JOULE THIEF

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As you people are wondering how even scientists have named this phenomenon in such an interesting way. In this project I’m going to tell you what a Joule Thief Circuit is how easily it can be made and also a bit of how it works. Coming back to the name ‘Joule Thief’ actually signifies that we are going to steal something and that is power. This power is said to be stolen as we are going to extract it from dead pencil cell (AA) batteries. Actually it isn’t theft because these batteries that we feel have gone dead are never completely exhausted, there’s always some residual power left inside them after our usage and this is power is sufficient to run a Joule Thief Circuit.

Now regarding the construction of this circuit, it is very easy to make and can be made with a few basic components. The main components are transistor (2N4401, BC337, 2N3904), LED, Toroid Bead (ferrite core), Thin wire (it should be insulated as found in a motor) and of course dead 1.5V AA type pencil cell that you use daily. Amongst these components the one that is truly tough to find is a toroid bead. You can get it in an electrical equipment store or else you can find it in an old CFL. But take care while removing it from the CFL because you will have to open the entire CFL and you might break the glass. So after opening the CFL there will be a PCB on which you may find your toroid bead. Also another option is that you can take it out from an old motherboard of a PC. It is actually a hollow cylindrical bead made up of magnetic material (test it with a magnet), so that it can act as a core for the inductor that we are going to make for this circuit. The circuit connections are given below:

joule thief circuit connections

The process of making this mainly consists of soldering all the parts according to the circuit diagram given and winding the toroid bead with the thin insulated wire.

For the detailed information regarding how to make it you can go to this link:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Joule-Thief/

So if you have made it then you’ll be able to see how nicely a dead battery can make the LED glow so bright. But our journey doesn’t end here since we have to know what wonders are actually taking place inside this small piece of circuitry. Just for finding things out, I had actually taken an LED that turns ON at a minimum voltage of 3V. This means that no matter even if I try to directly connect the LED to a brand new 1.5V pencil cell, then also the LED won’t glow (and believe me I did try connecting the LED to a new cell and it didn’t glow even a bit). Only if you would connect two new 1.5V cells in series, the LED will glow. You might be thinking that there would be some kind of voltage amplification involved over here. Well after you’ve made it, take a DMM (digital multimeter) and check the output voltage across the LED. You will be shocked as I was to find out that the DMM shows you a voltage of just 1.5V or even less than that. Now you check the input voltage across the battery and you will find that it is more or less same as compared to the output voltage. Then how is the LED glowing? Initially I had tried glowing the LED by connecting it directly to the new 1.5V cell, at that time it didn’t glow; but if I connect the LED to this circuit it glows brightly having the same output voltage (1.5V). After getting these results I started reading about this on the internet and also consulting various people as to why this was happening. Then I came to know that actually the transistor is the reason for all this. The inductor made with the toroid gives an instantaneous voltage boost to the transistor and the transistor here is acting as a switching device.

So what happens is that the DMM is misleading us to false conclusions. The DMM always shows the average voltage across the output terminals. Thus, in reality there would be some voltage amplification (which is enough for the turning the LED and in our case greater than 3V) and then the output waveform would also have a particular duty cycle for which it gives a higher voltage. For finding out the exact values of the amplified voltage and for what percentage of the duty cycle we are getting the high voltage you need to check it on a DSO (digital storage oscilloscope). Here is an image of a sample output waveform that you might get in a DSO for this circuit.

Joule Thief Waveform

As you can see the frequency of the switching by the transistor is very high (38.46 kHz). Hence, due to persistence in human vision we cannot make out, but in reality whenever the spike in the voltage occurs (the transistor turns ON) the LED glows for a very small amount of time and then it turns off for the remaining 60 to 70 % of the cycle. Since this happens at a very fast rate our eyes can’t judge it and we think that the LED is glowing for the whole time. The brightness will be decided by the amount of current that flows through the transistor and thus transistors like 2N4401 or BC337 are preferred as they can provide more current.

Hence, we have made a device which actually runs from very small power taken from dead batteries and don’t worry that since it is a dead battery, the LED will be ON for a long time. I have tested it and it keeps on glowing for a few hours. So what I actually made out of this concept is an emergency torch. Just that instead of one LED I connected a few more LEDs in parallel and made a bunch of it in a packed case and there it is I had a wonderful torch which ran on dead batteries. So remember not to throw out these dead batteries, they can come handy during emergencies.

WIRELESS NETWORK CONTROLLED ROBOT

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This project illustrates a very new and a unique method for controlling a multi-purpose robot. This method can actually be used in the control of high functionality drones.

In very simple words if I have to explain this I will say that this method allowed me to control my bot which has a Wi-Fi connection available in its area and on the other hand I am sitting in some corner of the world with my laptop. I can view the surroundings as well as the movements of my robot and also control them from my laptop.

