Dr Sujith Kalluri
“Research: The distance between an idea and its realisation,” said the powerhouse of 20th-century mass media, David Sarnoff. The present might be filled with ideas, but it’s only quality research that will take them to their logical conclusion in the future. At SRM University AP the focus on research is manifold. The University is forging stronger relationships with the industry to promote research that is high on application in the real world. It also strives to inculcate research bent of mind amongst students through their active involvement in projects.
Dr Sujith Kalluri, Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at the University, is part of one such project. The Venus International Foundation – Young Scientist Award winner 2017 is part of six-faculty team that is working on interdisciplinary research on Battery Technology, from the science to project development. The project has already attracted industry interest and offers brilliant exposure to students involved. The passionate researcher talks about his project and other initiatives at the University.
Charged about the project
Dr Kalluri’s research interest lies in Rechargeable Batteries, and Electronic Testing and advanced diagnostics of Lithium-Ion Batteries. He is grateful for the support of the leadership at the university, which has resulted in SRM-Amaraja Center for Energy Storage devices. “Our key objectives include fast charging technology in Lithium-Ion Batteries which enables fast charging of Electric vehicles. We also aim at implementing the additive manufacturing technology in the large scale production of battery electrodes,” he says looking ahead.
Research with high “application factor.”
Dr Kalluri reveals that the project being conducted at the University hopes to inspire manufacturing of large production of battery electrodes so that the industry can easily meet the demand for the Lithium-Ion batteries. “The goal would be to reduce the charging times for our Smart Phones and Electric Vehicles. So the research has tangible implications for these industries. Another aspect is the concern about Lithium resource around the globe. So we have to look at alternatives that are competitive with Lithium-Ion batteries,” he says.
The merits of interdisciplinary research
One of the highlights of the research project at SRM University AP is its multidisciplinary nature. It involves six faculty members from different engineering backgrounds, Physics and Chemistry. Dr Kalluri asserts that the expertise they bring to the table creates an enriching environment for research. “The faculty pool and resources give us perspective and direction. India has set a goal of at least 20% electric vehicles by 2030, so that gave us the motivation. Amaraja Batteries Limited have visited us several times and offered positive response,” he speaks of the impact.
Student involvement in research
Dr Kalluri states that they are currently in the process of recruiting PhD scholars, researchers and technicians for the centre. They also have a plan to recruit undergraduate and postgraduate students for the project. “They will be involved in R&D while researchers and faculty members focus on product development. Thus they will get first-hand insights into how research is done as well as how a product is developed. We also have an Undergraduate Research Program where students complete projects under the guidance of faculty mentors,” he explains.
The prototype of Electric Vehicle, Bio-Medical analysis of MRI scans, Centre of Excellence in VLSI Design; the list of research projects at the University is endless. Dr Kalluri reminds us that their mission is to conduct research that addresses societal problems locally and globally. “Amaravati is planned to be a Smart City. All smart cities have a Smart Pole, which is completely Wi-Fi enabled. Our EC department is involved in developing the project, and the prototype has already been shown to APCRDA Department,” he says enthusiastically.
It’s this zest for research, to meet the demands of the evolving world around us, and the strong backing from the university that is nurturing future researchers. Strong Active Learning program, weekend labs to offer students ample time and exposure, and guidance of faculty members like Dr Kalluri helps students imbibe research skills and drive that can shape the future.