Frequently Asked Questions

M.Sc. - Ph.D. Aspirants

Q. Where does this course lead?

The problem of clean energy is one that concerns both India and the world as a whole.  There is an urgent need for innovative solutions to this problem.  Energy systems of the future are expected to be significantly different from those of today, hopefully with a progressive shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources.  This course was started in view of the current and future need for researchers in the energy field.  The approach of the course is interdisciplinary in nature, aimed at giving students an appreciation of both science and engineering aspects of energy.

The M. Sc. part of the programme is expected to provide a foundation to the student to prepare him for subsequent research.  The Ph. D gives the student the opportunity to carry out original research under the guidance of a supervisor, and trains him/ her to carry out independent research in the future.  It is expected that Ph. D graduates from this course will work as researchers in industry or at academic institutions.  Although the primary aim is to produce researchers, graduates may also choose to teach courses relating to energy.

Q. How long will the course take?

The M. Sc will take five semesters i.e. two and a half years.  The M. Sc. Project which will commence in the third semester will continue till the fifth semester, and the student may choose extend the same topic into the Ph. D, thus saving time.  It is difficult to say how long a Ph. D will take, since it is very different from a structured course.  The time taken to complete a Ph. D can depend on several factors, including the nature of the problem(s) being solved and the motivation of the student.  The definition of the actual Ph. D problem is a significant step, after which a period of three years or so may be required.  Thus it is expected that a motivated student will complete the entire M. Sc.- Ph. D programme within a span of five to six years.
 
Q. Can I leave the course after completing the M. Sc.?

No.  The integrated nature of the course requires that the student complete both the M. Sc. and Ph. D.  A student wishing to leave midway will not be awarded the M. Sc. degree.
 
Q. How do I know if a Ph. D is suitable for me?  What does a Ph. D involve?

A student entering this course should be clear in his/ her mind that he/she wishes to pursue research in energy subsequently.  Doing a Ph. D can be both extremely challenging and satisfying.  A student would require strong self-motivation to guide him/ her through difficult periods in the course of doing the Ph. D., as well as patience and a drive to work hard.  Unlike a classroom course where the sequence of topics is predefined, a Ph. D involves picking up skills and learning along the way.

A Ph. D student would first have to identify the problem(s) that he/ she wishes to solve.  Ph. D projects may involve experimental work, or theoretical work (possibly involving simulations), or a mixture of both.  Annual progress seminars are held where the work done by the Ph. D student is evaluated by examiners.  The work that has gone into the Ph. D and the results that are obtained have to be written in the form of a Ph. D thesis.  Ultimately, it is expected that a Ph. D student should have gained an in-depth understanding of his/ her topic, along with the ability to independently look at a problem and devise a way to solve it. 

Q. Are there any pre-requisites for joining this course?

Students coming from physics, chemistry and maths disciplines are being accepted into this programme- much of the M. Sc. course will require a good foundation and keen interest in physics, along with knowledge and familiarity of chemistry and maths.  It is expected that a motivated student will be able to compensate for any area where he/ she is not entirely comfortable by self-learning along with the help of instructors. 

Q. What type of topics can be pursued at the Ph. D stage?

Students with a background in physics can work on topics like semiconductors for solar photovoltaic applications, or improving optics for solar concentrators.  Those coming from the chemistry discipline may be interested to work in electrochemistry, for improving the functioning of fuel cells.  Students from a maths background can work on analysis and optimising design of energy systems and components.  The possibilities are of course not restricted to the few topics mentioned here.

Q. Is there any monetary assistance?

Yes.  Students will receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 3000 for the first three semesters, which will increase to Rs. 8000 from the fourth semester and will continue through the Ph. D.  Stipend at the M. Sc. stage is subject to the requirement that the student maintain a CGPA (a cumulative index of performance on a scale of 10 calculated over all semesters) of at least 6.5.

Q. What are the facilities available to students?

The department is currently based at the Urja Lab.  Experiments are carried out at Urja Lab, the Solar Lab, the Cummins Engine Research Lab, as well as labs attached to other departments, such as the physics and electrical engineering departments.  The Urja Lab has seven internet-enabled PCs available to M. Sc. and M. Tech students, three of which run Windows while the rest are Linux based.  Classes are held at the Mechanical Engineering department, which also offers a separate computer lab accessible on payment of Rs. 300 (refundable) for an entry card.  DESE is expected to have its own energy-efficient building ready within a few years; the new building is currently in the planning stage. 

Q. Whom should I contact if I have any further queries?

Please contact DESE office to clear any further doubts or queries you might have.