So now following are the essential pre-requisites that you may require for doing this project:

  • Good knowledge of microcontrollers
  • Web-development, basics of making a website and also JavaScript.

Through this project I have actually demonstrated an example of the concept of ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

Here I have used a device called the SPARK core which is nothing but a combination of a 32-bit MCU (STM32F4) and Wi-Fi module (CC3000) which is interfaced with a basic function robot and an IP-Camera installed on it. Apart from this we had made a website on which we can see the live video feed of the IP-camera installed on the bot and it was through the same website that we sent our instructions to it.

So what the user needs to do is just send his instructions through the website and then through the internet, then the SPARK core (which is already connected to the Wi-Fi) would receive these commands and perform its functions accordingly.

At the same time, the IP-camera which is also connected to the Wi-Fi along with the spark core gives back the live video feed to the website. This IP camera had two servo motors inside it such that it could move about its own axis (360deg) and also 180deg from the surface level. Also it had night vision enabled which increases the bot’s usability.

The heart of this project is the SPARK core on which if you need more detailed information you can find it on https://www.spark.io/ . Now apart from all the technical superiorities that this device has, the main innovative thing about SPARK is the spark cloud which is allotted to every core and is unique for each of them. This spark cloud is nothing but a virtual space or in other words it acts as a control room for our spark core. This control room (spark cloud) can be accessed through the internet if the unique spark core ID and its access token (password) of that particular core is known to us. Each spark core coordinates with its own cloud through the Wi-Fi connection. The spark cloud has a unique way of working. We can write and compile the programs that we want to execute on the core through the cloud. All the programs can be burned directly to our spark core from this spark cloud. Now to access and make changes in the programs in our spark cloud there is a prebuilt online API (application programming interface) developed by the spark community. So the program can be written online on the API on a PC and then the code is transmitted to the core. (Note: for this the core should also be online and connected to the cloud) This gives a huge benefit compared to other systems where we have to manually burn our code onto the microcontroller. Hence the programs can be edited even if we are far from our robot making our system dynamic in true terms. Regarding the language for our coding the easiest Arduino is compatible for the core. Their predefined libraries have to be used at numerous instances. Like for example if some of the functions are required to be available throughout the API (i.e. not just the core). These functions are declared as “Spark.function”.

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Initially when the spark core connects to the Wi-Fi, it should be done manually from a PC using the USB port that is available in the core. But once if the spark core is synchronised with a Wi-Fi network then we need not repeat the process again. Then only the core needs to be powered up and it will automatically connect itself to the cloud and it will start syncing with the instructions that have been given through the spark cloud.

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Now coming to the website part, the movements of the bot are controlled by the direction keys of your keyboard. The backhand of the website (JavaScript) was designed in such a fashion that the controlling stays very intuitive and you may feel like you are playing a real life racing game. What happened in the background was as soon as the key is pressed, in the background a special type of http request is fired (for spark cloud). Whenever this kind of http request is fired, some predefined function from the program on the SPARK cloud is called that we had initially written on the API for the further operations. The SPARK cloud in turn commands the core which is online to move the bot in some direction. Hence when such multiple http requests will keep getting fired to the spark cloud (since we are constantly pressing the keys), the cloud will constantly send the corresponding instructions accordingly to the spark core to move the bot in the respective directions.

This system can have a wide range of applications in military applications, surveillance purposes, industries, etc. wherein with some safety modifications we can even send this robot in inhumane conditions.

This project was done by me for a firm “GlowLogic Media Pvt Ltd” in Mumbai and also I had help from two of my colleagues who had handled the web-development part.

BASIC LINE FOLLOWER

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the following write-up I’m going to tell you all my experiences while I had made my own line follower and will explain all the problems that I had faced along with some tricks to tackle them.

So basically making a line follower can help you in learning simple as well as advanced micro-controller applications that’s why I would advise all the beginners who want to learn micro-controller, your first project should be making an advanced line follower (advanced in the sense that it should be able it to traverse a track of any complication and its functioning should be very smooth). Now I would suggest that all the new learners should have the PDFs of the following essential books:

  • The AVR Micro-controller & Embedded System – Mazidi
  • Atmega32 data sheet (since that is the controller I have used)

(You can get these easily on the internet and also can use the link to my drive where you can find all the things that you’ll require in this project of yours

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=64b509679da462f2&id=64B509679DA462F2%21105 )

First of all I would suggest some things from my experience:

  • Don’t use Arduino development board as a learner because once if you have learned how to use any basic micro-controller you will get to know things at grass root level and then afterwards you may find Arduino a cakewalk.
  • Also don’t use development board available for the Atmega32 micro-controller. Make your own circuit on a General-purpose Circuit Board (GCB). In this way you will learn how to design a circuit and get practice for soldering.
  • Make your own chassis as well. You need to learn some very basic fabrication also.
  • Start using simulation software (like Proteus) along with your coding as this will help a lot in verifying your codes. You can’t afford to always burn the code on your micro-controller for checking its validity. In such a situation if you simulate it on the pc then it will be much time-consuming.

