Engineering! Does this word bring pride in oneself? An engineering student spends hours in lectures and practicals to grasp the most intricate theories and ideas. The students not only learn the innate engineering fundamentals but also explore a unique way of life and an impeccable attitude to solve the most complex problems smartly.
Engineers have different levels of perseverance in any situation because of their strong analytical skills, which have been indulged since their college period; they are trained hard for every situation of their life.
Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College (SREC), Coimbatore, strives to preserve this ethos of engineering in a true sense and prepare modern engineering leaders. The eminent college also primarily focuses on women empowerment, with 48 per cent of female faculties and 42 per cent of female students.
It primarily focuses on the aeronautical departments as there is a massive demand in the stream. The college is also linked with various industries to provide the best placement services to its students. SREC also provides internships, in-plant training, and on-the-job training to their students to fill the gap between the industry and educational sector.
While conversing with The Knowledge Review, Dr N R. Alamleu, the college’s Principal, enlightens the unique teaching pedagogy, its journey and its vision for the future.
The Origin and the Journey of the College
Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College (SREC), Coimbatore, was established in 1994 by SNR Sons Charitable Trust. The college is one of the 15 institutions managed by the trust.
Since 2007 the institute has been enjoying the autonomy status, with an A+ grade through two cycles of NAAC. For the last four years, the institute has been ranked among the top 200 institutions in the NIRF. All the college departments are permanently affiliated with Anna University, Chennai and all eligible programs are accredited by NBA.
The institute initiated four Undergraduate (UG) programmes with an annual intake of 180 students. Currently, it has eleven UG programmes and seven Postgraduate (PG) programmes in Engineering and Technology; the institute also provides five years of integrated MTech in Computer Science & Engineering and MBA programmes.
SREC has been adaptive towards a multi-disciplinary learning approach through value addition, in which a Mechanical student can earn a specialization in 3D Printing/Robotics and Automation or a minor in IoT/Data Science, and an Aeronautical Engineering student can earn a minor in AI (Artificial Intelligence)/ML (Machine Learning).
The specializations and minors come with 20 additional earning credits with joint industry certifications. All these certifications have been provided within the four years of the BE/BTech programmes and give a very different learning opportunity in the institution in which they are entirely preparing their students for the industry needs aligning with Industry 4.0/5.0.
The college has a magnificent research culture on the campus with an average annual funding of Rs. Three crores from various funding agencies – AICTE, DST, CSIR, DRDO and others, to nurture the research. The institute supports full-time and part-time scholars with institutional and government research fellowships.
The curriculum and syllabus of the college have been evolving continuously around the ever-changing dynamics of the world to nurture entrepreneurs, encourage societal concerns, and promote live-in-labs.
Dr N R. Alamleu: A Dynamic Leader
The institute is managed by the SNR Sons Charitable trust, founded in 1970 by the illustrious sons of Sri. S. N. Rangasamy Naidu and run by a board of trustees, who are themselves engineers & technocrats, with the right vision and invaluable assets to make the right decisions for the institution’s growth.
Currently, the institute is headed by a senior academician, Dr N.R. Alamleu with the vision to develop it as one of the best industry-linked institutes in the country by taking comprehensive initiatives – innovation, entrepreneurship, and holistic learning through the Institution Innovation Council (IIC), ATAL Innovation Mission, AICTE – IDEA (Idea Development Evaluation & Application) Lab and a recognized Business incubation facility: SREC-SPARK.
Dr Alamleu has been recognized by both National and International Professional Bodies and the PSG & Sons’ Charities, Coimbatore, for her contributions to the growth of technical education and professional societies.
She is a recipient of the prestigious ISTE (Indian Society for Technical Education)- Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan National Award for Best Engineering College Principal in 2015. She also has been the Chairperson of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in the Madras section for 2014 and 2015.
Vision and Ethical Values
While talking with Dr Alamleu about the college, she highlighted the core values, beliefs, and the vision of the college. She said, “SREC has the vision to develop into a leading world-class Technological University of Schools of Excellence in various disciplines with a co-existent Centre for Engineering Solutions Development for a worldwide clientele. We strive to achieve our vision through the mission: To provide all necessary inputs to the students for them to grow into knowledge engineers and scientists, Excellence in domain knowledge– practice and theory; Excellence in co-curricular and Extracurricular talents, and Excellence in character and personality.”
Ad Hoc Ways for Comprehensive Learning Experience
SREC provides quality education in one of the specialized programs, i.e., Aeronautical Engineering, to the next-generations passionate engineers. The department was established in 2008, and since then, there has been tremendous growth in all spheres of Aeronautical Engineering.
While enhancing their students’ learning, the institute’s department is equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology, including a full-fledged Flight Simulator and two-trainer Aircraft. The Curricula and syllabi give weightage to the core domains of aviation, such as Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Structures, Flight Mechanics, Materials, and cutting-edge domains like Avionics and UAV.
