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.