Now, the essential things required for a making line follower are Atmega32 MCU, 12V battery, DC motors, chassis, L293D motor driver, LM7805 voltage regulator (5V), Analogue or Digital IR Sensors, laptop, USB-ASP programmer.
7805 voltage regulatorL293D_connectionsThe MCU runs on 5V, means it will perform its functions within a range of 0-5V. So you need a 5V voltage regulator circuit which can be easily made using two capacitors (1uF and 10uF) and an IC LM7805. Now since our motors run on 12V, we will require a motor driver which converts these 5V signals to 12V i.e. L293D. The circuit connections for both are shown

For coding you need to use the software Atmel Studio. You can learn how to code by using the AVR- Mazidi book and also with the help of the Atmega32 data sheet. There are various extensive examples given in the book which will help you understand the various peripherals of the Atmega32 MCU like Basic Input/Output, ADC, PWM, Timer/Counters, Interrupts, etc.

For a basic line follower you just need to learn basic Input/output functions. Now the basic working principle of a Digital IR sensor is that it gives it will give high or low output according to the strip colour in front of it (black or white).

Once you figure this out then now let’s take an example where you have just 3 line sensors and the track made up of a white line and a black background on the arena. Now in the sensors are lined in such a fashion that if the bot is facing forward then it must have one sensor on the white line and two just reasonably outside it. Thus the sensor at the centre will give output 1(high) and the other two will give output 0(low) (Note: this is not necessary some sensors give inverted output like on black they give 1 and on white they give zero so you need to check this first). These output readings from the sensor are taken by the MCU as an input for further analysis. Now if any of the outer sensors will come inside the track due to the movement of your robot, then that sensor will also start giving 1 and the centre one that was inside might move out of the line and will start giving zero. In such a situation, your code should indicate that the bot needs to move in the opposite direction to get back on the line. Hence you might have 3 possible cases if the centre one is giving 1 then go straight, if the one on the right is giving you 1 then go right and if the left one is giving you 1 then go left.

Regarding the simulation install and run Proteus and then you can see it is very similar to Multisim, hence make your own circuit with the micro-controller, sensors, voltage regulator circuit, motor driver circuit, motors, etc and test it with your code on your pc and by doing this you will save time as well as the safety of your equipments is ensured.

Thus in this way very simply you can control your bot to follow a simple line. Now if you don’t want to use digital sensors and prefer analogue sensors then you need to implement ADC and if you want your bot to move very smoothly then you also have to implement PWM. They are a lot of other concepts and complicated algorithms that are used in advanced line following and rather these bots then almost act as grid solvers.

For AVR beginners there is an excellent YouTube channel that you can refer which will help you understand these things very easily:

Visit at Volkswagen Plant, Pune

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Download pdf

“Why only Volkswagen can build a Volkswagen?”

This is cool line, but you know what’s cooler? The fact that it’s true.

                What you can do just after the exams? Just follow CEV group activities and you will definitely find some great attraction towards CEV group and its activities. We thought to visit something really cool or by which we can enrich our Technical knowledge as well as can have fun with Techies.

We started our journey to visit Volkswagen Pune plant from SVNIT-Surat on the morning of Dec  7th,2014 for Mumbai. After reaching at BCT-Mumbai at 04:00pm, we visited some of the well-known places in Mumbai viz. Gate way of India, Hotel Taj, Churni road-Chopati till 09:00 pm. By the late night of Dec 7th, we reached at Pune and stayed at Hotel. As we were supposed to reach at company plant by 09:30am on Dec 8th, we fresh up early and went there by Tempo Traveller that we have hired. We started our best part of the journey at 10:00am, after the introductory session that has taken by Chaitanya Halbe sir. Here is the journey into one of the biggest and most respected carmakers. A great deal of Thought , Attention and Innovation goes into the every stage-process to built each car that is truly Das Auto ( The Car ).

As we all know, Cars can be divided into two groups according to their designs.

  1. Hatch back
  2. Siddan

Volkswagen worldwide

Volkswagen Automobile Group is globally represented by twelve brands- Volkswagen, Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, SKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. The product spectrum ranges from motorcycles to luxury vehicles and heavy trucks.

Total production plants- 106 across 27 countries.

Total employees- 572,800 (including indirect employees)

About Pune Plant

The Volkswagen India plant, situated in the industrial hub of Pune i.e. Chakan -37 km away from Pune city, is one of the most modern facilities in the Volkswagen Group worldwide and has a high level of vertical integration. An initial investment commitment of Volkswagen group is INR 3,800 crores (580 million Euros) and is planning to invest INR 5000 crores more in upcoming years.

