Reading Time: 10 minutes


Nano means one billionth that means 10^-9 times in scientific notation. Have you ever thought how small it is? Avg human height is around 1.5-2m, size of ants are about 2mm, the diameter of a human hair is around 100mm and size of our DNA is around 2nm that means it is 10^-9 times smaller than average human height. To imagine how small is one-billionth let’s go on the other side and see how big an object would be if we are one billionth time larger than the humans. The diameter of the sun is about one billionth times larger than a human. That’s pretty big. So our DNA is as small as humans as humans are from the sun.

What are nanomaterials?? What is its importance? Where are they used? Let’s dive into the world of smallness!!!

Nanomaterials include a broad class of materials, which has at least one dimension less than 100nm. Depending on their shape, they can be 0-D, 1-D, 2-D or 3-D. You may be thinking what this small piece of material can do?? Nanomaterials have an extensive range of applications. The importance of these materials was realized when it was found that size can influence the physicochemical properties of a substance. Nanoparticles have biomedical, environmental, agricultural and industrial based applications.

Nanoparticles are composed of 3 layers-

  • The Surface Layer- It may be functionalized with a variety of small molecules, metal ions, surfactants and polymers.

  • The Shell Layer- It is a chemically different material from the core in all aspects.

  • The Core- It is the central portion of the nanoparticle and usually referred to as nanoparticle itself.

These materials got immense interest from researchers in multidisciplinary fields due to their exceptional characteristics.


Based on the physical and chemical characteristics, some of the well-known classes of NPs are-


  • FULLERENES- It contains nanomaterials that are made up of globular hollow cage such as allotropic forms of carbon. They have properties like electrical conductivity, high strength, structure, electron affinity and versatility. They possess pentagonal and hexagonal carbon units, while each carbon is sp2 hybridized. The structure of C-60 is called Buckminsterfullerene

  • CARBON NANOTUBES(CNTs)- They have elongated, tubular structure, 1-2nm in diameter. They structurally resemble graphite sheets rolling upon itself, which can have single double and many walls and therefore are named as single-walled (SWNTs), double-walled (DWNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) respectively. They are widely synthesized by decomposition of carbon, especially atomic carbons, vaporized from graphite by laser or by an electric arc to metal particles. Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) technique is also used to synthesize CNTs. They can be used as fillers, efficient gas absorbents and as a support medium for different inorganic and organic catalysts.


  1. METAL NPs

They are purely made up of metal precursors. Due to Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) characteristic, they possess unique optoelectrical properties. Due to excellent optical properties, they find their application in various research areas. For example, gold nanoparticles are used to coat the sample before analyzing in SEM.


They are inorganic, nonmetallic solids, synthesized via heat and continuous cooling. They are made up of oxides, carbides, carbonates and phosphates. They can be found in amorphous, polycrystalline, dense, porous or hollow forms. They found their application in catalysis, photocatalysis, photodegradation of dyes and imaging application.


They possess wide band gaps and therefore show significant alteration in their properties with bandgap tuning. They are used in photocatalysis, photo optics and electronic devices. Some of the examples of semiconductor NPs are GaN, GaP, InP, InAs.


They are organic-based NPs, mostly nanospheres and nanocapsules in shape. They are readily functionalized and therefore have a wide range of applications.

  1. LIPID NPs

They contain liquid moieties and are effectively used in many biomedical applications. They are generally spheres with diameters ranging from 10 to 1000nm. They have a solid core made of lipid, and a matrix contains soluble lipophilic molecules.


There are various methods used for the synthesis of NPs, which are broadly classified into two main classes-


Top-down routes are included in the typical solid-state processing of the materials. It is based on bulk materials and makes it smaller, thus using physical processes like crushing, milling and grinding to break large particles. It is a destructive approach, and it is not suitable for preparing uniformly shaped materials. The biggest drawback in this approach is the imperfections of the surface structure, which has a significant impact on physical properties and surface chemistry of nanoparticles. Examples of this approach include grinding/milling, CVD, PVD and other decomposition techniques.



As the name suggests, it refers to the build-up of materials from the bottom: atom by atom, molecule by molecule or cluster by cluster. They are more often used for preparing most of the nanoscale materials which have the ability to generate uniform size, shape and distribution. It effectively covers chemical synthesis and precisely controls the reaction to inhibit further particle growth. Examples are sedimentation and reduction techniques. It includes sol-gel, green synthesis, spinning and biochemical synthesis.


Analysis of different physicochemical properties of NPs is done using various characterization techniques. It includes techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Infrared (IR), SEM, TEM and particle size analysis.


Morphology always influences most of the properties of the NPs. Microscopic techniques are used for characterization for morphological studies such as a polarized optical microscope, SEM and TEM.

SEM technique is based on electron scanning principle. It uses a focused beam of high energy electrons to generate a variety of signals at the surface of solid specimens. It is not only used to study the morphology of nanomaterials, but also the dispersion of NPs in the bulk or matrix.

TEM is based on electron transmission principle so that it can provide information on bulk material from very low to higher magnification. In TEM a high energy beam of electrons is shone through a skinny sample. This technique is used to study different morphologies of gold NPs. It also provides essential information about two or more layer materials.



Structural characteristics are of primary importance to study the composition and nature of bonding materials. It provides diverse information about the bulk properties of the subject material. XRD, Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), XPS, IR, Raman and BET are the techniques used to study the structural properties of NPs.

XRD is one of the most used characterization techniques to disclose the structural properties of NPs. Crystallinity and phases of nanoparticles can be determined using this technique. Particle size can also be determined by using this technique. It worked well in identification of both single and multiphase NPs.

