of enzyme is ascribed to their meticulous active site pockets that precisely govern product distribution. Fine-tuning through mutation in residues, near and far from the active site could govern the product-yield. Both metalloenzymes and non-metalloenzymes present in nature may be targeted and tailored for the synthesis of chemically important compounds to be used as pharmaceuticals, biofuels etc. Present studies will be addressed using computational tools, involving development of molecular model by identification of active-site and selection of the residues through available X-ray crystal structures of enzymes. Density functional Theory (DFT) based Quantum mechanical (QM) treatment of these models to explore their structure and electronic features in details. Thereafter, bio engineering of the substrate-binding pocket, to study the effect of mutation on the reaction-rate and product distribution using QM/MM techniques. PhD with the experience in handling reaction landscape of the intermediates, thermodynamic calculations using computations tools would be the prerequisite for the position.
18 Ab initio Studies on Ethyl Carbazole based Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers for Sustainable Hydrogen Storage Chemical Engineering Hydrogen carriers have proven to be a promising alternative to conventional energy storing methods. It is considered to be a clean carrier that can be used for several purposes like portable and stationary power applications. Hydrogen can be produced in different ways, like through natural gas (48%), the by-product of petroleum refining (30%), coal (18%), and water electrolysis (4%). However, one challenge arises: hydrogen has a low volumetric density; hence, it is not easy to store. Other issues faced are higher costs, boil-off losses during transportation, and problems related to safety. One of the solutions to this problem is to use liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LHOC) systems. LOHC has hydrogen, which can be delivered across distances. This transport mechanism is based on a two-step cycle: (a) hydrogen loading/storage (hydrogenation) into the LOHC molecule and (b) hydrogen unloading/release (dehydrogenation). Hydrogen is covalently linked to the particular LOHC throughout the storage period. Because the (ideal) LOHC is liquid at room temperature and has comparable qualities to crude oil based liquids (for example: diesel, gasoline), it is readily handled, transported, and stored; consequently, a phased implementation of utilizing existing crude oil based infrastructure is viable.
19 "Boosting underwater tourism by 3D Printed coral reef” Centre for Intelligent Cyber Physical Systems Reef-forming corals are primary contributors to the architectural complexity of coral reef ecosystems. Multiple studies have found loss of live coral to cause reductions in reef complexity and detrimental impacts to associated reef fish and invertebrates. The use of digital technologies like 3D printing of coral reefs and virtual reality for creating the well curated environment can be one of the first steps towards saving our reefs, as the 3D structure provides a base for the coral to grow and flourish. Moreover, the dynamic linkages between reef complexity and ecological processes are poorly understood as reefs have been conventionally assessed using two-dimensional (2D) metrics that are incapable of quantifying structural complexity and therefore deployment of 3D technologies, 3D imaging and 3D printing are highly important, which can be translated and digitized into a 3D printed artificial reef.
20 Development and Cost-Assessment of Non-noble Functional Materials for Green Hydrogen Production, and Storage School of Energy Sciences and Engineering Technologies for producing hydrogen by water electrolysis using renewable energies (green hydrogen) and to store the green hydrogen is gaining much importance. For large-scale production of green hydrogen, development of non-noble (cheap) electrocatalysts with high rate of H2 production, and high current density is crucial. The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) proposes a development of electrocatalyst showing current density of 800 mA cm−2 for alkaline water electrolysis and 2500 mA cm−2 proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis along with stability of 50,000 h by 2040. The current research will develop several non-noble-transition-metal-based (Mo, Fe, Co, Ni, W, V, Cu, etc.) nanomaterials, and their alloys, oxides, chalcogenides, phosphides, and borides electrocatalyst for industrial scale green H2 production, showing comparable activities to those of benchmarking platinum based electrocatalysts. Specifically, effects of the catalyst dimensionality, surface chemistry, morphology, electron transport path, and catalyst-electrolyte interplay will be studied. For achieving a better sustainability, an efficient hydrogen storage and transportation would also be considered. In this regard, the current research will also develop several state-of-the-art solid-state hydrogen storage methods using next-generation materials - nanoporous 3D carbon, metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks with the storage capacity of >6.5 wt % (gravimetric). Additionally, the cost-assessment of the proposed technology will be done.