 

What is the scope of the Ph.D programme?
The world as a whole and India in particular are facing severe energy shortages. The supply of fossil fuels are on the decline and their prices have also shot up. There is also a significant problem of pollution affecting the entire world. In order to counter these effects, there is a great need for research innovation in the areas of renewable energy, energy conservation and so on. The Ph.D programme at the Department of Energy Science and Engineering aims at producing researchers, for the academia and the industry to propose innovative solutions to meet the future energy demands of the world. In the Ph. D programme, the student gets an opportunity to work on research topics under the guidance of a supervisor. This in turn helps them to carry out independent research in the future.

Q. What is the admission procedure?
The Ph.D admission procedure is a two stage process. It includes a written test and a personal interview. The test pattern may vary from year to year but essentially it would test the students on topics of basic engineering and science. In the interview, the motivation and the seriousness of the student for doing the Ph.D, previous work carried out by the student in academics and/or industry, etc. will be accessed.

Q. What are the main topics in which research can be carried out at DESE? The research at Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE) can be divided into 3 broad areas namely, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Systems and Nuclear Energy. More information can be obtained from the DESE website (The links on research, the faculty list and the list of current Ph.D topics).

Q. What is the duration of the Ph.D programme?
The Ph.D programme has no such fixed time duration. On an average for a student with a M.Tech background it would take about 4 years while a student with B.E/ B.Tech background would take about 5 years for completion.

Q. What is the structure of the Ph. D programme?
The Ph.D programme involves 2 major stages. The first stage is the course work and the latter is the research stage. During the course work, the student has to attend classes on topics depending on his/her academic background. This is mainly carried out in the first and second semesters. In the latter part, the student has to carry out research work under the guidance of a supervisor on the area he/she has selected. The student is also required to present the status of his work every year which will be accessed by a panel consisting of internal examiners, guide and coguide (if any).

Q. Is there any monetary assistance for the Ph.D programme?
Ph.D students (Teaching assistantship category) receive a monthly stipend either from the Institute (IIT) or from other agencies such as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and also from industries. The institute scholarship has been recently enhanced (between Rs. 14000 and Rs. 15000/). The scholarships from other agencies could be higher than this amount.

Q. What are the facilities available to students?
The department is currently based at the Urja Lab. Experiments are carried out at Urja Lab, the Solar Lab, the Cummins Engine Research Lab, as well as labs attached to other departments, such as the physics and electrical engineering departments. DESE is expected to have its own energyefficient building ready within a few years; the new building is currently in the planning stage.


Q. What are the career options after the completion of Ph.D?

There are 3 major career options after the completion of the Ph.D; teaching, industry and research. Another option for Ph.D students is that of a postdoctoral fellow in universities or industries abroad or in India.

Q. Where does this course lead?

The problem of clean energy is one that concerns both India and the world as a whole.  There is an urgent need for innovative solutions to this problem.  Energy systems of the future are expected to be significantly different from those of today, hopefully with a progressive shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources. This course is interdisciplinary in nature and approaches engineering issues related to energy at a macro level and also is inclined towards making Renewable technologist out of Mechanical and Electrical engineering graduates.

Q.What is the eligibility for this course?

BE/BTech either in Mechanical,Electrical, Chemical, Energy, Aeronautical, Thermal, Automobile, Agricultural, Metallurgical and a valid GATE score.

Q. What are the types of student admissions(status)?

There are various types of student’s status like TA(Teaching Assistantship), SF(Self Financed), Sponsored, etc (Visit http://www.iitb.ac.in/academic/rules/rulesmtec.pdf for detailed information)

Q.What is the basic structure of the M.Tech course?

The students have to complete ~6 courses per semester in the first year, 2 courses in the 3rd semester and M.Tech. Project which starts from the second semester and ends along with the M.Tech. course. The structure may vary depending on the type of student status. IITB has a credit based system in which the student is credited for every course that he completes satisfactorily. The student has to complete 165 credits in all during his M.Tech. In order to be awarded the PG Degree.

Q.What are the lab facilities available for the students?

Urja Lab. Solar Lab, Cummins Engine Research Lab, Fuel Cell lab, as well as labs attached to other departments, such as electrical, aeronautical, mechanical, engineering departments.

DESE is expected to have its own energy-efficient building ready within a few years; the new building is currently in the planning stage.

What is my future after the completion of the course sucessfully?

A student can expect to get placed in a renowned engineering firm with respectable remuneration. Else one can persue his/her Ph.D. either in India or foreign universities. Many of DESE alumni have chose to open start-up firms related to the emerging fields of renewables and and Energy Auditing and Management. Placements in financial and software firms are also possible depending on the students interest and capabilities.

Q. Whom should I contact if I have any further queries?

Please contact DESE office to clear any further doubts or queries you might have.