EDX is usually fixed with field emission-SEM or TEM device is widely used to know about the elemental composition with a rough idea of per cent weight. Nanoparticles comprise constituent elements, and each of them emits characteristic energy X-rays by electron beam eradication.

XPS is one of the most sensitive techniques used to determine the exact elemental ratio and exact bonding nature of elements in nanoparticles materials. It is a surface-sensitive technique used in-depth profiling studies to know the overall composition and the compositional variation with depth.


Size of the particle can be estimated by using SEM, TEM, XRD and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Zeta potential size analyzer/DLS can be used to find the size of NPs at a deficient level.

NTA is another new and exclusive technique which allows us to find the size distribution profile of NPs with a diameter ranging from 10 to 1000nm in a liquid medium. By using this technique, we can visualize and analyze the NPs in a liquid medium that relates the Brownian motion rate to particle size. It can be helpful in biological systems such as protein and DNA.

NPs have large surface areas, so it offers excellent room for various applications. BET is the most used technique to determine the surface area of nanoparticles material. Principle of this technique is adsorption and desorption and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) theorem.


Optical properties are of great concern in photocatalytic applications. These characterizations are based on Beer-lambert law and basic light principles. The techniques used to give information about absorption, luminescence and phosphorescence properties of NPs. The optical properties of NPs materials can be studied by well-known equipment like Ultraviolet-visible, photoluminescence and the ellipsometer.


So it’s all about the size, isn’t it? Yes and no. When a material becomes a nanomaterial is not so simple. A nanomaterial may have different properties compared to the same substance in bulk form. That means that a material could change when it goes from bulk to nanoform, but at what size that happens varies depending on the substance.Nanoparticles are used in various applications due to their unique properties such as large surface area, strength, optically active and chemically reactive.


The optical and electronic properties of nanoparticles are dependent on each other. For example, gold colloidal nanoparticles are the reason for the rusty colours seen in blemished glass windows, while Ag NPs are typically yellow. The free electrons on the surface of nanomaterials are free to move across the material. The mean free path of Ag and gold is ~50nm, which is greater than the NPs size of these materials. Therefore, no scattering is expected from the bulk, when light interacts. Instead, they set into a standing resonance condition, which is responsible for LSPR in the NPs.


There is a class of nanoparticles known as magnetic nanoparticles that can be manipulated using magnetic fields. Such particles consist of two components- a magnetic material and chemical component that has functionality. These types of materials have a wide range of applications which includes heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, biomedicine, magnetic fluids, MRI and also in water decontamination. Magnetic properties of NPs dominate when its size is less than the critical value, i.e. 10-20nm. The reason for these magnetic properties is the uneven electronic distribution in NPs.


To know the exact mechanical nature of NPs different mechanical parameters such as elastic modulus, hardness, stress and strain, adhesion and friction are surveyed. Due to distant mechanical properties of NPs, it finds its application in fields like tribology, surface engineering, nanofabrication and nanomanufacturing. NPs shows different mechanical properties as compared to microparticles and their bulk materials.


It is well known that metals have better thermal conductivities than that of fluids. Same is the case of NPs. Thermal conductivity of copper is much higher than water and engine oil. Thermal conductivity of fluids can be increased by dispersing solid particles in them. Using the same way nanofluids are produced which have nanometric scales solid particles dispersed into a liquid such as water, ethylene glycol or oils. They are expected to exhibit superior properties relative to those of conventional heat transfer fluids and fluids containing microscopic solid particles. As heat transfer takes place at the surface of the particles, it is better to use the particles with large surface area, and it also increases the stability suspension.


As discussed above the nanoparticles have various unique properties. Due to their properties, they find their applications in multiple fields, including drugs, medication, manufacturing, electronics, multiple industries and also in the environment.


Nano-sized inorganic particles have unique, physical and chemical properties. They are an essential material in the development of various nanodevices which can be used in multiple physical, biological, biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Particles of an iron oxide such as magnetite (Fe3O4) or its oxides from maghemite (Fe2O3) are used in biomedical applications. Polyethene oxide (PEO) and polylactic acid (PLA) NPs have been revealed as up-and-coming systems for the intravenous administration of drugs. Biomedical applications require NPs with high magnetization value, a size smaller than 100nm and a narrow particle size distribution. Most of the semiconductor and metal NPs have immense potential cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Image shows the bamboo-like structure of nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes for the treatment of cancer.


In specific applications within the medical, commercial and ecological sectors manufacturing NPs are used which show physicochemical characteristics that induce unique electrical, mechanical, optical and imaging properties. Nanotechnology is used in various industries, including food processing and packaging. The unique plasmon absorbance features of the noble metals NPs have been used for a wide variety of applications including chemical sensors and biosensors.

Nanomaterials are also used in some environmental applications like green chemistry, pollution prevention, the recommendation of contaminated materials and sensors for ecological stages.

NPs such as metallic NPs, organic electronic molecules, CNTs and ceramic NPs are expected to flow as a mass production process for new types of electronic equipment.

NPs can also offer applications in mechanical industries, especially in coating, lubricants and adhesive applications. Its mechanical strength can be used to produce mechanically more reliable nanodevices.


Nanomaterials are no doubt the future of technology, being the smallest material they have a wide range of applications due to their unique physical and chemical properties. Due to their small size, NPs have a large surface area which also makes them suitable candidates for many applications. Even at that size, optical properties dominate, which further increase their importance in photocatalytic applications. Though NPs are used for various applications, still they have some health hazard concerns due to their uncontrollable use and discharge to the natural environment, which should be considered to make the use of NPs more convenient and environmentally friendly.