21 A novel PV/T powered heat pump (HP) integrated with PCM based Thermal Energy Storage for the Smart Grid interaction of nZEB School of Energy Sciences and Engineering The proposed project is aimed to evaluate a novel solution for the exploitation of solar energy with heat pumps in a Smart Grid oriented scenario. In detail, the assessment will be focused on the energy performances of a multi-functional integrated heat pump, designed to cover the HVAC needs using photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal and aerothermal energy, with a specific focus on residential buildings. In the proposed configuration, the heating, cooling and DHW demand is satisfied by a high efficiency air-to-water heat pump with continuous power modulation, directly fed by PV/T collectors. In fact, PV/T is a promising technology where the generation of hot air or water is possible along with the improvement in the PV electrical efficiency. An increase in the thermal efficiency of PV/T is another viable option for meeting the buildings' heating demand, especially when the coupling with heat pumps is designed. Furthermore to overcome the typical mismatch between solar energy generation profile and the heating/cooling/DHW load profile of domestic buildings, a cost-effective and high-density energy storage system will be developed. The proposed concept will focus on a TES system based on biocomposite PCM prepared by blending porous biochar with suitable organic PCM through simple impregnation method.
22 Anonymous Routing and Lightweight Security Mechanisms for On-Chip Interconnects Computer Science and Engineering SoC complexity has led to a significant increase in SoC design and validation complexity. Reusable hardware IP-based SoC design has emerged as a pervasive design practice in the industry to dramatically reduce design and verification costs while meeting aggressive time-to-market constraints. Growing reliance on these pre-verified hardware IPs, often gathered from untrusted third-party vendors, severely affects the security and trustworthiness of SoC computing platforms. In order to secure cyberspace, it is vital to protect the NoC from potential security threats as well as leverage the advantages given by NoC to minimize security vulnerabilities of other system components. A compromised IP in the NoC can corrupt data, degrade performance or even steal sensitive data. The goal of this proposal is to develop a lightweight and secure on-chip communication architecture to enable trusted communication between heterogeneous third-party IPs in NoC-based SoCs. Our proposed research will provide a comprehensive solution by addressing the fundamental on-chip communication security challenges while satisfying a wide variety of communication requirements such as securing packets, ensuring route privacy, and meeting energy budget and real-time constraints. We focus on (i) lightweight NoC security architecture that secures the content of packets and (ii) anonymous routing to maintain route privacy.
23 Implications of flavour measurements on Dark Matter searches Physics In spite of the tremendous success of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics acquired through theoretical and experimental discoveries spanning the last couple of decades including that of the Higgs boson, it fails to explain the existence of dark matter (DM), the smallness of neutrino mass etc. The extensions of the SM are expected to address these issues by introducing new degrees of freedom beyond the SM (BSM). New particles or interactions introduced at a high scale could have a related shorter-distance interaction. Therefore, apart from the direct searches at the colliders, low-energy observables will play an essential role in the indirect detection of the new particles through deviations from the respective SM predictions. The main purpose of the proposal is to explore some BSM models, particularly those catering to DM physics and neutrino mass generation that can simultaneously accommodate the low energy observables, like data from B-factories, muon anomalous magnetic moment and the LFV data. The goal will be the systematic studies of the phenomenology of DM models, focusing on the rich consequences the lepton and quark flavour physics can have for the dark sector. The predictability of the models via different and unique observable collider signals at present and future high luminosity LHC or ILC runs will be investigated.
24 Phototrophic biofilm based waste water recycling for sustainable water usage in latex coagulation. School of Energy Sciences and Engineering Bioremediation with indigenous strains would be crucial for industrial wastewater due to processing for latex for dry rubber sheet. The expansion of natural rubber production through rehabilitation package for livelihood to contain shifting cultivation requires sound waste water treatment technology to reduce the environmental threat. Bioremediation is a cost effective way to remove biochemical oxygen demand, pathogens, phosphorus and nitrogen than activated sludge process and other secondary treatment processes. Phototrophic biofilm based bioremediation has advantages over other conventional physico-chemical methods, such as ion-exchange, reverse osmosis, dialysis and electro-dialysis, membrane separation, activated carbon adsorption, and chemical reduction or oxidation, due to its better nutrient removal efficiency, sludge reduction and the low cost of its implementation and maintenance. The phototrophic biomass produced through bioremediation would be utilized either in plantation for as organic manure or biofertilisers thereby maintain the soil health to sustain latex production.
