Interview by Yash Panchal
Mr. Ulhas Bochare is currently working as the Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in PIEMR Indore. His educational qualifications include BE in Mechanical Engineering and M.Tech in Mechanical Engineering. He has held several positions in different organizations like Junior Engineer at M/s Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Bombay; Senior Development Engineer at Tata Management Training Center; Entrepreneur at M/s Shree Engineering Corporation, Indore; Project Leader at Entrepreneurship Development Cell, SGIST Indore; Senior Manager at Indo-German Tool Room, Indore and Managing Director of M/s Genius Engineering Private Limited, Indore. Some of his developed projects have been highly appreciated too.
Versatile experience in the education industry
My experience in education service started way back in 1971 to 1973 when, as a research fellow of the CSIR at IIT, Kanpur, I had the opportunity of engaging the aspiring graduates in orienting them towards the domain of engineering. Young students have immense potential to absorb multidimensional knowledge and have a dedication unmatched for in other phases of their life-span.
As a visiting faculty at IMS and regular faculty at SGSITS, I could understand the psychology of the students better. The age, the hormonal changes, the pressure of exams, the sudden expansion of the vision through large syllabi, all converge in this phase leading to load and then to a huge burden. It is this phase that the students have to be led through a delicate path of forging their utility and intrinsic values of their young minds without excessive stress, depressions and simultaneously have an illuminating experience.
The values of the time and discipline are most important at this stage, but hormonal forces pull their minds away from the path to their goals of increasing their value as a good engineer and as a good social pillar.
Leadership philosophy of Mr. Bochare
As adjunct faculty at PIEMR, I have the duty of injecting the practical knowledge to the students to augment the theoretical exposure received at the institute and this has to be done in the limited contact period and remaining well in bounds of the syllabus. Apart from their knowledge, I have to focus on their skills and attitudes and also to improve their vision of the industrial/ entrepreneurial careers ahead.
I have to imbibe a spirit of the innovation, flexibility, stress management and achievement orientation in the student.
As adjunct faculty has an additional responsibility to generate an atmosphere conducive to institute-industry interaction and to involve and enthuse my fellow faculty in garnering the spirit of practical outlook to their theoretical knowledge. In a nutshell, I have to evolve a platform for industrial orientation at the institute.
Handling the challenges at the current position of Adjunct Faculty
In my six months of the experience at the institute, I find various challenges and am evolving methods to address these,
- More stress is given to communication improvement, apart from taking care of language problems, we attempt to improve the students’ confidence in participating in open discussions to develop rational thinking.
- We also have come up with more interesting lecture patterns and this is expected to involve students in day to day participation of their knowledge building.
- We motivate students to come prepared for the new class inputs so that their understanding of the subject and the fundamentals become more comprehensive.
- Innovativeness is the demand of the day and apart from designing the knowledge inputs innovatively, we encourage students to exercise this approach in their learning.
- At this stage, students require special attention in developing their confidence and special emphasis is applied to this.
Changes noticed in the education industry
In the recent past, the institute is focusing on industrial orientation for the students and the faculties. The MOUs with industries like Auto-cluster, GEPL etc coupled with industrial visits has given a boost to widen the horizons of the students' vision. This has motivated the faculty in getting grass root exposure to chemical plants, sheet metal fabrication, modern foundry technology to name a few. This will directly help the students in inculcating these practical skills.
Various changes noticed in the education industry and the required skill set by a corporate for a student
Education service has metamorphosed and has positioned itself as the thrust engine for nation-building. The thrust to tailor make the institute output to the industrial requirement has set new benchmarks involving upheaval of syllabi with a tilt towards an industrial bias. There is going to be more stress on the objective contribution of the students than subjective involvements. Internships, industrial interaction, on the job training, innovative startups, incubation centers, finance and management for the engineers will be the talk of the nation.
It is essential that the industrial visits need to be structured defining a list of the objectives envisaged from the visits. Post-visit interaction and discussion will enlarge the student’s vision and database.
Corporate desire their fresh employees to be well versed with the basics of engineering like materials, heat treatments, production methods, tolerances, surface finishes and surface protections, quality aspects, exposure to design principles, introduction to the maintenance of the machine tools, production planning and control, time study etc. At PIEMR, we stress on a variety of such aspects.
Placement opportunities available at PIEMR
At PIEMR, the placement scenario is improving day by day with more and more recruitment companies are visiting for campus placement. Also, a large number of motivated students are opting for their entrepreneurial and startup ventures. Rubbing shoulders with the industries, the institute finds a wider spectrum of interactions with the industries and this facilitates the placement of the students.
To improve the placement scenario, we are focused on the preparation of students from the perspective of industries. For mechanical students, mock interview is planned to prepare them for automobile, plant engineering, maintenance, refrigeration and air conditioning and other fields. Also, special emphasis is given on communication and sketching abilities.
Establishing a cordial relation with the students
Students are required to be sensitized to various values like time management, operational discipline, oral mathematics, spatial skills, priorities, sequencing, ratio and proportions. This widens their perspective and idea incubation abilities. The creativity of the students needs to be identified and nurtured. Frequent interactions on informal levels and orientations to interpersonal skills and cognitive skills establish rapport with students and then availability is not a constraint. With the advent of WhatsApp, various interest groups can interact with productivity.
Thoughts on an ideal school environment
We make the class inputs interesting by infusing real-life industrial case studies and stress on individual student involvement. Occasional guest lecturers from entrepreneurs, bankers, financial consultants, legal experts, environmentalists, and others are arranged to further the students’ insights into their future careers.
Top qualities that an aspiring mechanical engineer must possess
An aspiring mechanical engineering student should have an inquisitive mind and be ready to put in those extra efforts to clarify his doubts.
Equipped with logical/ mathematical skills, he should have physical stamina and strength. He should be well versed to visualize mechanisms and linkages. This will require special acumen for spatial and cognitive skills. Good communication and interpersonal skill are all that he needs to take him a long way. Good leadership quality will help him in solving his problems and dealing with subordinates and the workers. He should have soft skills like working in a team and be able to absorb stress. A pleasant personality will come in handy in getting the job done while an achievement-oriented disposition will motivate him towards startups/ entrepreneurship.
Goals in mind for the institute in the next few years
It will be our goal that the students passing from institute should be very clear on their fundamentals of mechanical engineering. Should be having good knowledge about common materials and heat treatments, should be able to read and interpret reasonably complex engineering drawings and understand the technical parts lists. He/she should be able to visualize and communicate the manufacturing process stages of the part and precautions to be taken. Apart from referring to the standards he/she will be well acquainted with various metrological methods. He should be capable to work in a team and emanate positive disposition.
Suggestions for the current youth
Present youth is bestowed with an immense capability to digest the latest concepts. All they need is to focus on is time management and discipline and not to miss an opportunity to further their knowledge, creativity and skills and attitudes. The opportunity, too, is immense as is the national requirement.
It will be our endeavor to prepare and galvanize these minds to meet the challenges of nation-building.