Keep Learning!, Keep Growing!

Team CEV

FPGA – An Overview (1/n)

Reading Time: 7 minutes


Field Programmable Gate Arrays, popularly known as FPGAs, are taking over the market by storm. They are widely used nowadays, due to their simplicity in reusability and reconfiguration. Simply put, FPGAs allow you flexibility in your designs and is a way to change how parts of a system work without introducing a large amount of cost and risk of delays into the design schedule. FPGAs were first conceptualized and fabricated by Xilinx in the late 80s, and since then, other big companies such as Altera(now Intel), Qualcomm, Broadcom have followed suit. From industrial control systems to advance military warheads, from self-driving cars to wireless transceivers, FPGAs are everywhere around us. With knowledge of Digital Designing and Hardware Descriptive Languages (HDL), such as Verilog HDL or VHDL, we can configure our own FPGAs. Though first thought of as the domain of only Electronics Engineers, FPGAs can now be programmed by almost anyone, thanks to the substantial leaps in OpenCL (Open Computer Language).

I have tried to lay down the concept in terms of 5 questions, to cover the majority of the spectrum.

What is an FPGAs exactly?

An FPGA is a semiconductor device on which any function can be defined after manufacturing. An FPGA enables you to program new product features and functions, adapt to new standards and reconfigure hardware for specific applications ever after the product has been installed in the field – hence the term field programmable. Gate arrays are 2-dimensional logic gates that can be used in any way we wish. An FPGA consists of 2 parts, one customizable (containing programmable logic) and another non-customizable. Simply put, it is an array of logic gates and wires which can be modified in any way, according to the designer.

Customizable Part

As rightfully said by Andrew Moore, you can build almost anything digital with three basic components – wires (for data transfer), logic gates (for data manipulation) and registers (for storage reasons). The customizable part consists of Logic Elements (LEs) and a hierarchy of reconfigurable interconnects that allow the LEs to be physically connected. LEs are nothing but a collection of simple logic gates. From simply ANDing/ORing 2 pulses to sending the latest SpaceX project into space, logic gates, if programmed correctly and smartly, can do anything. 

Non-customizable Part

The non-customizable part contains hard IPs (intellectual property) which provides rich functionality while reducing power and lowering cost. Hard IP generally consists of memory blocks (like DRAMs), calculating circuits, transceivers, protocol controllers, and even whole multicore microprocessors. These hard IPs free the designer from reinventing these essential functions every time he wants to make something, as these things are commodities in most electronic systems.

As a designer, you can simply choose whichever essential functionality you want in your design, and can implement any new functionality from the programmable logic area.

Why are FPGAs gaining popularity?

FPGA - An Overview (1/n)

Electronics are entering every field. Consider the example of a car. Nowadays, every function of a car is controlled by electronics. Drivetrain technologies like engine, transmission, brakes, steering, and tires use electronics to control and monitor essential conditions like amount of fuel required, optimal air pressure according to usage and surroundings, lucid transmission and even better brakes are achieved due to this. Infotainment in cars is also gaining popularity, such as real-time traffic displays, digital controls, and comfort and cruise control settings according to driver’s conditions. Even modern-day driving assistance like lights, back-ups, lane-exits guiding and collision avoidance techniques. We are also using sensors like cameras, LASERs, and RADARs for an optimal driving and parking conditions.

A lot to digest, isn’t it?

All these technologies are implemented on an SoC (System on Chip). But suppose there comes out a better way for gear transmission, or a better algorithm for predictive parking or the government changes its guidelines about the speed limit for cruise control situations or fuel usage. We can’t change the entire SoC just for some versions. Moreover, these “updates” come often, and we can’t always build new, custom made SoC every time, as the time required to build a new one would increase, whilst also increasing the design and cost load, and on the top of it all, replacing the entire system. 

Our humble FPGA comes to the rescue here. SoC FPGAs which can implement changes in specific parts without affecting the other parts, reducing design and time load, and most important of all, reusability of the same hardware by reconfiguring the requisite changes.

FPGAs are gaining popularity because

1. They are reconfigurable in real-time

2. Costs less in long runs as compared to ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). Though ASICs are faster than FPGAs and consume less power, they are not reconfigurable, meaning once made, we can’t add/remove or update any functionalities.

3. They reduce the design work and design time considerably due to inbuilt hard IPs

4. You can build exactly whatever you need using an FPGA.

When was the 1st FPGA fabricated?

FPGA was a product of advances in PROMs (Programmable Read-Only Memory) and PLDs (Programmable Logic Devices). Both had the option of being programmed in batches or in the field (thereby, field-programmable). However programmable logic was hardwired between logic gates.

Altera (now Intel) delivered the industry’s first reprogrammable device – the EP300, which allowed the user to shine an ultra-violet lamp on the die to erase the EPROM cells that held the device configuration.

Ross Freeman and Bernard Vonderschmidt (Xilinx co-founders) invented the 1st commercially viable FPGA in 1985 – the legendary XC2064. The XC2064 had programmable gates and programmable interconnects between gates, which marked the beginning of new technology and market. 

FPGA - An Overview (1/n)

The 90s showed the rapid growth for FPGAs, both in terms of circuit sophistication and volume of production. They were mainly used in Telecommunications and Networking industry, due to their reconfigurability, as these industries demanded changes often and sometimes, in real-time.

By the dawn of the new millennium, FPGAs found their way into consumer, automobile and industrial applications.

