Expanding the Material-verse

Researchers at IISc are using novel technologies to add to existing materials and to understand material properties   About 2.5 million years ago, our ancestors discovered that striking two pieces of rock against each other produces rough edges and stone chips that could be used to break animal bones and scoop flesh off carcasses. And […]

To Boldly See What No One Has Seen Before

From simple combinations of lenses, microscopes have evolved into complex tools giving us unparalleled insight into cellular secrets   January 1665 saw the publication of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia. The beautiful illustrations of fleas, flies and other insects in it gave humanity an insight into the sheer beauty of the hitherto unobserved world of small creatures. […]

Brick by Brick

A behind-the-scenes look at the transformation of an empty space into a full-fledged research lab   Setting up a new lab can be an exhilarating episode in the career of a faculty member. But it can also be a long and arduous journey, one that needs fellow travellers — often this caravan includes graduate students, […]

Before the iPhone, there was the Simputer

The first example of academic entrepreneurship from IISc was an attempt to revolutionise personal computing in India   The year 1998 was the calm before the storm. India had just declared to the world that it had successfully tested weaponised nuclear warheads. The then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, congratulated the scientists and engineers involved […]

Redesigning the Genome

An annual synthetic biology competition has spurred UG students to develop novel solutions   In the early 1960s, French scientists Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod figured out how gene expression in bacterial cells is regulated. Since then, scientists began dreaming of manipulating these regulatory circuits in the bacterial genome (the entire set of its genetic […]

Making Things Work: 75 Years of Mechanical Engineering

Research and teaching aside, the Department has also contributed to the creation of many new programmes and centres on campus   Times were tough for IISc in the 1930s. It faced a serious cash crunch – income from both the Mysore Government and JN Tata’s Bombay properties had dwindled. World War II was looming on […]

A Quiet(er) Place

A closer look at how industrial acoustics and noise control research began at the Institute   In 1896, Henry Ford drove his first experimental automobile down the streets of Detroit in the United States. “My gasoline buggy … was considered something of a nuisance, for it made a racket and scared horses,” he wrote in […]

The Mechanics of Life

Scientists from IISc are addressing questions about the biological world using their engineering skills   Most mechanical engineers do what we think they do – design and fabricate aircraft, machines, and other such human-made objects. But it turns out that some members of their tribe are also curious about how living things work. One of […]

Out of the Lab, Into the World Beyond

How ME research aims to make a difference in clean energy, manufacturing, healthcare and more JN Tata, IISc’s founder, strongly believed that scientific research played a role in social and economic transformation. The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), one of the largest in IISc and currently celebrating its 75th year, has had a history of […]