Dr. Shashikant Yadav
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?
I have spent more than ten years of my life studying chemical engineering. It starts from 2004 when I took admission in B.E. from DCRUST, Murthal. The company whose campus placement I got in the final year was not my company of choice. After this, I opted for my second option, joined M.Tech at IIT Roorkee. But later I realized that it was the best decision of my life. After a two-year stay at IIT Roorkee, I realized how important it is to pursue a career in academics. After that I went to do PhD at IIT Bombay with the aim of pursuing a career in academics. Currently I am working on the post of assistant professor at NIT Jalandhar.
Q2. What did attract you towards teaching instead of any corporate job?
First of all, I want to tell you that if you are thinking of making a career in academia, then teaching is just one of its components. Apart from teaching, you will have to work on research and administrative tasks. Today’s new India has immense research opportunities. You can take the country in a new direction by making new inventions in the direction of social welfare. While at the academic, you get a chance to play an important role in solving the country’s basic problems related to infrastructure, agriculture, medicines, manufacturing, energy and internal security. If you want international exposure in your life, there can be no better profession than academics. Here you participate in various types of workshops, short term courses, national and international conferences where you interact with academicians and scientists from all over the world and exchange ideas. Through teaching, you infuse knowledge into the coming generation and help them become a good and self-reliant citizen. Apart from this, you also get good salary, allowances and academic freedom. The higher authority only handles administrative tasks and has minimal interference in your work. I think academia is the most novel and satisfying profession.
Q3. How do you handle stress in this fast and competitive life?
Frankly, I love my profession and I never feel stressed. In free time, I enjoy traveling, playing indoor and outdoor games, reading novels, watching videos and documentaries, cooking and gardening.
Q4. Tell us about one of the moments which changed your perspective towards life?
When I was in primary school, I had a classmate. He was a very promising boy but later dropped out of school due to financial constraints of the family and today he is a daily laborer. Even today when I remember that boy, I feel that even after 73 years of independence, we are not able to give equal opportunities to our younger generation. Even today more than 15% children in the country drop out of secondary school due to poverty and lack of resources. One of the reasons for my career in academia was that I want to contribute to Indian policy-making. If I get an opportunity to make policy in the field of education in future, I would like to work for affordable and universal education. At IIT Bombay we used to run a group called Abhyasika in which we used to go and teach children in slum. At that time, a girl joined our classes, who later cracked IIT JEE and got admission in IIT Kanpur. As a country, it is our duty that every child gets enough resources to fulfill their dream.
Q5. Where do you want to see yourself after 10 years in career?
Promotion in government services is largely predictable and occurs sooner or later. If you do not talk about academic position and promotion, I want to work in two research areas in the future. The first is the abatement of global warming and environmental pollution and the second is increasing agricultural productivity by increasing crop yields and increasing self-life of perishable foods.
Q6. What was your Research topic in Ph.D? Please share some brief about it?
The topic of my PhD was “Carbon sequestration by carbon dioxide in mineral slurries and industrial waste”. Given the adverse effect of high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, there is a recognized need for strategies to mitigate the impacts. The approach to research in this area includes studies which investigate the capture and safe, permanent disposal of CO2. Diverse technological options have been suggested for disposal—for example, the storage of CO2 in depleted environments (e.g., gas fields, oceans, and aquifers). An alternate method of sequestration would be a CO2 sequestration through the use of minerals and interest is most pronounced in regions where underground sequestration is impossible or decidedly unfeasible. My research work investigated the capability of CO2 sequestration with different feedstock under diverse reaction conditions and also to study how carbonation affects leaching and mineralogy of feedstock. Experiments were conducted within a semi–batch reactor to determine the rate of reaction with regards to feedstock and CO2 in an aqueous medium.
Q7. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
I have a big problem of weak memory, due to which I have faced many problems. In college, friends used to make fun of me and I want to solve this problem.
Q8. You are an alumnus of IIT, Roorkee and IIT, Bombay. What was your experience of study in the best institution in India?
I mainly want to share my experience of IIT Bombay. Faculty and research facilities there were truly world class. IIT Bombay works on hundreds of sponsored consultancy and research projects from various reputed agencies like DST, DAE, BARC, DRDO, ISRO, ONGC, TCS and RIL. This institute works on the overall development of the students. Techfest and Mood Indigo are the technical and cultural festivals of IIT Bombay which are the largest events in Asia. I got opportunities to travel in different countries and enjoyed my IIT life to the fullest.
Q9. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?
I think students like my friendly and interactive nature. Many times students come to me and discuss their personal problems without any hesitation.