In 2012, the first complete SoC (System on Chip) chip was built from combining the logic blocks and interconnects of traditional FPGA with an embedded microprocessor and related peripherals. A great example of this would be Xilinx Zynq 7000 which contained 1.0 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 microprocessor embedded with FPGA’s logic fabric.

FPGA - An Overview (1/n)

Since then, the industry has never looked back, seeing unforeseen growth and applications in recent years.

Where are FPGAs used?

FPGAs are used everywhere where there is a need for frequent reconfiguration or where there is a need for the addition of new functions, without affecting other functionalities. The car functionalities discussed earlier is a great example in terms of consumer usage.

They are widely used in industries too. Let’s take an example of SoC FPGA for a motor control system, which is used in every industry. It includes a built-in processor that manages the feedback and control signals. The processor reads the data from the feedback system and runs an algorithm to synchronize the movement of the motors as well as control their rotation speeds. By using an SoC FPGA, you can build your own IP that can be easily customized to work on other motor controls. There are several advantages to using an SoC FPGA for motor control instead of a traditional microcontroller viz.  Better system integrations (remember the customizable areas in FPGAs?), scalable performances (rapid and real-time reconfigurability) and comparatively better functional safety (computing real-time data and taking industrial regulations in mind).

Any computable problem can be solved using an FPGA. Their advantage lies in that they are significantly faster for some applications because of their parallel nature and optimality in terms of the number of gates used for certain processes.

Another trend in the use of FPGAs is hardware acceleration, where one can use the FPGA to accelerate certain parts of an algorithm and share part of the computation between the FPGA and a generic processor (Bing using FPGA for its search algorithm accelerations) FPGAs are seeing increased use as AI accelerators for accelerating artificial neural networks for machine learning applications.

How can you configure an FPGA yourself (and why to do it anyway?)?

As we know, to make any chip using logic gates, we need Hardware Descriptive Languages such as Verilog HDL or VHDL. These languages are generally known only by people with Electronics Engineering backgrounds, thereby keeping these magnificent pieces of machinery away from other engineers, thereby increasing the need for a heterogeneous environment for exploiting hardware. OpenCL (developed by Apple Inc.) a pioneer in this field, is a framework for writing programs that execute across heterogeneous platforms consisting of CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, and other types of processors. OpenCL includes a language for developing kernels (functions that execute on hardware devices) as well as application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow the main program to control the kernels. OpenCL allows you to develop your code in the familiar C programming language. Then, using the additional capabilities provided by it, you can separate your code into normal software and kernels that can execute in parallel. These kernels can be sent to the FPGAs without you having to learn the low-level HDL coding practices of FPGA designers.

Sounds too much? Let’s simplify the stuff.

Many of you have had experience with Arduino or similar small microcontroller projects. With these projects, you usually breadboard up a small circuit, connect it to your Arduino, and write some code in the C to perform the task at hand. Typically your breadboard can hold just a few discrete components and small ICs. Then you go through the pain of wiring up the circuit and connecting it to your Arduino with a bird’s nest of jumper wires.

Instead, imagine having a breadboard the size of a basketball court or football field to play with and, best of all, no jumper wires. Imagine you can connect everything virtually. You don’t even need to buy a separate microcontroller board; you can just drop different processors into your design as you choose. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Welcome to the world of FPGAs!


1. Intel:

2. Wikipedia:

3. Makezine:

4. Xilinx:

College degree: To have or not to have

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On February 14th Friday(Valentine’s eve), the members of CEV got together for their regular meeting and debated on the hot topic “Having a degree is sufficient”. Battle lines were drawn, pertinent points were made and things became heated. Here’s the list of all the arguments made by the group that spoke for the topic –

  • Having a degree provides a dedicated path to students entering the professional domain.
  • It offers access to high tech facilities and laboratories at a nominal cost.
  • It is preceded by well defined and carefully laid out curriculums that certainly add value to the students.
  • It’s also accompanied by an enjoyable college/university culture with minimal hardships.
  • It teaches the value of patience in a world where we are getting more and more used to fast things.
  • College name and brand brings credibility to aspirants.
  • It brings a certain degree of freedom. 
  • Networking with the help of alumni becomes possible.
  • A degree acts as a backup or safeguard.


  • High fees and bounded rigid academics make it difficult for people to pursue their dreams in their desired field.
  • It is a difficult path to walk on for most people just to get a piece of paper.
  • Degrees are made obsolete and unnecessary by the availability of easily accessible resources and several eminent and successful individuals are a testament to this notion.
  • No time and academic boundation make it easy for people to pursue their passions whenever they feel like and at their pace.
  • We can pursue any topic of our choice when there’s no restriction.
  • Talent combined with hard work trumps all. There are several examples of people whose success was not defined by their academic prowess.
  • Low cost and therefore less debt and hence, less mental stress entering the professional space.
  • Topics of current interest with high industrial demand can be studied without any fuss.
  • Work experience builds better networks than the network as a result of the college experience.
  • The degree is just about joining the college whether or not you study properly. Most people barely pass their exams and the template is true across the board.

Automation in Medical Science

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Applied Machine Learning in Healthcare

Google’s machine learning algorithm to detect breast cancer :

Machine learning in medicine has recently made headlines. Google has developed a machine learning algorithm to help identify cancerous tumors on mammograms. Google is using the power of computer-based reasoning to detect breast cancer, training the tool to look for cell patterns in slides of tissue, much the same way that the brain of a doctor might work. New findings show that this approach — enlisting machine learning, predictive analytics and pattern recognition — has achieved 89 percent accuracy, beyond the 73 percent score of a human pathologist.