25 Development and Validation of Models for Dynamic Simulations of Networked Microgrids School of Energy Sciences and Engineering Networked operation of multiple autonomous microgrids (MGs) is emerging as one of the best alternatives to improve the reliability and resiliency of power electronics-dominated power system networks. Networked microgrids (NMGs) can also provide the necessary infrastructure required for better utilization of economic and environment-friendly electric power generated from distributed energy resources (DERs). However, due to the complex dynamics of the power electronics interfaced DERs existing in microgrids, high-fidelity models for dynamic simulations are required for validation of the reliable and secure operation of NMGs under different operating conditions and control settings. This project deals with the development of high-fidelity models for dynamic simulations of NMGs. The developed models will include inverters-based DERs both in grid-forming as well as grid-following modes and will be validated using hardware-in-loop (HIL) simulations. Furthermore, the developed models can be used as benchmark models for carrying out various studies on future power system networks with NMGs.
26 Design and development of a system for production of bio-surfactants for Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) application Center for Environment A significant amount of crude oil remained in the reservoir after primary and secondary recovery processes. Various enhanced oil recovery schemes are being implemented to recover this trapped oil. An environment-friendly and alternative method of EOR and remediation of environmental contamination is the usage of and biosurfactants producing bacterias. Structural and functional properties allow biosurfactants to become attractive candidates for a wide variety of industrial and environmental applications. However, the economics of biosurfactant production limits its practical application. In this direction, a suitable design of bioreactor is one of such strategies, which may enhance the productivity of biosurfactants and reduce the operation cost. Different configurations of bioreactors will be fabricated and tested for the enhanced production of biosurfactants. In this regard, the application of either the potential microbes or their metabolites, e.g., biosurfactants in oil extraction is termed as microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). Stability tests under extreme conditions endorse the practical applicability of biosurfactants along with reduction in interfacial tension and wettability alteration. Further, a suitable bioreactor system needs to be designed to produce biosurfactant and develop strategy for large scale production. The integration of chemical and bio-surfactant can also be explored to improve the efficiency of the process.
27 Design and analysis of Al-ion based battery for Automobile Mechanical Engineering As there is no provision for providing the electricity to the underwater devices, their operation depends heavily on storage batteries. In general, recently lithium lead batteries are used but these are bulky, costly, often unsafe as they can catch fire during charging or operation, and difficult to dispose as raw materials are toxic. Researchers are looking for improved batteries that are lighter, smaller, cheaper, safer, and recyclable. To meet the future needs for energy storage, novel material systems with high energy densities, readily available raw materials (with no need for mining), and high safety are required. Solid-state aluminium-ion battery is potentially the most promising battery systems to meet this global demand for the next generation batteries. The aim of the project is to develop simulation model for Al based battery. A mathematical model will be developed to understand the electrochemical behavior of charging and discharging. It will help to assess the life of next generation battery.
28 Interfacial Transport Processes in Micro-structured Devices Chemical Engineering The flow is sub-millimeter size channels is important in a number of applications such as in chemical processing, electronics cooling, aerospace and automotive industries. Several of these applications involve two and three phase flow for example during evaporation and boiling, condensation, gas-liquid, liquid-liquid and gas-liquid-solid reactions. The design of microstructure devices require a comprehensive understanding of the momentum, heat and mass transfer in them. The aim of this project is to investigate the hydrodynamics, heat and mass transfer in microstructured devices using a synergistic combination of numerical and computational techniques. On the computational front, this project will specifically aim to develop user subroutines for interfacial transport processes in the framework of interface capturing techniques such as volume of fluid /level-set or phase field method and /or Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) in order to model evaporation, condensation and/or mass transfer between two phases. The models will be extensively validated with the analytical solutions, experimental data available in the literature. Further, experiments will also be performed to validate the model.
29 cyber security for grid-connected power electronic converters Electronics and Electrical Engineering Grid-connected power electronic converters are key enabling technologies for interfacing renewable energy sources, energy storage, electrical vehicles, microgrids, and high-voltage dc transmission lines with the electrical power grid. As the number of power converters in modern grids continually increases, their monitoring and coordinated control in a proper way to support the grid is necessary. With remote control of these converters, it also exposes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In this project, machine learning based tools will be developed for cyber security of such grid-connected power electronic converters.