The state-of-the-art Pune Plant builds Volkswagen Polo and Vento and SKODA Rapid on a single line at the same time.

Employees- 3,600 (including 1,100 indirect employees and 33 R&D researchers)

Total Area- 575 acres (including 100 acres constructed area)

Investment till date- 700 million Euros

Production of cars per day- 430 cars in 2 shifts

Production Capacity- 130,000 cars in 2 shifts

Cars Produced

  1. Volkswagen Polo since Dec 2009 (Right Hand Drive as well as Left Hand Drive)
  2. Volkswagen Vento since Aug 2010 (Right Hand Drive as well as Left Hand Drive)
  3. SKODA Rapid since Oct 2011 (Right Hand Drive Only)
  4. SKODA Fabia till Dec 2013 only

The manufacturing facility includes Body Shop followed by

Paint Shop and then

Assembly line

  1. Body Shop – Initial stage where car starts taking shape.

Pressed metal (100% Galvanised steel for 100% strength & safety) parts from the Press Shop are received in the Body Shop to create the body shell.

The car bodies are built from bottom to top; starting from the underbody, then the side framers, roof and finally with closure parts viz. doors, bonnet and boot lid with almost 35% of automation.

  1. Paint Shop – Stage in which car is giving its colours

Firstly, the vehicle body undergoes a cleaning process after which it gets the ElectroCoat followed by Coarse Sealent, Underbody Coating and Fine Sealing before getting the Primer Coat.

Finally, finishing and waxing of the body is done and then car body is sent to the assembly line.

Local manufacturers – Asian Paints. (To decrease the manufacturing cost)

  1. Assembly line – Final area of manufacturing

Here, you’ll get a chance to experience German Engineering, made in India. Also, witness one of the fastest marriages of Chassis with remaining car body. The car then moves to the finish line where it gets the steering wheel, airbags, seats and doors.

Local manufacturers – MRF and Apollo for tyres.

Why should you buy Volkswagen cars?

  1. Unique Roof Laser Welding for greater rigidity and zero dampness. (Roof stay stronger and more secure even after years.)
  2. 6 years of anti-perfurism warranty
  3. Inline Measurement process done by Robots for zero-error body that lasts years.
  4. 11-stage Paint Process for longer-lasting beauty and Ro-Dip Technology for 360* paint coverage for excellent corrosion protection.

 Extra tests carried out on Volkswagen cars

  1. Stone Impact Test to check paint and body strength.
  2. Destruction Tests to ensure ultimate endurance & quality.
  3. Intense checks for almost 7 hours on each car.
  4. Test on special track.

Exports from Pune Plant

‘German Engineering, Made in India by Volkswagen’ is in great demand worldwide. Currently, Volkswagen India exports the Polo and Vento, in right-hand as well as left-hand drive versions, to over 32 countries across three continents – Asia, Africa and North America.

Commencement of export – 2011 in South Africa

2012 in Middle East countries with LHD

2013 in Mexican Market with Indian Vento

2013 in Malaysia with component of Polo and Vento

CEVians really enjoyed the manufacturing process of POLO and its elder brother Vento and the iconic distinct cousin Beetle.

Supplement Study Material for 1st and 2nd year Civil Students

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As you guys must already have read about what is civil engineering and what are the various branches of it in my earlier blog, so now in this blog, I will be enlightening you about some extra supplementary materials that would help you in understanding the subject pretty well and also, will augment your interest in various branches of civil engineering.

One of the finest source of knowledge is MIT -Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open Course Ware is. Just visit:

 http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/civil-and-environmental-engineering/

When you scroll down on this page, you will find various subjects that are listed. Just click on the one that you are interested in and then, click on “View course” button. Now on this page, just click on the syllabus tab and you will find some information about what this subject does. Also, lower side on the page, they have mentioned a recommended book. You can go to our library and issue the book and read and understand the concept of the topic.

Also various other tabs are there which are dedicated to the different topics of a particular subject. In that you will find video lectures (just like our NPTEL videos) and/or some notes regarding the topic. Also, you will find a link to download their assignments and also the solutions of those assignments. 

Some good subjects that you should do from that website are:

Advanced Soil Mechanics
Engineering Mechanics II
Structural Engineering Design
Solid Mechanics
Engineering Mechanics I ( Really a good one.)
Computing and Data Analysis for Environmental Applications (For Maths-3)
Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving (Common for our computer course in 1st as well as 2nd year but, it is in JAVA. So, ok for knowledge but, not so good for us if you are going to fully rely on it).

 

Some other subjects are also good which are listed & come in our syllabus in the 3rd and final year (e.g. Concrete, project management etc.). 