Stanford’s deep learning algorithm to detect skin cancer :

Stanford is using a deep learning algorithm to identify skin cancer. They made a database of nearly 130,000 skin disease images and trained their algorithm to visually diagnose potential cancer. From the very first test, it performed with inspiring accuracy. Although this algorithm currently exists on a computer, the team would like to make it smartphone compatible in the near future, bringing reliable skin cancer diagnoses to our fingertips.

Robot Assisted Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery became a viable option in 2000, when the Da Vinci Surgical System — a minimally invasive robotic surgeon that is capable of performing complex surgeries — was approved by the FDA. Since then, over 1.75 million robotic surgery procedures have been performed, with “better visualization, increased precision, and enhanced dexterity compared to laparoscopy” according to the NIH. The Da Vinci system average cost is between $1.5M and $2M, which makes it quite unaffordable for small and medium sized hospitals.

It’s not replacement; It’s Displacement

While it’s understandable that doctors are concerned about medical automation — the reality is that machines will not replace doctors; they will just displace them. Patients will always need the human touch, and the caring and compassionate relationship with the people who deliver care.

There’s One Thing : No Machine Can Do Better Than a Doctor

Machines can only learn from precedent; they cannot ideate new ways of diagnosing, they cannot identify new diseases, and they cannot hypothesize new treatment methods. Because of this, the role of the doctor in our society will always be privileged, and will never disappear.

One serious problem is that of expectation of what AI can really do. At the end of the day, an AI system is educated and trained to solve a particular problem and that is pretty much its entire universe.

 These systems are not humans, who can freely interact with their environment. 

They are machines, not people. The question is no longer whether AI will fundamentally change the workplace. It’s happening. 

The true question is how companies can successfully use AI in ways that enables, not replaces, the human workforce, helping to make humans faster, more efficient and more productive.

Data drives all the algorithms on which the automated machines work

As more data is available, we have better information to provide patients. Predictive algorithms and machine learning can give us a better predictive model of mortality that doctors can use to educate patients. But machine learning needs a certain amount of data to generate an effective algorithm. Much of machine learning will initially come from organizations with big datasets. Health Catalyst is developing Collective Analytics for Excellence (CAFÉ™), an application built on a national de-identified repository of healthcare data from enterprise data warehouses (EDWs) and third-party data sources.

Human touch

Many patients feel that being touched is important to getting better

Compassion can reduce pain after surgery, improve survival rates and boost the immune system. …

Patients have significantly better outcomes when their physicians score high on empathy.


An endoscopy is a procedure where a small camera or tool on a long wire is shoved into the body through a “natural opening” to a search for damage, foreign objects, or traces of disease.

Even more impressive are so called “capsule endoscopies” where the procedure is boiled down to the simple act of swallowing a pill-sized robot that travels along your digestive tract gathering data and taking pictures that can be sent directly to a processor for diagnostics.

Minutes of Leaf

Reading Time: < 1 minute
  •       Leaf and Circle of life
  •       Live your life to the fullest at the early age just like leaf
  •       If you are a grown up, make your contribution to the society just like leaf
  •       Small but complex  
  •       Why we worship leaves? They are generous.
  •       Provides food and energy to the world
  •       How leaves and humans are similar
  •       Both are unique in their own way
  •       Things to be learned from leaves
  •       We should respect everyone’s uniqueness.
  •       Like trees bind leaves together, we should live in symphony.
  •       How Tress and Human families are similar
  •       Unity is the principle of life, like trees only survives when there are leaves to feed it humans also should live with unity in order to make a better place to live.
  •       Adjust yourselves with the surroundings like leaves
  •       How can we relate evolution of human generations with evolution of leaves
  •       Leaves fall apart, decompose and help the next generation to grow. Similarly, in all the other species parents sacrifice themselves to make a better future of their children. Nature is somehow behave uniformly everywhere.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

What is a virus?

A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. 

While not inside an infected cell or in the process of infecting a cell, viruses exist in the form of independent particles, consisting of Genetic material, i.e. long molecules of DNA or RNA that encode the structure of the proteins by which the virus acts. The shapes of these virus particles range from simple helical forms for some species to more complex structures for others.The origins of viruses in the are unclear. Viruses undergo genetic change by several mechanisms.

Viruses are basically classified under two categories

  • DNA Virus

The genome replication of most DNA viruses takes place in the cell’s nucleas.

  • RNA Virus

 Replication usually takes place in the cytoplasm.


This is structure of Chicken Pox virus

What is coronavirus?


Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses  out of which only 6 viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The name corona was given due to the shape of the of the outer covering which resembles to a crown. Corona is the Latin name for “Crown”.

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

How it is spread?

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. 

 Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.

 Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. 


Symptoms of coronavirus:

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, runny nose, headache seasonal flu shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

 In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

The incubation period of the coronavirus is 2-11 days so it means that if you are affected with the coronavirus main take 2 to 11 days show the symptoms.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.

 Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

If you are infected with symptoms showing presence of  coronavirus ,it is advised to wear a mask but if you are not, infected with coronavirus the only wearing mask is not going to protect you.


Cure of the coronavirus:

Till date there is no vaccine available for coronavirusIt is expected that it will take one year to develop vaccine for coronavirus.

In 2001 when SARS virus was spread in  China it took 20 months to develop vaccine.It is also said that if your immune system is strong you will be able to recover it.


What is the effect of  corona virus across the globe?