30 Cyber Security in Smart Micro-Grid – Attack Detection and User Authentication Computer Science and Engineering Many cyber-attacks on power sectors have been reported in last few years. Any successful cyber-attack could introduce major economic and operational problems. Hijacked cyber link(s) could also affect the micro-grid system reliability and operation in many ways. There are three levels of controls in smart micro-grids: primary, secondary, and tertiary. A set of control parameters are sent as commands through communication network by the tertiary and secondary controllers to primary controllers. While such remote control capability allows many new control functions in grid connected converters, it also makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks in grid connected converters can maneuver the system stability, confidentiality and optimal operation and in extreme case may lead to system shutdown. Therefore, accurate detection and mitigation of cyber-attacks on grid-tied power electronic converters becomes very critical. IoT network could be useful for collecting sensed data and other data flows among different levels in smart micro-grid. However, devices/objects in IoT network do suffer from many security and privacy problems, especially regarding the authentication among devices. To resolve these security issues, researchers in the field of computer security have developed many authentication protocols applied in the context of the IoT. Due to wireless channels as a medium of communication, IoT poses several other threats such as a denial of service attack, man-in-the-middle attack, and modification attack. So, it is important to design a lightweight and adaptive user authentication protocol to counter these security threats.
31 Multilingual Visual Question Answering (VQA) in Indian Context with Sentence based Answering Electronics and Electrical Engineering A VQA model generates a natural language answer in response to an input natural language question and image. It has applications in AI assistants, healthcare, tourism, surveillance etc. Most existing VQA models are trained on image datasets containing objects and actions from day-to-day life of western nations accompanied with question-answer pairs in English. Such models often fail to perform well on scenes cast in Indian context. Also, most works treat VQA as an (mostly single-word and a few multi-word) answer classification problem instead of a sentence-based answer synthesis problem. This severely limits its applicability in real life. Accordingly, this project has the following goals. First, generation of sentence-based answers and questions in Indian language from QA pairs of existing datasets. Second, automation in data curation for development of an Indian Multi-lingual VQA dataset. This dataset contains objects and actions in Indian context with question-answer pairs in multiple Indian languages. Third, development of VQA models for synthesis of natural language sentence-based answers in response to input question-image pair. The model(s) should be capable of handling multiple Indian languages. The interested IPDF candidate is expected to contribute and supervise the present UG/PG students working along these directions.
32 3D Bioprinted Full Thickness Human Skin Model for In Vitro Dermatological Testing and Drug Assessment Biosciences and Bioengineering Assays for studying skin penetration and toxicity form the core of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The use of animals for such biomedical purposes has been rightly criticized and strongly questioned for scientific and ethical reasons. From the scientific point of view, even though some human diseases can be emulated in animal models, the molecular pathways that cause their onset and progression are frequently disparate. Evidence suggests 90 percent of drugs proved successful in animal experimentation, fail clinical trials. The inefficacy of these drugs is an indication of the inability of animal models to mimic human physiology. Additionally, animal studies pertaining to the translational of a new molecular entity to clinical drug are time-consuming and expensive. To overcome these limitations, 3D in-vitro models have been developed, and numerous studies are in progress with the goal of making them more reliable and reproducible. The skin models available in the market today are largely representative of only the epidermal layer, marking a further need for development. Therefore, we aim to develop an affordable, multilayered 3D bioprinted dermal platform for toxicity studies of cosmetics and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Further, the 3D bioprinted skin model can be modified to induce disease conditions and study them.
33 Neural processing during listening or reading tasks using CameraEEG Android application. Biosciences and Bioengineering Electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used in language related research for some time now. The method allows precision in understanding various language related functions in the human brain, used for both normal and clinical cases. Event related potential (ERP) signal features used for this purpose are Mismatch negativity(MMN), N170, N400, P600 etc.. MMN is associated with sound recognition, N170 for automatic reading and so on. Same signals can be localized differently, depending upon some subtle differences, like depending on participants, late learners may show right N170 while people who learnt to read in childhood will show left N170 (portraying a different strategy in processing the same input. Hence this method can be used to study known Vs unknown language recognition, learning, tracing children’s language development and even predict a learning disorder early on. These, in turn, can be used to check efficacy of literacy projects and teaching methods in schools, for both normal and atypical children. It is already established that attention indices are important in situations of learning and electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used to study functional deficits of attention. However, attention and comprehension in real world tasks, involve each syllable achieving its meaning in the context of a word, and each word in the context of a sentence. While it is fruitful to use EEG to probe a number of rather relevant topics related to education, literacy goals etc, the typical lab based EEG set up may not always provide the necessary information to determine ERP features like MNM, N170. This is where CameraEEG app being developed at IIT Guwahati will prove useful as it provides synchronized recording of brain and camera data during natural environment tasks. The study has the potential to impact education policy, especially in remote parts of the country.