Also, you can do some online courses about different subjects. Some Online courses are:

https://www.coursera.org/course/staticsofobjects

https://www.coursera.org/course/statics1

https://www.coursera.org/course/statics2

https://www.edx.org/course/epflx/epflx-mf201x-mecanique-des-fluides-1417

You can always go to websites such as http://www.coursera.org and http://www.edx.org for online courses on any subject and learn any subject that you want.

 

Some civil engineering related associations:

There are various associations related to the field of civil engineering. Some of them are mentioned below:

Also, there is a civil engineering society running in our college for civil engineering students. Most of you must be already knowing about it. Its website is: http://svnit.ac.in/stu_chap/CES/home%20%20%20%20done.html. I understand that the website is a bit dated but still gives you an idea about it.

Also, you guys must know that one of our senior: Jinal Doshi who is currently in university of Southern California, USA has a blog on Structural Engineering which you should definitely view:  http://structuralmadness.blogspot.in/

Just subscribe the blog and remain updated.

And few other interesting blogs are:

http://911-engineers.blogspot.in/

http://blogs.nasa.gov/

http://seblog.strongtie.com/

https://ztwocents.wordpress.com/

 

This is not the exhaustive list. It is just a small amount of material. Just share this with your friends & if you get any such blogs than keep it as a comment on this blog and share knowledge.

There are also, some shows about civil engineering which you may like and so watch them instead of movies. You will definitely learn something:

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest national geographic
  • Mega Structures Discovery Channel
  • Richard Hammond’s documentary season 2.

You can view these shows from the popular video sharing websites such as youtube.com or you can search and download them from the file sharing portals such as torrents.

I hope that this blog is useful for you guys and girls out there and will help in increasing your knowledge and understanding about this subject.

 

Introduction to Civil Engineering

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, geophysics, geodesy, control engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, earth science, atmospheric sciences, forensic engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, offshore engineering, quantity surveying, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

 

History of Civil Engineering:

 

Until modern times there was no clear distinction between civil engineering and architecture, and the term engineer and architect were mainly geographical variations referring to the same occupation, and often used interchangeably. The construction of pyramids in Egypt (circa 2700–2500 BC) were some of the first instances of large structure constructions. Other ancient historic civil engineering constructions include the Qanat water management system (the oldest is older than 3000 years and longer than 71 km,) the Parthenon by Iktinos in Ancient Greece (447–438 BC), the Appian Way by Roman engineers (c. 312 BC), the Great Wall of China by General Meng T’ien under orders from Ch’in Emperor Shih Huang Ti (c. 220 BC) and the stupas constructed in ancient Sri Lanka like the Jetavanaramaya and the extensive irrigation works in Anuradhapura. The Romans developed civil structures throughout their empire, including especially aqueducts, insulae, harbors, bridges, dams and roads.

In the 18th century, the term civil engineering was coined to incorporate all things civilian as opposed to military engineering. The first self-proclaimed civil engineer was John Smeaton, who constructed the Eddystone Lighthouse.

Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles for solving the problems of society, and its history is intricately linked to advances in understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is linked to knowledge of structures, materials science, geography, geology, soils, hydrology, environment, mechanics and other fields.

Throughout ancient and medieval history most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisans, such as stonemasons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Knowledge was retained in guilds and seldom supplanted by advances. Structures, roads and infrastructure that existed were repetitive, and increases in scale were incremental.

One of the earliest examples of a scientific approach to physical and mathematical problems applicable to civil engineering is the work of Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, including Archimedes Principle, which underpins our understanding of buoyancy, and practical solutions such as Archimedes’ screw. Brahmagupta, an Indian mathematician, used arithmetic in the 7th century AD, based on Hindu-Arabic numerals, for excavation (volume) computations.

 A Roman aqueduct [built circa 19 BC] near Pont du Gard, France.

 

Sub-Disciplines:

  • Material Science & Engineering: Materials engineering also consists of protection and prevention like paints and finishes. Alloying is another aspect of materials engineering, combining two types of metals to produce a more useful metal. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry. With significant media attention focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology in recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities. It is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis. Materials science also deals with fundamental properties and characteristics of materials.

  

  • Construction Engineering: Construction engineering involves planning and execution of the designs from transportation, site development, hydraulic, environmental, structural and geotechnical engineers. As construction firms tend to have higher business risk than other types of civil engineering firms, many construction engineers tend to take on a role that is more business-like in nature: drafting and reviewing contracts, evaluating logistical operations, and closely monitoring prices of necessary supplies.

  

  • Earthquake Engineering: Earthquake engineering covers ability of various structures to withstand hazardous earthquake exposures at the sites of their particular location. Earthquake engineering is a sub discipline of the broader category of Structural engineering. The main objectives of earthquake engineering are to understand interaction of structures with the shaky ground; foresee the consequences of possible earthquakes; and design, construct and maintain structures to perform at earthquake exposure up to the expectations and in compliance with building codes.