25 countries across the world has been reported the the coronavirus infection . The first three case was reported in Kerala state of India also. According to NDTV news six cities in China has been quarantined.50 million peoples in China are quarantined. Australia and Singapore banned Chinese tourist in their country. Russia,Mongolia and Nepal closed border with China. It is estimated that China will loss nearly 60 billion due to the temporary trade Hault. Thus 5 trillion economy will become nearly  3.8 trillion economy and Chinese GDP will be slowed down by 1.5 %.


 Is coronavirus is that much dangerous?


Below data available as per date of the February 5 2020

China’s National Health Commission reported that there were 2009 new confirmed cases and 142 additional deaths as of Feb. 15. That brings the total number of cases in mainland China to 68,500, and the total deaths so far to 1665,  according the latest statistics from the commission released Sunday.

An American passenger tested positive for a second time after the cruise ship operator for MS Westerdam requested another test.

China sends more than 25,000 medical workers to Hubei, state-owned Xinhua reported.

Mortality and Contagious


The mortality rate of the coronavirus is about 2 %that means if you are affected with coronavirus 98% chance that you will survive. But still it is early to predict the and state the mortality rate as of now.

The people who died due to infection of the coronavirus most of them were having weak immune system or aged people.

Contagious is the term which is defined that how much fast virus will spread. In nature, in most of the cases it is observed that the virus which is more contagious has low mortality rate. The ebola virus which was spread in Africa has 70 % mortality rate. Virus was not that contagious but it killed nearly 3500 people in Africa. The common cold  has mortality rate of the 0.01% it means out of the 10,000 people infected there is a chance that one person will die due to this infection. SARS virus which affected China had 10 percentage mortality rate. The number of people affected by the virus was around 8k. And due to novel coronavirus is more than 45k. It is observed that the novel corona virus is 6  times more contagious then SARS virus.

Here one thing to be clarified that less mortality rate that doesn’t mean the number of people died is less. The Spanish flu which occurred during 1918-20. The number of the people affected by that virus was around 500 million and its mortality rate was around 10% so nearly 50 million peoples were killed.


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Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The second slot of Day 1 of Lumieres’ Professors’ Talk was taken up by Dr. AK Desai, with excerpts from his talk delivered at Ambuja Knowledge Centre  City. It was an enthralling and scintillating monologue that had the audience enraptured and asking for more when it ended. Dr. Desai mentioned several enterprises he is on the advisory board of, such as Birla, Tata, etc. He also talked about several projects that he has been associated with including the likes of Surat Airport revamp, the Bullet Train and the Delhi Swami Narayan Temple among several others. The Swami Narayan Temple, designed under the supervision of the late Dr. MD Desai with Dr. AK Desai himself, in particular, is a structural marvel with a geotextile mesh, hand-made and designed to resist an earthquake load of 0.4g and inaugurated by the esteemed Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                              Delhi Swami Narayan Temple

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                             Ring of Fire

This conversation on earthquake was further extended upon by the mentions of places like the Ring of Fire – a 40,000 km horseshoe shaped area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur- several fracture zones and local earthquake zones like the Kim and Surat Fault line in the Arabian Sea, amongst others. He introduced us to the term PGA which stands for Peak Ground Acceleration and is equal to the largest recorded value of the acceleration at a location, observed on an accelerogram. The massive earthquake that shook Gujarat and most severely Bhuj on 26/1/2001 was caused due to the presence of epicenters around the northern part of the state along the active fault-lines. This, he stressed, wasn’t surprising considering the increment in the number of earthquakes in India with recent studies from 2016 showing that we have an average of 3.5 – 4 earthquakes per day in India, in some capacity. Professor Desai, therefore, also talked about the importance of testing the land before any form of construction. This is because the bearing capacity variations are specific to the site. He also talked about how the tectonic shift in the Indian subcontinent is causing it to move about 50 mm annually to the north-eastern direction, a phenomena directly responsible for giving us the Himalayas due to the Eurasian Plate shift.

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                Akashi Bridge, Kobe, Japan

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                       Milau Viaduct Paris – Barcelona Bridge

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                              Wadi Abdoun Bridge, Thailand

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                    Russky Bridge, Russia

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                       Rion – Antirion Bridge

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                              Bixby Creek  Bridge, California

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                  Dagu Bridge (Sun and Moon Bridge), Tiajin

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                          Cobweb Bridge, Sheffield, England

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                    Sardar Bridge, Bharuch

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                   Mumbai – Worli Sea Link

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                             Confederation Bridge, Canada

