Dr. Ligy Philip is the Chairperson of Board of Governors (BOG) at Government Engineering College, Thrissur. She is a Chair professor at IIT Madras. For more than two decades, Prof. Ligy Philip has been contributing significantly to advancing the knowledge in the area of Environmental Engineering, and for the betterment of society through field and industry oriented projects. She has conducted high quality research on treatment of industrial effluents from highly polluting industries, bioremediation of contaminated soils and groundwater, novel processes for drinking water treatment, and sustainable management of waste. She has published more than 150 papers in reputed journals, carried out 25 sponsored research projects worth more than 400 million INR and guided 21 Ph.D. students. She is on the editorial board of three international journals and one national journal. Technologies developed by her have been successfully utilized by several industries and have been adopted by organizations such as UNICEF. She has provided consulting services to a large number of industries in the area of pollution monitoring and control. Reputed international organizations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation utilize her expertise in the area of sanitation. She has served as a member of many expert committees set up by the National Green Tribunal, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Kerala Pollution Control Board, and is a member of several high-level committees of DST. She is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering (FNAE) and a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).
What motivates you to stay connected with the education sector?
“The strong desire to improve the teaching and learning process keeps me connected to the education sector”
The main factor that keeps me connected with the education sector is the strong desire to improve the teaching and learning process. Especially in Engineering I want to contribute to the wellbeing of the student community to create a conducive environment for overall personality development of students. Of course, being connected to the education sector helps me to stay abreast with current knowledge, which I feel is very important for any professional.
What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?
“A working environment where equal growth and opportunities exist is what I promote in my institution”
I strongly believe in leading by working together with all, and ensuring the growth of the others. I believe in sharing the responsibilities and giving credit to others where it is due. I do not like to “rule” and “control”, rather I like to support and guide. I make myself approachable as much as possible. I have a patient ear for all and I believe in treating everyone at par. I follow the carrot and stick approach.
How do you strategize about the key programs and plans for the marketing and administration?
“We make sure to effectively make use of various channels for our promotions”
- We would like to market GCE, Thrissur through establishing a media cell for taking our activities to the larger public. Also, by establishing a “Friends of GCE, Thrissur” group.
- We would like to reach out to the society by making GCE, Thrissur adopt villages for development through NSS-adopt village program and generating money for the same from industry CSR funds. This way, we will be able to establish a rapport with both people in villages and industry.
- We will understand the needs unique to employers of our graduating students and agencies which are funding our research and other developmental activities, and then tailor our activities so that they can be adopted / accepted immediately. We will also set up a flexible plan in order to achieve the targets within a given time frame.
- Another very important activity we would like to undertake is to significantly increase the involvement of our alumni in the development of various programs, fund raising, increasing the brand value and the visibility of our institution.
- We will use all social media effectively and publicize our achievements through newsletters and crisp videos. We will also create a media cell with the help of alumni and well wishers to sphere head such activities. We will organize and also participate in various exhibitions to showcase the products that came out of our research & development, and other achievements.
How does your curriculum ensure the best practice of industry?
“The curriculum should help to improve the overall quality of our graduating students and their employability”
We ensure that our curriculum is dynamic and continuously evolving based on the needs of society and industry. It would respond to changing situations and technological advancements. We include leaders from industry, accomplished academicians from other institutions and the alumni who are our ambassadors to the world. We ensure that the curriculum is designed to ensure the overall development of students, which includes communication skills, right value system and social responsibility. The curriculum should help to improve the overall quality of our graduating students and their employability so that industry comes forward to utilize their skills and knowledge.
Any insights into how your institute could be more welcoming to students of different races or economic backgrounds?
“There is a mixture of students representing different strata of the community”
- First and foremost, I strongly believe in the concept of equality. We create different forums and create a group of mentors to address issues unique to students from socially / economically weaker strata, women students, and students who are differently abled.
- Special infrastructure facilities such as “care rooms for women”, equal access to all facilities for physically challenged etc., is created. Funds will be specially allocated for implementing these facilities and programs.
- Conscious efforts are made to ensure that there is adequate representation of women, persons from socially / economically weaker sections and differently abled persons among our students, faculty and supporting staff. We create a special guidance / counselling group; and bring in the right “role models” to inspire these special students.
What do you think your roles and responsibilities to the college and the students are?
“Our present goals are aligned with the goals we want to achieve in future”
My roles and responsibility to the college and students are focused on ensuring best qualities in our graduating students, attracting good quality teachers, providing the best infrastructure within the financial constraints we have, and ensuring that there is a right ambience for teaching and learning. It is pivotal to make the students aware of the great opportunities they have for contributing to the people, industry and the nation building. We will also focus on increasing the research and developmental activities, and interaction with industry for the future.
Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?
“There are multiple ways of reaching the desired destination where students want to be”
Yes, I would like to send the following message to the youth and the aspiring students:
- Be sincere, learn well, be a good person with social responsibility
- Success of a person is not measured by the size of the salary check
- Give the best you can, wherever you are.