The water crisis in India, especially in the coastal regions, has worsened alarmingly, coercing environmentalists and researchers to critically study the reason behind this phenomenon. The Sundarbans region faces a scarcity of drinking water in terms of quality and quantity due to various reasons. Dr Kousik Das, Asst. Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Dr Harish Puppala, Asst Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Mr Mijanur Mondal, Research Scholar from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering has conducted a groundbreaking study on the increased salinization of water due to human activities. The research trio has published a paper titled “Understanding the susceptibility of groundwater of Sundarbans with hydroclimatic variability and anthropogenic influences” in the prestigious Q1 journal Groundwater for Sustainable Development, which has an impact factor of 5.9, critically analysing the numerous factors that affect the quality of drinking water in the Sundarbans region.


Coastal aquifers worldwide are experiencing increased salinisation due to climate change and human activities. Sundarbans, in India, is one such area where this phenomenon is noticed at an unprecedented rate, making drinking water unpotable for consumption. Existing studies lack a comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes. This study conducts a systematic literature review to identify drivers of groundwater salinisation, examining climate change parameters such as rainfall patterns, sea level rise, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and tropical cyclones. Significant groundwater level declines from 1996 to 2017 are primarily attributed to variations in the Indian Ocean Dipole and El Niño Southern Oscillation, affecting rainfall and recharge rates. During tropical cyclones, groundwater levels rise rapidly, and quality is sensitive to El Niño Southern Oscillation. Rising sea levels, changing rainfall, and increasing population density worsen salinisation. Shallow aquifers have high salinity, whereas deep aquifers exceed permissible limits. This underscores the urgent need to address drinking water scarcity and potential migration resulting from complex interactions between climate, population, and groundwater management.


Social Implications of the Research

  • Water Quality Monitoring: Implementing regular monitoring of salinity levels in groundwater to ensure compliance with safety standards.
  • Community Awareness Programmes: Conducting educational campaigns to inform local communities about the risks of high salinity levels in drinking water and promoting the judicious use of water sources so that unscientific abstraction can be reduced.
  • Policy Development: Formulating policies at the local and national levels to regulate salinity levels in drinking water and ensure public health protection.
  • Infrastructure Improvement: Investing in water treatment facilities or technologies to remove high salt levels from groundwater sources. Alternative sources and rainwater harvesting can be taken into consideration.

Collaborations – IIT Kharagpur, India

The research team plans to work on Groundwater vulnerability modelling using AI/ML in Sundarbans, India next. The team has begun collecting primary data using questionnaire surveys and interviews to throw light on socio-economic conditions and to understand the core reasons for the water crisis and health and psychological issues due to water unavailability, especially during extreme events like cyclones.

Link to the article


Dr Uma Maheswar Arepalli, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has been invited as the esteemed Chief Guest at SUPERNOVA-2k24, a prestigious National Level Student Technical Symposium organised by SRKR Engineering College, Bhimavaram on February 24, 2024.

This is a well-deserved feather in the cap for Dr Arepalli, whose expertise in the field of civil engineering knows no bounds. Dr Arepalli will also deliver an expert lecture inspiring enthusiastic students to become young engineers!

Here’s to many more accolades coming your way, Dr Arepalli! From shaping young minds to pushing the boundaries of innovation, he’s a true trailblazer!

Remote Pilot Instructor

The world of technology is constantly evolving, and the aviation industry is no exception. From being operated exclusively by humans, aircraft systems have now advanced into Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). To stay current in this ever-changing landscape, it’s crucial to update and upscale one’s skills.

Dr Raviteja KVNS, Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, has successfully completed his rigorous training programme at the highly acclaimed Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) and is now certified as Remote Pilot Instructor by The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).  With his newfound expertise on unmanned aerial vehicles, Dr KNVS is now poised to offer his invaluable guidance and support to aspiring drone pilots.

We extend our sincere congratulations to him on this outstanding achievement.