Then the conversation drifted to modern engineering marvels. And the first topic to be introduced to the discussion was “Bridges”. He mentioned several types of bridges and their breathtaking examples. The Akashi Bridge in Kobe, Japan, for example, is a Suspension Bridge. Its clearance is about 65.7 m, equivalent to a 20 storeyed building placed below its surface. Dr. Desai mentioned how the initial plan to construct this architectural marvel with a 2000 m central span got foiled when an earthquake reduced it to about 1991 m. The Millau Viaduct Paris-Barcelona bridge, another crowning jewel in the bridge portfolio is a flexible, Cable-Stayed Bridge provided with wind screening and FRP wiring and is the tallest bridge in the world, about 343 m from the ground, which is 19 m taller than the Eiffel Tower. He mentioned several other bridges like the Wadi Abdoun Bridge, a bridge in Thailand which is constructed outside water making it cost-efficient, the Russky Bridge of Russia with its beautiful lighting making it a hot tourist destination spot, the Rion-Antirion cable-stayed bridge in Greece, one of the longest bridges in its category, the Bixby Creek Bridge, a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world and is earthquake resistant, owning to its structure, in addition to looking aesthetically beautiful. A cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge is a modern variation of the cable-stayed bridge, some of which have a curved backward pylon back-stayed to concrete counterweights. The famous Sun and Moon Bridge is designed to resist both earthquakes and cyclones. Dr. Desai suggested thinking of shapes that have advanced resistivity to these life-endangering natural phenomenas by thinking outside the box, but staying within the realms of achievable and economically feasible science. The design of the famous Cobweb Bridge, also known as Spider Bridge, located in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, solves a difficult problem: passing the riverside cycle- and footpath. It counters the issue of traffic constraints often noticed on bridges. Professor Desai then came back home to the famous and beautiful Sardar Bridge in Bharuch, which is shaped like multiple tuning forks supporting the cables running through and its design is Extradosed Cable Stayed Bridge wherein the height of the pylon is smaller than in the case of regular Cable Stayed Bridge. He also talked about how modern day engineering has adopted the various available designs to create a hybrid, which offers more stability and can help construct large span bridges. The combination of Cable Stayed Bridge and Suspension Bridge is one such example. These days India has also adopted the famous Precast Segmental Construction technique in which bridges are constructed at manufacturing sites and then brought along to the place over the river and hung on launching girders and slid across to create the whole bridge step by step and with minimal effort. The famous Mumbai-Worli Sea Link is one such example. Canada solves its bridge construction woes caused due to expansion of ice using modern engineering methods, too. Since, major loading through ice gives tremendous pressure to bridges, there, they have adopted the Cantilever construction in bridges such as the Confederation Bridge.

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                               Fieranilano, Milan, Italy

Scientific advancement has made it possible for us to create deployable structures that can change shape so as to significantly change its size such as in the cases of umbrellas, some tensegrity structures, bistable structures, some Origami shapes and scissor-like structures. Dr. Desai recommends reading books and referring to the works of Dr. Devdas Menon, Professor of Structural Engineering at IIT Madras who has several patents to his credit, some even in the field of Biomedical Engineering. Post that Professsor Desai talked about other engineering marvels such as the Fieramilano which is the largest civil engineering project built in Europe in recent years with a gross floor area of 530,000 square meters, a land area of 2,000,000 square meters, and a 5-kilometer perimeter. It is a trade fair and exhibition organizer headquartered in Milan, Italy. It is the most important trade fair organizer in Italy and one of the largest in the world. The World Trade Center, another engineering innovation had an innovative “tube” design, with a perimeter support structure joined to a central core structure with horizontal floor trusses, a construction methodology hitherto unknown. The Petronas Tower in Malaysia used bridges and dampers to create their architectural beauty. It has a bridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floor making it the world’s tallest 2 story skybridge, providing structural support to the towers and also acting as a potential escape route in case of an emergency from one tower to other. Back home, in Mumbai, the Lodha group has constructed the famous World One Tower which, upon completion is expected to be the world’s 2nd highest residential skyscraper in the world after 432 Park Avenue in New York.

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                Petronas Tower, Malaysia

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                World One Tower, Mumbai

Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering                                   Park Avenue, New York

Dr. Desai stated that the most important thing to be considered while constructing anything is safety and to that end dampers must be used to provide structural integrity. Additionally, the material used is also extremely important. For example, using Stainless Steel over Carbon Steel has several advantages. It doesn’t stain, corrode or rust as normal carbon steel. Close home, polypropylene construction fibre has been used for construction of the road in front of the SVNIT campus instead of steel, to delay and control the tensile cracking of the composite material. In Japan, fibre is used to reduce deadload and transportation cost, in addition to providing strength. This was also put to test by Professor Desai and the team that tested fibre enforced roads in Kargil, realizing that it doesn’t crack as readily and is, therefore, durable and more reliable for the harsh climate of Kargil. This innovation is not just limited to creating more efficient and reliable techniques. They also help enhance the safety of places prone to dangerous phenomena such as the mountains with recurring cases of landslide and boulder tumbles, endangering the lives of people and disrupting the roads built along these mountains. So, in places like Saputara, they have built rock fall protection fences. In high altitude places where snow causes accidents, they have created snow fences that could stop the snow from sliding from the mountains onto the roads, thus, making preventing them from getting slippery. The India-Pakistan border is being fitted with Gabions to prevent salt from Pakistan to wash up to Gujarat and Rajasthan during heavy rainfalls that deposit as white salt. These days the R&D teams across the globe are also working at creating solution to our environmental woes by looking for substitute technology and materials that reduce pollution and harmful emissions. Cement manufacturing is one such area where CO2 and CO emissions increase, therefore, alternative materials and substances are being developed to offer a greener alternative. Additionally, plastic waste disposed off in green ways can be utilized for various purposes with the right kind of economically viable method.



Reading Time: 5 minutes

Team CEV has conducted a three-day event where top professors of SVNIT shared their excellent research work with enthusiastic students. Professors have given some time from their precious and hectic time schedule for our event. The main purpose of the event is to give students an insight into various fields of research and help them find their field of interest to work on and also to give knowledge of different professors that can’t be shared in the classroom due to academic schedules.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEKThe event has been inaugurated by Dr.Jignesh N. Sarvaiya, Associate Professor – Electronics departments, who also gave the first talk of the event. The topic of the talk was “Image Processing”. Dr Sarvaiya gave some excellent insight into the whole back story of an Image. And also explained how are images captured and what exactly are pixels. Some insights into the algebra involved behind the processing of an image.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEKThe next talk was given by Dr A. K. Desai, Professor – Applied Mechanics Department. His topic was “Recent Advances in Structural and Geotechnical Technologies”. Dr. Desai showed us the importance of structural engineering in solving the many present problems of traffic in more economic and less inconvenience to the public. Also, the talk covered the contribution of structural engineering in the recent development of buildings, bridges and flyovers and many more.