 

  • Environmental Engineering: Environmental engineering deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation of contaminated sites, due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination. Among the topics covered by environmental engineering are pollutant transport, water purification, waste water treatment, air pollution, solid waste treatment and hazardous waste management. Environmental engineers can be involved with pollution reduction, green engineering, and industrial ecology. Environmental engineering also deals with the gathering of information on the environmental consequences of proposed actions and the assessment of effects of proposed actions for the purpose of assisting society and policy makers in the decision making process.

 

  • Geotechnical Engineering: Geotechnical engineering is an area of civil engineering concerned with the rock and soil that support civil engineering systems. Knowledge from the fields of geology, material science and testing, mechanics, and hydraulics are applied by geotechnical engineers to safely and economically design foundations, retaining walls, and similar structures. Environmental concerns in relation to groundwater and waste disposal have spawned a new area of study called geoenvironmental engineering where biology and chemistry are important.

 

  • Water Resource Engineering: Water resources engineering is concerned with the collection and management of water (as a natural resource). As a discipline it therefore combines hydrology, environmental science, meteorology, geology, conservation, and resource management. This area of civil engineering relates to the prediction and management of both the quality and the quantity of water in both underground (aquifers) and above ground (lakes, rivers, and streams) resources. Water resource engineers analyze and model very small to very large areas of the earth to predict the amount and content of water as it flows into, through, or out of a facility. Although the actual design of the facility may be left to other engineers.

 

  • Structural Engineering: Structural engineering is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, towers, flyovers (overpasses), tunnels, off shore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea, aero structure and other structures. This involves identifying the loads which act upon a structure and the forces and stresses which arise within that structure due to those loads, and then designing the structure to successfully support and resist those loads. The loads can be self-weight of the structures, other dead load, live loads, moving (wheel) load, wind load, earthquake load, load from temperature change etc. The structural engineer must design structures to be safe for their users and to successfully fulfil the function they are designed for (to be serviceable). Due to the nature of some loading conditions, sub-disciplines within structural engineering have emerged, including wind engineering and earthquake engineering.

 

  • Surveying: Surveying is the process by which a surveyor measures certain dimensions that generally occur on the surface of the Earth. Surveying equipment, such as levels and theodolites, are used for accurate measurement of angular deviation, horizontal, vertical and slope distances. With computerisation, electronic distance measurement (EDM), total stations, GPS surveying and laser scanning have supplemented (and to a large extent supplanted) the traditional optical instruments. This information is crucial to convert the data into a graphical representation of the Earth’s surface, in the form of a map. This information is then used by civil engineers, contractors and even realtors to design from, build on, and trade, respectively. Elements of a building or structure must be correctly sized and positioned in relation to each other and to site boundaries and adjacent structures. Although surveying is a distinct profession with separate qualifications and licensing arrangements, civil engineers are trained in the basics of surveying and mapping, as well as geographic information systems. Surveyors may also lay out the routes of railways, tramway tracks, highways, roads, pipelines and streets as well as position other infrastructures, such as harbours, before construction.

 

  • Transportation Engineering: Transportation engineering is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conducive to a vibrant community. This involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining transportation infrastructure which includes streets, canals, highways, rail systems, airports, ports, and mass transit. It includes areas such as transportation design, transportation planning, traffic engineering, and some aspects of urban engineering, queuing theory, pavement engineering, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), and infrastructure management.

 

  • Municipal and Urban Engineering: Municipal engineering is concerned with municipal infrastructure. This involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining streets, sidewalks, water supply networks, sewers, street lighting, municipal solid waste management and disposal, storage depots for various bulk materials used for maintenance and public works (salt, sand, etc.), public parks and bicycle paths. In the case of underground utility networks, it may also include the civil portion (conduits and access chambers) of the local distribution networks of electrical and telecommunications services. It can also include the optimizing of waste collection and bus service networks. Some of these disciplines overlap with other civil engineering specialties, however municipal engineering focuses on the coordination of these infrastructure networks and services, as they are often built simultaneously, and managed by the same municipal authority.

 

  • Forensic Engineering: Forensic engineering is the investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. The consequences of failure are dealt with by the law of product liability. The field also deals with retracing processes and procedures leading to accidents in operation of vehicles or machinery. The subject is applied most commonly in civil law cases, although it may be of use in criminal law cases. Generally the purpose of a Forensic engineering investigation is to locate cause or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life of a component, or to assist a court in determining the facts of an accident. It can also involve investigation of intellectual property claims, especially patents.

