From primitive hutments of early years to sophisticated buildings of the modern era, the growth of the civil engineering industry has been phenomenal. These achievements will continue growing in the construction of residential, high rise, commercial complexes, malls, highways, waterways, railways, and many more. Also, as days pass and the demand for skilled and passionate civil engineers in diverse fields increase each day, urgent factors such as the ongoing pandemic make it even more competitive in this already competitive world of Civil Engineering. Furthermore, with a mushrooming number of colleges across the length and breadth of our country having involved themselves in an endless journey towards imparting the best Civil Education to the masses, quite a few institutes have proven their true prowess as all-rounded educators. One such prime educator which is ranked amongst 150 universities of India by NIRF and which is accredited by NAAC with Grade ‘A’ – Chandubhai S Patel Institute of Technology (CHARUSAT), excels as today’s engineering hub educating towards a better tomorrow.
Being the first institute established in 2000 at Education Campus, Changa (now Charotar University of Science and Technology (CHARUSAT), the institute is managed through a think tank of academicians, scientists, engineers and professionals from around the world. Started with only 240 seats in bachelor’s degree engineering programs, CHARUSAT now has a total intake of 690 seats in 7 programs of bachelor’s degree and 108 seats of Post Graduate Degree.
Despite being an innovative haven for all the latest and conventional engineering fields, the department of Civil Engineering especially has grown tremendously over the last twelve years and is now recognized as one of the major engineering departments of the institute. The Department currently offers B. Tech. Civil Engineering, B. Tech Civil Engineering with minor specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI & ML), M.Tech (Structural Engineering) and Ph.D. programmes. Additionally, getting the best of teachers and industrialists imparting high quality teaching both at UG and PG levels, the department and the teachers push the relevance and importance of basic and applied research in every endeavor carried out at the department. The strong links of the university have also facilitated strong industry connections with the department, thus, industries like L&T, Adani, Cube construction company, Patel Infrastructure Ltd and academic institutions such as GIDM, CEE, NITS & IITs actively participate in curating the best of educational experiences to the students.
Dissemination of Knowledge
By taking existing courses and regularly updating and developing up to date curriculum and resource material, teachers at the department of Civil at CHARUSAT, associate themselves with industry experts actively staying abreast with the latest developments in the industry, and inculcating the changes into the day-to-day activities at the department. Also, all thanks to the impressive industry-academia connections the department has, industrial consultancy work is organized on regular intervals along with seminars, workshops, FDPs and so on, emphasizing on the importance of practical knowledge, and at the same time strengthening by observing current field practices. Also, over 90 workshops, seminars, webinars, short term training programs have been arranged for all the courses related to curricular and co-curricular topics. Moreover, the department also encourages its students to take up certificate courses on various software like STAAD.Pro, SAP, STRUDS, ETAB, AutoCAD, GIS, etc., to ensure that the students are industry-ready. The Civil Engineering Department also has specially signed an MoU with L&T Power Training Institute and the Department has obtained complete sponsorship from the university for all the students to undertake extensive Industrial training.
“Holistic development of students is of paramount importance and CHARUSAT offers elective courses in liberal arts to its first year students to enhance their creativity quotient”, stated – Dr. V. R. Panchal, who serves the institute and the Civil fellowship as a renowned Professor. Adding to his above statement, enunciating in detail how students at CHARUSAT not just excel as professionals in their respective fields, but as thorough all-rounders, he stated – “Over the years, the students are encouraged to take part in various sports, cultural, and other extra-curricular activities held during the University festivals and events like Spoural, Cognizance and others“. CHARUSAT, in addition, also runs the NCC and NSS units where students are involved in various social service activities like celebrating Cleanliness week, running health campaigns, tree plantation, imparting basic and computer education to rural citizens etc.
Irrespective of the medium of teaching used, CHARUSAT with its outstanding infrastructure has enabled effortless learning experiences, always aiming towards achieving smooth learning curves. From the labs to the latest machines, the management has worked relentlessly to help students get hands-on experience about the theory taught inside the classroom via practical methods. Moreover, now with the whole world moving towards digital solutions for teaching/learning purposes, the already existing ICT tools and amenities helped students not miss out on the lessons yet continue on their educational journey. Even during the lockdown period, the institute and the department showed real vigour and determination by conducting the external university exams using – PEXA Lite, an exam from home software.
Being a dedicated student-centric environment of inclusivity, at CHARUSAT – student welfare plays a major role. Boasting of a 3 tier counseling system, the onboard faculty members themselves function as part time counselors, in turn, helping/motivating students to outperform on all fronts. In addition, the mentor and mentee meet at least once in every fortnight to discuss the progress and problems faced by the students whether they are of academic, social, or personal nature. The faculty members strive to ensure that they can build a friendly rapport with the students so that they are able to trust and open to the mentor about the problems faced by them. CHARUSAT also conducts regular online Parents Teachers meetings to make the parents aware about their ward’s progress and other latest developments. Also, the management makes sure that even during these high times of turmoil, the mentors remain in touch with their mentees on a regular basis by creating Whatsapp groups and other social media platforms & attend online meetings to remain in contact from time to time.
In conclusion, having made its name as a hub which emphasizes on research and development, students are guided towards taking up research projects along with expert lectures, short term programs and staying up to date with latest developments in research. Subsequently, having the management of the institute provide seed money to its teachers for research, up to Rs. 2,35,000 dedicated only towards the Civil Engineering Department, the faculty too get motivated to take up various fellowships for advanced studies at national and international levels. Striving in unison towards fulfilling its duty as a today’s educator, CHARUSAT provides scholarships and fee waivers to economically weak students and the meritorious lot, giving back to the society the technical professionals it needs, moving forward one step at a time towards united societal upliftment.
Dr. V. R. Panchal – Professor
Currently heading as the main person in-charge of M. S. Patel Department of Civil Engineering, CSPIT, CHARUSAT since December 2016, Dr. Panchal has 25 years teaching experience and 1.5 years industrial experience. He received his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), Mumbai in 2008 under Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) sponsored by AICTE. He has published more than 150 research papers in reputed international referred journals, international, and national conferences, besides being an author of one textbook. Before joining CHARUSAT, he was associated with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology (SVIT), Vasad, Gujarat, where he rendered his services at various administrative positions. In particular, he worked as Head of the Civil Engineering Department for five years and worked as a Principal in the same institute for three years. He successfully has guided more than 100 master’s degree students and is currently guiding various doctoral students. He worked as Project Coordinator of Modernization and Removal of Obsolescence (MODROB) projects funded by AICTE.