K. Umamheshwar Rao has assumed charge as the new Director of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, from Simanchalo Panigrahi, who was appointed as the instute’s interim Director in October 2021.
Rao previously served as the Director of the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), also known as NIT Surathkal. He also served as a faculty for nearly three decades at IIT Kharagpur.
Some of his important portfolios include Chairman (Estate), and the Vice Chairman of Joint Entrance Examination.
He was also the Head of the Mining Engineering department from 2006-08 and 2010-14.
Rao said he aims to improve research and innovation infrastructure with the help of faculty and students to make NIT Rourkela a world-class campus.
He would work towards increasing multidisciplinary quotient in curriculum with special emphasis given to environmental and value-based education.
Highlighting his priorities for the institute, the newly-appointed Director said, “NIT Rourkela is the pride of Orissa. The institute’s rank in the NIRF Ranking matters today. Time has come to redefine our objectives and work towards them with determination, required skills, and strategies having foresight vision for the exponential growth of the institute. Our accomplishment towards the goal starts now.”
Rao added, “The expectations of the industry from the students are to have 21st-century skills and sufficient knowledge in niche areas like internet of things, artificial intelligence, Big data analysis, 3D printing and additive technology in manufacturing. These expectations have to be taken care of with a lot of involvement from the institute. It is the time for creation of career development centre instead of training and placement cell, whose objective is to create opportunities for students to upgrade their career skills, soft skills and technical skills.”