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Prof. Karanam Umamheshwar Rao has assumed office as the new Director of NIT Rourkela

The new Director of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela, Professor Karanam Umamheshwar Rao, assumed office on February 19, 2022. He succeeded Prof Simanchalo Panigrahi, who was appointed as the interim director in October 2021.

Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao was previously serving as the Director of the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), also called NIT Surathkal. Before joining here, he was a faculty for nearly three decades at IIT Kharagpur. A number of his important portfolios include Chairman (Estate), and Vice Chairman of Joint entrance examination (JEE). He was also the head of the Mining Engineering Department during 2006-08 and 2010-14.

Prof. K. Umamaheshwar Rao’s field of specialization is experimental rock mechanics and he has been working in this area since 1989. He has guided six Ph.D. candidates with another 12 research scholars in the advanced stage of research under his supervision for their doctoral degrees.

He has published as many as 30 research papers in international journals and presented an equal number of papers in international seminars and conferences. The milestone in his research is the publication of the book on the Principles of Rock Drilling, published by A.A.Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1999. Later this book was also published by India Book House, New Delhi. This book had given Prof. Rao international acclaim in the field of Mining Engineering.

The newly appointed Director aims to enhance research and innovation infrastructure with the assistance of faculty and students to form NIT Rourkela a campus of first choice. He would also work towards increasing multidisciplinary quotients in curriculum with special emphasis given to environmental and value-based education.


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