I attended a seminar today, by Prof. Gandhi on “Failures and Remedial Measures in Geotechnical Engineering” organised by the Indian Geotechnical Society (Mumbai Chapter). It was a great learning experience! There are many more seminars/workshops on interesting topics coming up. I will encourage all students of Civil Engineering to find out about such societies as IGS (Indian Geotechnical Society), Indian wing of the ASCE, Insitute of Bridge Engineers, etc and become members. Most seminars/talks are free to members and workshops are at discounted rates.
It is not only a good way to learn about the topic under discussion, but we come into contact with lots of people, big and small, in the industry and the academics. Talking to them is in itself a learning experience. Everybody gets to contribute in the seminar, lot of discussions come up and we end up learning a lot more from them. In my opinion this is the best way for students to interact with the industry gurus and keep abreast of the latest in the best practices, research and ideas.
One drawback I have noticed in India, is that there is no access to such information for students. We have such good societies and associations that get together regularly, discuss academic and industry issues but usually students are excluded from them. This may be because they are not mature enough in terms of exposure to the industry. But the only way to change this, is to make them aware, involve them, and encourage them to participate by asking even the most basic questions. How else will they learn?
So all you students out there, whether young or old, get fired up, ask others about such societies, join them and other numerous organisations that exist out there and PARTICIPATE to get the industry knowledge first-hand!
Copyright Kshitija Nadgouda.