Departments at ICT:
- Chemical Engineering
- Dyestuff & Intermediates Technology
- Fibers & Textile Processing Technology
- Food Engineering & Technology
- Oils, Oleochemicals & Surfactant Technology
- Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology
- Polymer & Surface Engineering & Technology
Contributions for Oils, Oleochemicals & Surfactant Technology
- Degree Obtained: B.Tech. (Oils, Oleochemicals & Surfactants)
- Year of Graduation: 2007
- Currently: Freelancer – Business Research
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I had dreamt of joining ICT right from my primary school days – the reasons were different then and they kept on changing as I sailed through secondary school, SSC and then HSC. As a kid, the ICT campus and gardens lured me, later my grandfather’s (a Chemistry Professor) strong advice to his students to join the esteemed UDCT (then) boosted my attraction towards the Institute and finally my HSC Math Professor’s crude words to describe the value that ICT adds to your whole personality – “even if you get a peon’s job there, grab it” – fuelled my desire to get into ICT. More than anything else, I valued the ICT tag that I could flaunt. Only later did I realise that the Institute has given me much more than that – a number of complementary facets that I keep realising at different points in my life.
The Oils, Oleochemicals & Surfactants Department
Honestly, I was aiming for the Foods division but I couldn’t make it through the CAP Round and I messed up by withdrawing the AIEEE form. I was allotted the Oils division through CAP Round 1 and I preferred continuing the same after some good discussions with seniors, alumni and the faculty.
Though the syllabus has changed quite a bit now, I guess the basic structure remains the same. The first year covers common subjects of engineering/technology/applied sciences for all B.Tech. branches. Second year introduces you to the basics of oils and with each semester thereon, the share of special subjects in the curriculum increases. The third year delves deeper into the chemistry and technology of oils and fats and introduces you to the world of surfactants. The final year encompasses the technology of oils, oleochemicals, petrochemicals and related products such as essential oils, cosmetics, waxes, lubricants and surface coatings. Along with these special subjects, you are exposed to common subjects in Math and Chemical Engineering in every semester. The weightage given to economics, compliance in the chemical industry and management-related subjects through the eight semesters ensures that you are enlightened not only about the technology but also about the non-technical aspects of the chemical industry.
You have a 6-week internship in the industry after the third year and it’s here that you actually gain first-hand knowledge about the industry. I worked at Godrej Industries Limited, Vikhroli and covered the product and process flows involved in the production of a few oleochemicals and soap. Most students get into good companies such as Godrej, VVF and Galaxy Surfactants. You also work on a seminar and a project in the final year. The presence of research students in your branch definitely helps a lot in conducting literature research as well as lab experiments required for the seminar and the project. The final presentations that you need to give on your seminar and project ensure that you really work well on your topic and understand it well.
The faculty also organises a number of independent lectures by experts from the industry and a few industrial visits. This helps students to keep themselves updated about the industry.
The primary concern of prospective students is that the specialisation that you acquire with your degree may limit your future prospects to a narrow spectrum. From my personal experience, I know that what happens at the end of four years is quite the opposite. I know people who have excelled in both chemical engineering/chemistry-related fields as well as fields as diverse as finance, analytics, software and fine arts! The common factor that still binds them together is that they all attribute their success to the whole experience at UD.
Right after my graduation, I worked in a domain I had no exposure to – Business Research. And yet I could pick it up smoothly thanks to the analytical and reasoning skills and the report-writing skills that I acquired at UD! I used the mass balance and energy balance concepts as analogies while understanding complex balance sheets and financial statements. That I was picked up for this job from campus placements is testimony to the fact that we have jobs in diverse fields as well – it’s not just the chemical industry that comes for recruitment drives.
You just need to be sure about what you are looking for – Masters in India or abroad, MBA or job – and you have a variety of options that you can pursue. The faculty is helpful in helping you sort out any doubts that you may have.
The Overall UD Experience
I must say that the extra-curricular activities that I was part of at UD made as much difference to my personality as the academics did. Be it ChemChe, Manzar (formerly FunTech) or Sportsaga, the faculty as well as students would get together and make every event a grand success. Being part of the Technological Association and Student’s Council gave me the opportunity to be involved in the micro-management of all these events. Though I participated in all these activities only for the pleasure that I derived out of it, I later realised the value that these activities imparted to my resume!
- First and foremost, the campus – lush green and huge
- The “Wow!” that I get from most people when I say I studied at UDCT
- The faculty for being approachable and friendly at all times
- The perfect balance between academic and extra-curricular activities
- Examinations: Thanks to the periodic tests for being the eye-openers that they were! Also, the exams would get over within a week which restricted the number of sleepless nights to only 4 or 5!!
- The kind of crowd you interact with – you have the right mix of nerds (who attend all lectures and spend equal time in the library), average students (who attend most lectures and take down notes), and the laid-back ones (who spend 80% of each semester at the Rec centre/hostel and the remaining 20% at Xerox centres!)
- The seniors – though they give you some chills in the first few days, they turn into your godfathers/godmathers with time
- The library – it’s really an overwhelming experience when you dig information from huge volumes of chemical abstracts/journals/books while working on your seminars and projects
- The canteens – Munna being my favourite
- The network that UD gave me – I am grateful to UD for the network that I could develop, more so when I see my colleagues struggling to achieve that kind of a web while pursuing higher studies or while building their own businesses
- The website – it’s outdated and hardly a source of information for prospective students
- The brand – it’s sad that we are said to be at par with IITs but still many people – well-educated ones – don’t know about ICT. Universities and test centres abroad have less-renowned institutes listed but ICT does not feature there. (Must mention – it’s humiliating when cabbies at the nearby stations don’t know UDCT but immediately know where to go when you say “Khalsa ke paas”!!)
- The bureaucratic administrative staff that never processes the simplest of things without long queues or 4-5 reminders or pleading or all of these
- The amount of time, effort and money you spend to procure transcripts – they are required by almost every student at some point in life and therefore it would be a wise idea to provide every student with one/two sets of transcripts along with the final year marksheets
- The absence of a well-organised placement cell that can help students get better offers
From what I hear from juniors and see when I visit the Institute, I see a lot of changes already taking place. I am sure that within a couple of years, most of these issues will be taken care of and our juniors will then find new issues to crib about!
Advice to Prospective Students
In a nutshell, UD is a store-house of knowledge and wisdom – you won’t be spoon-fed here but you come in with your own spoon and scoop out all that you want, and there’s no end to the treasure! When I look back at my life at UD and the three years following my graduation, I realise that I owe a lot to the Institute that shaped my personality, gave me wonderful friends and gave me a tag that I flaunt at the slightest opportunity.