Jul 17, 2017 10:44 AM IST | Source:

Tata Steel's hunt for student innovators gets highest-ever proposals in 2017

The industry-student connect platform, Mind Over Matter, has selected top 12 teams for a 2-month internship, where the co's R&D team will work on solutions provided by the students and bring them to a logical conclusion. The contest winners stand to win cash prizes of up to Rs 1 lakh.

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Tata Steel has been looking for students, who can innovate, from engineering institutes across the country to bring out solutions for major research cases within the company. As part of 'Mind Over Matter', which is the annual innovation challenge for engineering students by Tata Steel, about 350 proposals were received this year.

Based on some of the case studies presented by students every year, the research and development (R&D) team in the company looks at the applicability of the solutions and takes it to its logical conclusion.

Sanjay Chandra, Chief of R&D and Scientific Services Division, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur said that four years ago, they had received only 15 proposals.

"The idea was to get young minds to look at some of the research cases in the company and put their problem-solving minds to work since they have the theoritical knowledge in the space. We have seen that smaller institutes have also brought out very good ideas and our R&D team has been mentoring the teams with the best ideas," he added.

The programme, according to the company, is a step towards fostering a collaborative approach amongst students, academia and corporates.

This year, out of the 350 proposals received, the top 12 teams have been selected for a two-month intermship. Chandra said these teams will work under the mentorship of Tata Steel's R&D experts who will help them hone their ideas.

Under the programme, students from top engineering institutes across the country, are invited to register and submit innovative proposals on research cases put forth in the first phase. Students with the most innovative solutions are shortlisted for a 2-month internship at Tata Steel, and their solutions are further worked on under the mentorship of R&D experts from Tata Steel in the second phase.

In third and the final phase, the teams present their solutions to an esteemed jury and the winners of the contest are chosen based on various parameters such as potential, impact, and implementation aspects. The contest winners stand to win cash prizes of up to Rs 1 lakh, trophies and certificates.

"Both the winners and runners-up teams, consisting of two people each, will be given a pre-placement offer at Tata Steel that will enable them to get an opportunity to be employed with the company," added Chandra.

Some of the cases include 'Electrolytic Waste Water Treatment An Alternative Possibility In Mineral & Mining Industry' and 'Utilization Of Phase Change Materials For Waste Heat Recovery From Steel Plants', among others.

Unlike other case study competitions, where ideas proposed can be readily implemented, Chandra said that in their initiative, the ideas brought out by the students are taken forward by their R&D team to be implemented in the near future.

Case study competitions are an important source of not just talent recruitment, but also a means of industry-student connect. Human resource experts are of the view that these initiatives help students get closer to practical industry experience using the theory they may have learnt at their respective institutes.
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