Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. S.N. Sridhara is currently working as the Principal and Director of K. S. School of Engineering and Management (KSSEM). He holds the degrees, B.E. (Mechanical Engineering) from Bangalore University, M.E. (Aerospace Engineering) from Indian Institute of Science and Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering), from Indian Institute of Science. His areas of specialization are Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, Turbomachinery, Automotive Powertrains, Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Advanced Numerical Methods, and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
Dr. Sridhara has a valuable experience of 29 years, as a teacher. He has given training to many corporates such as GM, GE, Mahindra & Mahindra, BOSCH, Tata Motors, Schnieder Electric, etc. and Govt. Agencies such as DRDO, ARDB, in India. He has published about 50 research papers in various fronts that include CFD analysis of flow through Turbomachines, Design of Turbomachines, Automotive Power Train, Thermal Engineering and Combustion in various international journals and conferences. I have also delivered the keynote address in a few conferences and seminars.
Experience of working in an education sector
The education field provides an opportunity to interact with the young generation. It is a great challenge to understand the dynamic and paradigm shift in the aspirations and expectations of a young generation. Additionally, motivating them towards life goals tests all our abilities to the core. Of course, being with young generation means living young and being ‘young’ all along.
Philosophy of leadership followed to take the team towards the goal
I believe in teamwork and ‘going together’ with management, faculty, staff, students and their parents. I do not envisage myself as a leader, instead, I believe that our team learns by my example. I do teaching, research, and administration, altogether with never fading smile on my face.
Cordial relationship with faculty and students is the philosophy of good administration
Once all the stakeholders are made to understand the need for working together, the tasks to identify goals and reaching them becomes easy. Good vision for the future, a better understanding of the strengths of the fellow colleagues, continuous motivation and encouragement to them towards realizing the visions bring success with ease.
KSSEM’s Curriculum is ensuring to include the updates from the industry
KSSEM is affiliated to Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) of Karnataka, which redesigns its curriculum in every four years. This curriculum is developed with interaction from industry and corporates. In addition to this, KSSEM has regular interaction with industry via interaction of students with Industry resource persons, frequent industrial visits, research and consultancy work by faculty, innovative projects and so on.
Establishing a cordial relationship with students is the Principal and Director of KSSEM
The cordial relationship with students is established when we start ‘listening’ to them and providing them with the proper counselling and rendering help when they find it difficult to solve certain issues with themselves. Easy access to the principal and through other means (E-mail, WhatsApp, direct contact via ERP of KSSEM, etc.) makes students feel comfortable in the campus and off-campus.
As the Principal, I involve myself directly in all the co-curricular activities such as sports and cultural activities, which clears all fences between principal and students. Students get the feeling of being with their own ‘friend’ and this will be a great opening for their feeling that they can approach the principal at any time. Further, I make sure that no student is waiting in front of my office for any signature and official work.
Changes noticed in the education industry and students
The first change we noticed is in the aspirations and attitudes of students and parents in choosing the right education path. Students are aware of current affairs and ‘hot-topics’ for studies. Equally, they are aware of the rights they have and demand what they need in terms of educational support. Off late, demand for engineering seats is at the downtrend, forcing institutes towards contiguous improvement and performance.
Another trend we notice is that the curriculum is no more stagnant and has become highly dynamic with the introduction of new elective subjects and laboratory sessions whenever required. The ease of establishing private universities has added the advantage of getting rid of ‘red-tape’ attitude of administrators. The healthy competition between the private and government sectors would bring good progress in education in the near future.
The top qualities that an aspiring engineer must possess
Engineering is a course filled with ‘practice’ rather than ‘bookish-knowledge’. Hence, students must open up themselves to think beyond the curriculum and must be good observers to shape themselves as good engineers. The basic qualities of an aspiring engineer would be, keen observability, ingenuity, innovativeness, perseverance, dedication, and determination.
Goals to achieve in the coming future
KSSEM has a vision of escalating itself as one of the premier institutes in India, imparting quality education in engineering and management and to render service to society through producing engineers and managers, shaped with humanity and ingenuity. In terms of physical advancements, the school would become an autonomous institute in the near future.
Motivation and suggestion for the current youth
First of all, loving the career we choose for life is very important. Other actions follow this aspiration.
Becoming an educator needs continuous upgrading of knowledge and skills
inculcation of human values, perseverance, and dedication towards achieving the goals are important.