National Indoor Archery ChampionshipMallarapu Tanoogna, a third-year civil engineering student at SRM University-AP, has excelled at National Indoor Archery Championship-2021, winning three gold medals and finishing 8th in the National Open Ranking, representing Andhra Pradesh. The National Field Archery Development & Welfare Association in Salem, Tamilnadu, hosted the inaugural National Indoor Archery Championship-2021 on 25th and 26th December. Archery players from the South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra and Telangana participated in the competition.

Ms Tanoogna, representing Andhra Pradesh from SRM AP has been training to participate in indoor and outdoor archery championships for a year. She won gold medals in the Senior Recurve women individual, women team and mixed team categories and is ranked 8th in the national archery rankings.

“It is a pride moment that our student wins gold medals and opens national ranking,” said university Vice-Chancellor-Prof V S Rao, congratulating Ms Tanoogna. Registrar-Dr R Premkumar, Deans, and faculty members congratulated Ms Tanoogna and promised her all the support for attending more national and international championships in the future.

The summit will start in April 2022 in Kathmandu
G Ram Dheeraj, third-year Civil Engineering at SRM University-AP, has been selected to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain. The adventurous peak climbing expedition will begin in April 2022. He has already climbed three major peaks in the Himalayan range and is selected for the summit by the Asian Trekking Pvt Ltd. The mountains that he has set foot on are Shitindhar Peak (5358 m), Friendship Peak (5287 m) and Deo Tibba Peak (6001 m). He has also completed a mountaineering course from ABVIMAS in Kulu Manali. Ram Dheeraj, who hopes to reach the summit of Mt. Everest through rigorous preparation, seeks kind sponsors to come forward and fund the expenses of ₹27 lacs. Prof V S Rao, Vice-Chancellor; Prof Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor; and the management of SRM University-AP, congratulated Ram Dheeraj for his exceptional enthusiasm to conquer extremely high altitudes.

Students distribute winter clothing among slum dwellersIn a major initiative by the students of SRM University-AP, sweaters were distributed among the poor kids living on the streets of Guntur. Under the initiative, students from the 2018 batch of Computer Science Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Management Studies visited slum areas on the roadside near Shri Hospital, Guntur and distributed clothing among 44 kids ranging from 3 to 16 years old.

“We know how the families whose sustenance depends on the street have suffered during the pandemic. I am sure these small acts will bring cheers to these families,” said Prof V S Rao– Vice-Chancellor of the university. Prof B V Babu– Dean, School of Engineering and Sciences- highlighted the wonderful gesture saying “I am really glad to see the sensitivities and sensibilities our students have in sharing and giving”. Ms Revathi Balakrishnan– Assistant Director, Student Affairs appreciated the efforts, selfless service and compassion of SRM AP students to the lesser privileged.

pursue overseas education SRMAPIn recent years, the number of Indian students enrolling in colleges abroad has increased. The competition to secure a seat in a world-class university also increases with the number of students aspiring for higher education. The office of International Relations and Higher Studies at SRM University-AP ensures that our students are admitted to QS ranked universities, not just one but many. Satya Narayana Reddy Kovvuri, final year student from the Department of Civil Engineering has received admission offers from New York University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Houston, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas Arlington.

Read this exclusive interview with Satya Narayana and get inspired!

How do you feel about the admission offers and the scholarship?

I applied to 9 universities, and I was not confident about the admissions because of the high intake. The first university I got the offer from was Stevens institute of technology. Then I gained confidence that I could make it into my desired university. Later I was overwhelmed by the admits that I secured and even a scholarship to NYU. Among the 9 Universities I applied to, I received admission offers from Stevens Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina Charlotte, New York University, University of Houston, Arizona State University and the University of Texas Arlington. I’m also eagerly waiting to hear from Kent State University, Clemson University and the University of Washington.

