The 16th H P Barua Memorial
Lecture was held on 31st October under the aegis of the Institution of Engineers
(India), Assam State Centre at its own premises at Panbazar. This year the
lecture was delivered by Dr. Ujjwal Kr. Saha, Professor & faculty-in-charge,
Technology Incubation Centre, IIT Guwahati and the topic of the lecture was
“History of Aircraft”. Delivering his lecture through Powerpoint, Dr. Saha
said that early thinking of human flight centered on the imitation of birds.
Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath, was the first to set on paper the
rational ideas concerning human flight during late 15th century, and set the
groundwork of aviation. Human efforts to fly literally got off the ground on
November 21, 1783 when a hot air balloon carrying human being ascended into the
air across Paris. The modern airplane has its origin in a design set forth by
George Cayley in 1799. He was the first person to propose separate mechanisms
for the generation of lift and propulsion. With all the efforts that had been
made in the past, it was not until 1891 that Otto Lilienthal designed the first
successful glider in history, and achieved more that 2000 successful flights
between 1891 and 1896. On August 10, 1894, Lilienthal died from injuries
suffered in a crash while testing his latest glider. The tragedy heightened the
Wright Brothers’ interest in Lilienthal’s work and the problem of human flight.
The Wright Brothers read everything about bird flight, work of other pioneers
such as Langley and Chanute, and they became convinced that human flight was
possible. Through hard work, and years of research and experimentation, they
achieved the centuries-old dream of human flight. On December 17, 1903, Wright
Brothers’ made history by flying the first manned, powered, heavier-than-air
flying machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA. The development of
aeronautics took off exponentially with this invention. This lecture presented a
short historical sketch of Wright Brothers’ invention followed by the
technological advancement during 20th century and beyond. The packed audience
enjoyed the informative lecture and applauded the speaker.
OIL-IEI, ASC H P Barua Memorial Fellowship 2014: The Institution of Engineers
(India), Assam State Centre has instituted OIL-IEI, ASC H P Barua Memorial
Fellowship for the first time with financial support from Oil India Limited. The
inaugural Fellowship was awarded to Dr Utpal Kumar Nath, Assistant Professor of
Civil Engineering, Assam Engineering College for carrying out the research
project, “Full Scale Experimental Study of Pile Cap Lateral Resistance”. The
Fellowship carries a citation and a research grant of Rs. 5 Lakh (Rupees Five
Lakh only). Er Rahul Choudhury, General Manager (Pipelines), Oil India Limited
awarded the inaugural Fellowship to Dr Nath. Er Choudhury lauded the efforts of
the centre and congratulated Dr Nath for his achievements. He also read out a
message from Shri N K Bharali, Director (HR&BD), Oil India Limited, who could
not attend the function due to some official exigencies.
Earlier, welcome address was given by Dr. Sashindra Kr.Kakoty FIE, Hony.
Secretary of the Centre. The meeting was presided over by Shri Pradeep Adhikari
FIE, Chairman of the Centre. Er. M Barkataki MIE, member of the Centre spoke on
the life and achievement of H P Barua specially his contribution to the state as
an engineer and litterateur. In the meeting a souvenir “Tributes to a Legend” to
commemorate the event was released by Dr. Ujjwal Kr. Saha. The meeting ended
with a formal vote of thanks offered by Dr. Aroop Bardalai FIE, Joint Hony.
Secretary of the Centre. The lecture was well attended by Corporate Members of
the Centre, Engineers of Govt. Deptts. invited guests.