The final talk of the 1st day was given by Dr Shriniwas Arkatkar, Associate Professor – Civil Engineering Department. The topic of the talk was “A look at transport of the future in developing countries”. The talk basically covered the present transport problems and some possible solutions to these problems in the future. Dr. Arkatkar stressed much on interdisciplinary projects in developing more standard solutions and he strongly believes that these problems can not be solved by any single engineering department.  



The kick start to the 2nd day of Lumieres- Wisdom Week was given by Dr. Chetan Patel, Associate Professor- Chemical Engineering Department. The topic of the talk was “Nanoparticles”. Dr Patel explained the methods of preparation of nanoparticles and also challenges faced in the same. The importance of nanoparticles and how materials behave in the size of nanoparticles varies from its normal known particles and also how the nanoparticles are contributing in different fields of development are discussed.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEK The next talk was given by Dr P.V. Bhale, Assistant Professor – Mechanical Engineering department. The topic of the talk was ”Renewable Energies and Industries”.  In the recent times of very high rate of depletion of fossil fuels, a high number of researches are being carried out to develop an alternative fuel, most probably from renewable sources with the intention to don’t harm the environment. Dr Bhale explained different potentials of available renewable sources and challenges faced to make it a primary source of energy and economically easy to produce energy from such fuels.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEKThe final talk of the 2nd day was given by Dr Vipul Kheraj, Associate Professor – Applied Physics Department. The topic of the talk is” Light – A Fascinating Probe to the Universe”. Dr Vipul has explained what and how fascinating things can be proved by using light, like short bending of space time graph due to massive celestial bodies. The concept behind G.P.S. The LIGOs which were built to determine the passage of Gravitational waves, LIGO is basically a massive interferometer built in 4km X 4km radius.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEKThe last day of the LUMIERES- Wisdom Week was started by Dr. Jayesh Dhodiya, Associate Professor – Applied Mathematics and Humanities Department.The topic of the talk was “Application of Mathematical Modelling in Engineering Problems “. Dr Dhodiya has excellently explained how to see an engineering problem and how to approach the solution of the problem. The talk gave an idea of the importance of Mathematical Modelling to solve any real-life problems, without which it will be more difficult to find out the best possible solution to the problem.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEK The last talk of the LUMIERES – Wisdom Week was given by Dr A.K. Panchal, Professor- Electrical Engineering Department. The topic of the talk was “Solar Cells and Renewable Energy”. Dr Panchal provided all the statistics regarding usage of fuels and need of renewable energy to come into picture predominantly. Also he explained why it is still difficult to bring renewable energy in large scale, economic factors and efficiency factors and many other factors which play a dominant role in these pictures. The talk also gave an idea about the making of solar cells, materials needed, factors to be considered and many more.

LUMIERES - WISDOM WEEKWith this series of talks, LUMIERES – Wisdom Week 1.0 has been concluded. Team CEV is pretty much sure that everyone got so much to learn from the professors and also got to know the professors.




Reading Time: 2 minutes


Minutes of Meeting
Topic – Cloud

Yes! Yet another out of the blue abstract topic in the house…. We were amused by the selection of such an abstract topic . Obviously we had done no preparations and had no clue about it.

So as the discussion started, the first thing which struck us was about the shape and the size of the cloud. We remembered during our childhood days, visualizing objects from our daily routine while watching clouds. While on a sunny day, observing the white clouds and evoking the imagination within us. Clouds are an important part in a scenery with lush green fields.

They depict the two sides of human nature, the light and fluffy showing the joyous and blissful nature and on the other side are the dark and ugly clouds showing the negative human nature .Clouds bring hope for farmers while on the other hand they bring grief for people not having concrete houses.

Clouds too analogs with the human life cycle. They have their birth from the water evaporated from oceans until it rains to accomplish its existence. They serve the mother earth with rain just like humans serve to the society to show their existence!

Clouds are seen as the visible limit to the sky. They act as a blanket to the planet earth. On a sunny day ,during the summers playing cricket on the fields, whenever a cloud provides us with a shade we silently bless them to stay and protect us from the harsh sun. If the sky is a window then clouds acts as a curtain, this inspires us to raise the curtains of our life and widen our vision.

Clouds are commonly used in literature showing the aspect of freedom. They motivate us to cross our personal boundaries and limits as clouds float high in the sky.

One of the most peculiar thing about clouds we observe is that it is often perceived as a storage unit. Practically it can be said as a storage for water droplets. But we often notice on comics or animation that thoughts of a character are showed in a bubble or cloud!! Also the famous Google cloud or I cloud storing our data!! So indeed it’s one of a kind..

Clouds are even worshipped in countries like Sweden and Norway! They glorify scenes in cinematic performance as in the Oscar winning movie La- La Land.

Clouds can be a beauty as well as a beast .

Clouds can be romance for poets or a canvas or artists.

In a nutshell, we can see clouds as two visions- one as the scientific eye i.e the concept of water cycle and how clouds help in growth of various crops,etc. Other vision is the imagination part where clouds can be seen as a plain canvas which can be filled with an unlimited imagination of ours. For some it can be considered as a figure of freedom and for some it can be as a figure of boundation, all depends on each and every person’s perspective!!

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