 

  • Control Engineering: Control engineering (or control systems engineering) is the branch of civil engineering discipline that applies control theory to design systems with desired behaviours. The practice uses sensors to measure the output performance of the device being controlled (often a vehicle) and those measurements can be used to give feedback to the input actuators that can make corrections toward desired performance. When a device is designed to perform without the need of human inputs for correction it is called automatic control (such as cruise control for regulating a car’s speed). Multidisciplinary in nature, control systems engineering activities focus on implementation of control systems mainly derived by mathematical modelling of systems of a diverse range.

 

Roadmap for Computer Engineering Students

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hey, Guys!

Some of you might’ve got an internship or training somewhere while some of you haven’t. Internship or not, vacations are a great time to learn. There’s a plethora of stuff that you can do. From developing websites, smart phone apps and games to studying a subject that you are really interested in and maybe get started with some research work (though it is easier said than done).

In the end of the third year, you all will be looking for a serious internship and in the final year, a job.  Your resume is the first thing that will help you get noticed by recruiters. Your resume should reflect what your ambitions are and what you have done to achieve them.

Before you start building your resume, ask yourself what is that you want to do when you get out of college. Is it higher studies (for MBA or M.Tech. or MS…) and research that you want to pursue or do you want to join an organization and write code for them, or maybe you aspire to become an entrepreneur, maybe become a freelancer or  some other plan that you have for yourself.   If you are in 2nd year, NOW is the time to start thinking and drawing out a plan; if you are in the 1st year, a head start is always great. I don’t pretend to be an expert on this, even I am trying to find my path; I’ll just tell you what I know and hope that it’ll help you.

First of all, understand that the goal of studying, participating in competitions or developing software is not (or rather SHOULD not be) to make a good resume. A resume is just a by-product of the actions that you take to achieve your ambition. You want to achieve something and for that, you study stuff, you do stuff, you develop stuff, and that stuff is what goes on your resume. Trust me if you think of it this way, it’ll be much more fun.

Many of you took Computer Engineering by choice and many of you got it because you didn’t get your first choice. The fact is that you are now in a field that has innumerable possibilities of innovation and vast space for new stuff. All you need is a laptop and you can make the next big thing! Some other branches of engineering have the constraint of availability of resources. They have to wait in turn to get some time on equipment. They might not even have some equipment in their institute. But we all have the equipment in our rooms!

Okay, so let’s get to the point.

If you want to pursue higher studies in Computer Science abroad, then your goal should be to gain research experience. Because that’s what the universities see. They want to know if you really are into something or are applying only because you have nothing else to do.

Research might sound like a big word. Because it is a big word. It requires lots of hard work before you can start saying “Research”. But to get started, identify your area of interest and talk to the professors in our department. They’ll tell you what to read. The list of research areas of all faculties is given on the SVNIT website. Use Google to find the currently active areas of research. Join courses on edx.org and coursera.org to understand the subject you are interested in.  Even if you can’t decide your area of interest, just go and talk to a faculty and they’ll help you out.

For those who want to do Masters in India, you’ll have to give GATE exam. Go online, check out its syllabus. It’s mostly what we have in our curriculum. So just make sure that you understand each topic well.

If you want to join an organization and code for them, then START CODING! Many organizations ask questions like those in competitive programming in their hiring process. So keeping your skills sharp will be advantageous. Not only that, good companies also require experience. Eg. they may ask for experience in web development or system programming or some other field. Prove yourself worthy of hire by developing some useful software.

Contribute to Open Source. Google Summer of Code is a very popular internship related to OSS. If you are aiming at that, START NOW. GSoC doesn’t only need apply. It’s not so easy to get it. Google “how to prepare for GSoC” and start now. There’s nothing called early start.

An organization will be very happy with you if you show them that you know stuff and they won’t have to spend much time training you. Even if what you have developed is not related to what a company does, they’ll still acknowledge that you made something and you know how to develop stuff.

A few possibilities related to development are Android or iPhone app development, Web browser extensions development, Web designing, Web development, Windows Desktop app development and Java Applet development.

There’s a lot to learn out there. A LOT we don’t know. Online learning website like edx.org and coursera.org are invaluable. Needless to say, there are a lot of worthy courses. Join a course, be regular. Just don’t be stagnant. College is the time when you have plenty of time to learn stuff.

Whatever doubts you have, we at CEV are always there to help you out. You just need to reach out to us or seniors in your department.

I feel that, as Computer Engineers, we have the power to make anything we want. Whatever is going on in your head, you can materialize it. Make it right and people will use it and appreciate it. People will use something that was once just a figment of your imagination and you materialized it out of nowhere.  This is what motivates me 🙂

Learning through movies!

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Ever thought engineering was boring? Ever fell asleep reading from a textbook? Lost interest lately?