Selection process of universities you are admitted to

The Selection process is almost the same for all the universities I applied to. After submitting the application, the documents go for the department (of the selected course) review, and the selection criteria will be based on:

  • Good GRE and English Proficiency test score(IELTS/TOEFL/DUOLINGO)
  • A good CGPA with no backlogs.
  • An efficient SOP that describes your qualities, achievements and skills.
  • Strong LORs from professors.
  • Research Papers / Publications(if any)

Within two months, the universities will inform us of the decision and the details of the scholarship if we are qualified. I have received a scholarship of $9000 per year from New York University, which is ranked 42 in the QS global ranking.

About the course that you have decided to enrol in

The course that I have decided to pursue is an MS in Construction Management. As I am keenly interested in the construction sector and my bachelor’s degree is in Civil Engineering, I decided to gain more knowledge and experience in the same field. The opportunity to study Construction Management course is my dream come true.

Support from SRM AP (Faculty, mentors etc.)

Dr Uma Maheshwar Arepalli, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering is specialised in Transportation Engineering. He provided me with a few insights about courses and the colleges which are suitable for my specialisation. It helped me clear my confusion while I was applying for universities. Dr Bhagath Singh, Head of the Civil Engineering department, also guided me in this process. I followed his instructions on how to apply to universities abroad. The Academic affairs department also helped me by providing transcripts and certificates as soon as I approached them so that there is no delay in my application process.

Your message to junior batches

I advise my juniors to start the process as early as possible. Score high in the GRE (310 -325) and IELTS (6.5 – 8)tests. Search for the universities that provide the best coursework for your desired branch. Also, keep in mind the states you choose in the US provide job opportunities after you complete graduation. Lastly, choose the better states by thinking about living expenses and weather conditions. Check for the requirements of your targetted universities beforehand and draft an excellent personal statement. Submit the applications before priority deadlines as it is crucial to secure scholarships. Check for regular updates in the mail and also in the university application portal.

civil students new york university

By earning a ticket to NYU Tandon School of Engineering for the Master’s programme, Students of Civil Engineering; Jayaram Chowdary Dasari, S Yogendra Gopinath and Leela Sujan Sai Borra have added one more feather in the department’s cap. It is a matter of joy and pride for the Department of Civil Engineering and the university as more and more students are getting admitted to international universities. Harnessing the true potential of each student and preparing them for a bigger world have always been the primary focus of SRM University-AP.

They are groomed from a very early stage to reflect on their educational objectives and initiate the appropriate action. “I had started my preparation way ahead and cleared the GRE and IELTS tests, then I consulted my Professors Dr Bhagath sir, Dr Narasimha Murthy sir and Dr Uma Maheswar Rao sir for guidance and with their help, I shortlisted the universities and the best programmes which can fulfil my future goals,” said Yogendra.

“We will never forget our faculty members for their immense support in helping us find the right universities, and also for the initiatives taken by the department such as conducting webinars to educate students about the application procedure for higher studies.” Borra and Jayaram also marked their gratitude to the department.

The Office of International Relations at the university has also played a crucial part in their achievement as it walked them through the right procedures for an overseas application. “I shall forever be thankful to Dr Shweta ma’am for her valuable guidance on drafting an incredible SoP” added Yogendra.

An enriching learning environment with exposure to global educational practices rendered at SRM University-AP will foster the right academic spirit in students and enable them to move ahead with better clarity of purpose. Also, training imparted by the expert faculty will help them gather deeper insights and transform themselves into professionals in their respective fields.

SIRE 2022-23

SERB International Research Experience (SIRE) is a coveted opportunity for passionate researchers to collaborate with leading institutions across the globe for high-end research training in frontier areas of Science and Technology. Dr Raviteja from the Department of Civil Engineering has earned this opportunity through his resourceful project titled “Sustainable Ash based Geosynthetic Clay Liners for MSW Landfills”. The work proposes a sustainable design of solid waste landfill liners using industrial by-products like fly ash.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills need to be lined at the bottom to avoid contaminant transport. The conveyance of noxious pollutants from the landfill to the natural ground can be restricted using natural or synthetic barriers. In general, natural materials like clays/bentonites in combination with geomembranes (GMB) are used in liners. However, to increase the strength properties and reduce the compressibility characteristics, bentonites are often mixed with sand. With the increased cost and scarcity of sand, there is a renewed interest among the researchers to identify an alternative material to replace sand proportion in compacted GCLs in MSW landfills. Among several materials, fly ash is proved to be a potential substitute for sand in landfill liners.

