As part of Webinar Series “To Guide Engineering Students to select meaningful projects”
Process of adopting new technology and innovations in Defence Industry is not as simple as it sounds. It has very careful analysis and design of integrated systems, process of different trials in different scenarios, taking lessons from operational experience, folding it back to technology, and then eventually it gets accommodated in Defence Industry. Mr. Nandkumar Athawale, Vice President – Design & Engineering, L&T Defence explained above complex topic by maintaining its confidentiality aspect and at the same time providing a good overview of Larsen & Toubro’s contribution to Indian Defence Industry.
During his session Mr. Athawale unveiled range of projects executed by him and his team in defence sector and introduced the audience about the complexity of such projects, significance of integrated systems, collaborative approach needed for such projects in Defence Industry.
In this webinar, Mr. Athawale shared an insight about private company contribution in various defence projects, which L&T Defence has executed in collaboration with DRDO and completely independent execution with defence services.
Following are some few examples of projects done by L&T Defence with DRDO –
- Land Based Rocket Launcher
- DHANUSH – Stabilised launch and Fire Control System
- ROHINI Radar System – Detecting and Tracking missiles
- K9 Vajra Gun
He explained K9 Vajra Gun project necessitated great deal of system integration between functional systems and associated systems to achieve common objective in sync with each functional objective. He highlighted that in real life, designing one single part is not sufficient. On field engineers have to design and integrate multiple systems to work in synchronsiation with precision level accuracy.
To explain this aspect, Mr. Athawale narrated an interesting project for Ship Lift & Transfer System that brings the ship from sea water to land and vice versa. Such system has many subsystems such as Platform for Ship Support, Hoist system to lift platform, Transfer system to move and control system for synchronize movement.
Ship Lift Aerial View
While explaining all such mission critical / complex projects, Mr. Athawale quoted example of Moon Mission by NASA, which had simple problem statement provided to NASA by USA president J.F. Kennedy in Year 1961 as “Land man on the Moon and bring back him back safely, before end of this decade”. It exemplifies that such mission critical projects have very specific and crisp problem statements, whereas implementation needs lot of engineering and collaboration between multiple agencies, teams.
Mr. Athawale appealed students to develop and cultivate innovation mindset by quoting that innovation provides disproportionate benefits and it can be done in any field.
“Major Innovation takes place when ideas are applied by company in order to further satisfy needs and expectations (unstated needs) of the customer.”
L&T Defence has tie-ups with progressive universities to leverage the knowledge pool available with universities and institutes across India. L&T engineers are working with expert professors and team of students to help academia in developing technologies, which can be, incubated in future products.
To name few Mr. Athawale explained following projects which they have executed together with universities / progressive institutes:
Mr. Athawale was emphatic in mentioning collaboration of Industry and Academia will be really a success factor to accomplish major technology projects in Defence Industry. While guiding students about upcoming trends in Defence System, he mentioned we are cognitive about human casualty so unmanned vehicle or systems will be in demand. Therefore, innovation in unmanned system field will definitely pluck the chord for Defence industry.
Mr. Athawale taking the webinar session for students and professors
Mr. Athawale advised students and professors to visit industries around and try to identify problem areas on which they could provide innovative solutions, rather than waiting for problem statements to be referred by the industries to the colleges. He quoted “Search around and you will find many problems which need innovative solutions. There is no dearth of problems if you look out for it. Resolving such problems can be great project ideas and can provide you opportunities to apply your engineering know-how for societal benefits.”
We sincerely thank Mr. Nandkumar Athawale for his wonderful session and taking students through nitty-gritties of design and implementation challenges of such complex systems, with illustrative examples, images and interesting videos. It provided great opportunity for students and professors to know this field and it created lot of interest amongst the students about this field.