Try watching this film and I bet you’ll get interested. Packed with visuals and animations that could drive concepts into your skull, this video series was conceived and produced by a team from Applied Mechanics Department of SVNIT, Surat. Professor Dr. H.S Patil along with Sundareson, Ramon and Anandkumar started off with the idea and a script while professional filmmaker Chakshu Khatsuria finished it off with his expertise.

This film is about Load Transfer Mechanism in Structures. It could be appealing to students taking their first course in Structural engineering or Civil engineering.

Filmmaking

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 “There is nothing that inspires you more than a good film”

Every Engineer that has ever happened, seems to share a common curiosity, watching films. Thanks to DC++ that we have terabytes of films available at our disposal. Be it mess, canteen or lectures, we tend to discuss about the latest films that we have watched.

Everyone love films, but what is the actual process that goes into filmmaking?

Before coming to that, I would like to ask you, what actually is a film?

STORY+ACTING+CAMERA+A LITTLE PINCH OF MUSIC= FILM!

Well, that seems to be the mathematical formula for that, but even after all this your film should make a meaning i.e. there should be a moral to your story. Without it, the film would be nothing but a normal video.

Now, coming to the process of Filmmaking. The process includes three main components. i.e

  1. Pre-Production
  2. Production
  3. Post-production

 

Pre-production: As it is said, everything starts with an idea. A film, being no exception also starts with an Idea. Hopefully, an idea could be anything, from the life of people in prison (The Shawshank Redemption) to three random guys in a college (3 Idiots). You can even make a movie on your way to the class at mornings. You just need to be creative enough to see the story.

Making a story is never enough, you need to write it down in the form of a screenplay. The screenplay/script is a written form of film that contains dialogues, actions, expression and behaviour of different characters. Screenplay is written in a definite format which initially one might find unusual to the typical scripts. Screenplay of many movies are available on the internet. One can easily find them via google. Also, there are various software available for script writing. Most popular ones are CELTX, FINAL DRAFT and MONTAGE etc.

The other parts of pre-production includes documenting the shots, scouting the locations and casting the actors.

Production: This is the second part of Film making. It includes going to the scouted locations and shooting the scenes. There are various things that needs to be taken care of while shooting the film.

Composition: Composition simply means preparing the scene i.e. to make the scene solve its purpose. To do this there are various shots that one can take during the shoot. Those includes long medium, close-up, birds eye etc. There is a specific use for every shot. The details could be found on the internet. There is a thumb rule for the purpose i.e. the closer the camera is to the character, the more viewer has a deep insight for the character.

Acting: Acting is one thing that can do wonders for a film and also might prove bad if not done properly. The director needs to work with the actors properly to get the desired acting.

Cameras: The type of cameras and lenses prove very important for the film. At our level, DSLRs do a nice jobs. Even if you don’t have a DSLR you can shoot by a digital camera or phone. Camera is just a tool for movie making but at the same time it is quite important.

Once you are done with all the shooting, it’s time for Post-production.

Post Production: It is the last step of the process of filmmaking. This requires the sorting of shots, merging them and adding music to them. This could be done with the help of an editing software. The best ones include Adobe Premier Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Power Director etc.

Except the above, there is a golden rule of filmmaking, “The more you see, the more you learn” Watch as many movies as you can to get a good idea of making films.

 

Vinayak Vyas.

BTECH III, CIVIL ENGINEERING. 

Rich Resources of SVNIT Surat

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

1.       Facility to download IEEE Research Papers for no cost through SVNIT  Local Area Network

IEEE is The World’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. For us, it is a very good platform to read about all Research Papers written for all branches of Electrical & Electronics Engineers. But you need to be a member of that particular IEEE society to be able to download and read the paper. But!!! Our college provided us access to IEEE papers from our campus. So if you connect to IEEE website from our college LAN then you can access and download the papers!!!

So wait for what?? Read the latest research papers on various IEEE Societies mentioned onhttp://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/societies/index.html

Link to IEEE Explore for seeing a Research Paper of your interest- http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/home.jsp

 

2.       Magazine and Journal Section in Central Library

Entering Central Library and on the second floor there is a Section for Magazines and journals for all branches which are the best way to stay in touch with the latest in technology. So go any explore your technical interest…..

 

3.       Reference Section 2nd Floor Central Library

We have a whole section of the best reference books for 100s different topics of all branches in our Reference Section. Avail that facility to read them and get your fundamentals crystal clear

 

4.       Digital Library – Store house of all well know Tech Journals ….

Go to svnit.ac.in -> Central Facility -> Central Library -> On Right Section Digital Library LINK

You need to login through our college LAN and then you can access various cool stuff like

E-BooksSpringler E-books, Cambridge University Press E-Book …….

E-JournalsScience DirectACM Digital Library, Institute of Civil Engineering Journals, Engineering Science Data Unit Series etc..

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