This experience will serve as an excellent opportunity to work at one of the world-renowned, state-of-the-art geoenvironmental laboratories at the University of Illinois Chicago. “I feel fortunate to collaborate with Prof. Krishna Reddy, one of the eminent researchers in the geoenvironmental research fraternity. My research at UIC would be on developing sustainable ash-based geosynthetic clay liners for MSW landfills. I also wish to pursue recent advances in this area and identify a framework for my future research”, said Dr Raviteja. The project will help him establish strong research collaborations with experts in the geotechnical labs at other US universities. He can also make field visits to identify the practical problems and direct his research toward the real-field applicability.

With an enriching research exposure at UIC, he will be able to formulate innovative and advanced research problems to enhance the visibility and applicability of his project. Presenting this work at various conferences and seminars will also attract various potential collaborations and MoU with other universities abroad. According to him, “this is a less explored domain that will immensely benefit research scholars and undergraduate students to invent new possibilities and scopes in the future”.

Research SRMAP

The Department of Civil Engineering is delighted to announce that Dr Siddhant Dash has published a paper titled “Systematic bibliographic research on eutrophication-based ecological modelling of aquatic ecosystems through the lens of science mapping” in the journal “Ecological Modelling” having an Impact Factor of 3.512. This research was conducted in collaboration with Prof Ajay S Kalamdhad from IIT Guwahati.

Research SRMAP

This research is a systematic approach on reviewing the published literature on eutrophic-ecological models developed worldwide and the methods associated with them. This provides critical insights into the status of the research domain, thereby providing a direction for the practising and future researchers to undertake a research career in this domain. It offers a more comprehensive and holistic approach to the critical review of the published literature, providing a deeper understanding to the researchers regarding the existing practices of developing eutrophication-based ecological models and the prospects lying ahead. His future research plans include understanding carbon and nutrient dynamics within an aquatic ecosystem.

Abstract of the Research

When water bodies receive surplus nutrients, especially nitrates and phosphates, these nutrients stimulate excessive plant growth (eutrophication), including harmful algal blooms, leading to oxygen depletion, decreased biodiversity, changes in species composition and dominance, and degradation of water quality. Although there are natural causes, much of the eutrophication today results from inadequately treated wastewater and agricultural runoffs. Population pressure, urbanization and industrialization contribute a considerable amount of waste, which alters the physio-chemical quality of water that eventually upsets the biotic components of the aquatic system. It is important to note that though pollution has been a significant factor in degrading the quality of aquatic ecosystems, the lack of management and global awareness regarding the protection and conservation of water bodies worldwide cannot be neglected. Hence, there lies an inherent sense of responsibility to restore the aquatic ecosystems to their natural state. Numerous techniques/treatment options are available for varying conditions, such as climatic factors, socio-economic factors, and so on. However, before ascertaining a treatment alternative to curb eutrophication levels, understanding the dynamics of any independent aquatic ecosystem is of prime importance. This necessitates a reliable model, which can provide information regarding the physical processes and dynamic occurrences in the eutrophic water bodies. Ecological modelling refers to the formation of dynamic and complex relationships between the organisms found in the ecosystem and the surrounding. It attempts to unravel the effects of certain relationships in the ecosystem that are not so apparent at first glance. The present study provides a scientific investigation of a detailed review of the published works in the domain of eutrophication-based ecological modelling till the year 2020. The first step was the scientometric studies, which were followed by a qualitative assessment wherein the current trends in research were discussed. This was followed by identifying the critical gaps in research to provide future direction.

Fig. 1. Ecological modelling process

Fig. 2. Description of the three-step literature review process employed in this research