To provide the placements services to their students, the institutions have tied up with premier industries and established a Centre of Excellence to develop application-oriented UAVs.
SREC has also enabled the students to partake in Training/Placement activities in their Core Domain with organizations like Capgemini, AirWorks, Collins Aerospace, and Boeing, to name a few, apart from research and higher education institutions like IITs and start-ups – ePlane.
The students are trained on multiple domains through industry collaborations like Aircraft Maintenance by AirWorks, Drone piloting with DGCA certification in the Campus training facility collaborating with LYNX (A division of Lawrence and Mayo). They are also trained to obtain Dassault Solidworks Certification as well. AICTE-Karma is approved for the department to enable skill development in Remotely piloted aircraft/drone piloting refresher course with AICTE & NCVT certifications.
Aeromodelling- Paper planes to RC planes, Water rocketry and Design-Build-Fly UAVs are regular value additions nurturing the students’ passion for Aeronautical Engineering. Altogether, the students at SREC have been provided ample opportunity to train and equip themselves for the outside world through workshops, internships, hands-on Aeromodelling, and industry-lead courses to prepare themselves for the growing demands of the industry.
Inclusionary Guidance to Shape Future Leaders
The institute conducts a Universal Human Values (UHV) course, and the students must complete with the appropriate mentorship of AICTE certified teachers, who help the students to inculcate the values and ethics to become a good human being with excellent technical knowledge and care for society.
SREC is promoting value-based education through several programs that run across the department with the collaboration of the industries. The institute also has industry-led one-credit courses to fill the gap between industry and academy.
The institute also offers internships, in-plant training, and on-the-job training to make their students industry-ready. With this outbound training, the students can polish and enhance their skills, such as team building and personality growth.
Upcoming Expansion in Aerospace Engineering
When we asked Dr Alamleu about the college’s upcoming advancements in Aerospace Engineering, she states a few advancements that the college is going to make in the coming time; she says, “Drones are the next big thing in the Aerospace industry. Yes, drones have seen improvements in recent times. However, with the introduction of Industry 4.0 towards Industry 5.0, technological development in Electrical vehicles, AI, Machine Learning and Data Science has enabled the industries to look at new ventures using Drones. One such field is Urban Air Mobility, in simple terms, Air Taxis.
The collaboration with LYNX has made it possible for DGCA-certified drone pilots to be trained on the campus. Through the Centre for Excellence in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), students are given opportunities to build drones for societal and commercial applications such as agriculture and firefighting, to name a few. In addition to our industry tie-ups with Capgemini for technical publications and Airworks for Maintenance, the institution is planning to engage with more industries to take on the new age of structural health monitoring, lightweight materials, swarm drones and much more.”
Achievements, Accreditations, and Awards
The college primarily focuses on women’s empowerment, with 48 per cent female faculties, and 42 per cent of female students. SREC has achieved many awards and accreditation since its inception, a few of them are listed below-
FICCI FLO – Recognized SREC as the Preferred Workplace for Women in 2018
- Recipient of CII – IWN Gender Parity Award in 2017
Best Known for Professional Society Affiliations:
- Received Aeronautical Society of India (ASI) – Best Student Chapter Award in 2019
- Received Institution of Engineers (IE) – Best Student Chapter Award in 2019
- Received Computer Society of India (CSI) – Best Student Chapter Award in 2017
- Received Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – R10 Asia Pacific Award in 2017
- Received Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) – National Award – Best Engineering College in 2016
- Received IEEE Women in Engineering (WiE) – Best Student Branch, Global Award in 2016
Industry Institution Connects:
- Memorandum of Understanding with IAMPL, Capgemini, LTTS, Mahindra Rise, Lawrence, and Mayo, ELTAI IBM, Huawei, and Bootlabs, to name a few and establishments of Centres of Excellence with Capgemini, GE, MELZ Infosys, Salzer, Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Siemens, and Intel to name a few.
- Established a section 8 registered company, “SREC – SPARK” Foundation for Business Incubation
- SREC – Institution Industry Council rated four stars in 2022 and 5 stars in 2021 by Ministry of Education, Govt of India
- Recognized Member Institution for ATAL Innovation Mission and MHRD Institution Innovation Council, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India in 2021
- Selected among 49 institutions in the country to set up AICTE – IDEA Lab (Idea Development, Evaluation & Application)
- Recognized as “Band Excellent” in ATAL Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievement (ARIIA – 2021)
Envisioning the College’s Growth
SREC has always been focusing on the holistic learning of their students to be technically sound through multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary learning approaches. It enables the students to be readily employable. The structure of the curricula provides opportunities for the students to study the requirements of the neighbourhood community and take a year gap to venture into entrepreneurial initiatives.
According to the management of the college, this approach will not only provide an opportunity for placements but also for higher education and start-ups. It would create better sustainability for growth and development.