34 Expansion of the Genetic Alphabet: Design and Synthesis of Fluorescent Unnatural Nucleosides toward Developing a Semi-Synthetic Organism Center for Environment Aim: The synthetic development of such unnatural nucleobases which confers DNA duplex stability through non-H bonding, is always challenging. In this project, we aim to synthesise nucleobase pairs held via π- π stacking/charge transfer interaction and study polymerase-mediated replication and transcription. Objective/Methodology: Our efforts will focus on the following aspects: (a) Design and synthesis of size expanded fluorescent Unnatural Nucleobase Pairs (UNBPs) with Charge Transfer ability (CT); (b) Study their photophysical and CT properties; (c) Application in DNA duplex stabilization via CT interaction; (d) Enzymatic (polymerase mediated incorporation, PCR) incorporation of suitable base pair generating ‘Expanded Genetic Alphabet(s)’ which could be Transcribed. Outcome: The new DNA sequence with incorporated UNB can be translated to generate a new protein that will introduce a novel functionality, hence resulting in a semi-synthetic life form. The generated semi-synthetic organisms may be applied for environmental bioremediation, biosensing, therapeutics and other synthetic biology applications. The work needs expertise in Organic Synthesis or Biotechnology or Molecular Biology or Microbiology or in both.
35 Multiscale Molecular Modelling and Simulation of Biodegradable Polymers Centre for Sustainable Polymers Conventional non-biodegradable plastics are a major source of environmental pollution at present. Biodegradable polymers are promising alternatives to such conventional plastics. However, in order to be viable replacements, properties of such biodegradable polymers should be comparable to those of conventional non-degradable polymers. Several polymer properties (mechanical, barrier etc.) can be enhanced by incorporation of additives into the polymer matrix. The proposed work aims to apply multiscale simulation techniques to effectively model the structure and properties of biodegradable polymers and their nanocomposites and help identify the polymer-additive combinations that have favourable properties such as mechanical properties and gas barrier properties. Detailed understanding of structure-property relation of several biodegradable polymers and effect of nanofiller addition on their properties is still incomplete. Molecular simulation studies of biodegradable polymers and related nanocomposites are important for molecular-level understanding of polymer properties and the effect of nanofiller-polymer interactions on these properties. Therefore, in the proposed work, realistic molecular models of polymer nanocomposites will be generated, and polymer-filler interactions at molecular level will be studied and related to the modification in polymer properties. This is expected to aid in the rational design of sustainable polymer-based materials having superior properties that can be tailored according to specific requirements.
36 Traditional Grain Storage Practices in India Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems Post-harvest management including storage and infestation accounts for about 10% losses of total food grains in India. Thus, efficient storage of grains immensely contributes to socio-economic developments. The main factors affecting the spoilage loss of food grains during storage are as follows: a) Physical factors, e.g. temperature, relative humidity, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels b) Biological factors, e.g. microorganisms, rodents and insects c) Chemical factors, e.g. pesticides d) Engineering or mechanical factors, e.g. design of storage structure, type of packaging and transportation The modern warehouses and traditional storage structures have their own merits and demerits. It appears that the traditional storages are superior to modern warehouses in certain aspects including lesser storage losses, but require some technological interventions. The key parameters like temperature, relative humidity, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels should be monitored during the traditional storage of different grains. The modern warehouses should be designed to include the positive features of traditional storage. In many parts of India, sun drying is used to control the moisture content, which is less effective in the North-East region of India due to heavy rainfall. Hence, the method of withering tea leaves by hot air can be explored. Similarly, the use of camphor in place of some chemical pesticides can be investigated. An attempt shall be made to formulate technological concepts for designing a novel efficient food grain storage system based on beneficial traditional knowledge.
37 Reactivity Studies of 4-Hydroxythiocoumarin Towards Synthesis of New Chemical Entities and Their Anticancer Activity Chemistry Organosulfur compounds are an important class of organic compounds. Moreover, they exhibit biological and pharmacological activity. The naturally occurring organosulfur compounds include amino acids (cysteine, methionine), vitamins (biotin, thiamine), and cofactors (glutathione, thioredoxine), which are required for our day-to-day life. The aim of the research project is to synthesize new chemical entities by employing 4-hydroxythiocoumarin as a key synthetic building block for the synthesis of numerous new compounds through multi-component or cross-oxidative coupling reactions. The synthesis of sulfur-containing heterocycles particularly fused thiazine, thiophenes, and thiopyran will be achieved and their anticancer activity will be investigated in collaboration with other research groups.