The School of Engineering Sciences and Technology (SEST), University of Hyderabad (UoH), successfully organized the 7th International Indentation Workshop (IIW7), from December 17th to 21st, 2023 on the university campus. IIW7 is the latest event in a series of international workshops on indentation that started in Cambridge, UK in 1996 and was organized for the very first time in India. The organization of 7th International Indentation Workshop (IIW7) is a watershed in the relatively short history of the School of Engineering Sciences & Technology, (SEST), wherein the school brought many world-renowned experts in the field of mechanical behavior of materials under a single roof on the university campus.

Its primary objective was to bring renowned global experts in the field of mechanical behavior of materials under one roof and facilitate exchange of ideas and latest research on indentation technique, its utilization for understanding the mechanical and functional properties of a wide variety of materials, and advances in instrumentation. The event was organized under the auspices of Institution of Eminence (IoE), UoH along with support from SERB and several private partners (KLA, Samar instruments, JEOL, Bruker, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Anton Par and IR Technology). The technical program included plenary and invited lectures, contributed talks and poster presentations comprising of 12 different thematic sessions, covering the entire gamut of indentation testing and mechanical properties of materials, from experiments, modeling & simulation to instrumentation and methodology. Around 200 national and international participants from 15 countries representing academia, public and private R&D institutions and private industry were in audience, providing a great platform for profound scientific interactions and networking across the board.

The workshop provided a great opportunity for master’s students and PhD scholars from various institutions within India to interreact and learn from the experts. Furthermore, the work presented by the students from various IITs and particularly SEST, UoH, was extremely well received and the workshop provided an ideal platform to showcase the local talent to the international community. In addition, several undergraduate students of Materials, Mechanical and Metallurgical engineering from different engineering colleges attended the conference as a part of an outreach program.

The scale of the event clearly demonstrates that the school can match toe-to-toe, if not surpass the premier engineering institutions likes IITs and IISc, in this regard. Despite being one of the youngest schools in the university, SEST has taken giant strides in organically and firmly establishing itself as a premier school in the broad area of materials research. With a primary objective of imparting research-based training, the school has been successful on several fronts within a short span, including graduating PhD students (~70), publications in high impact journals (~700), securing external funding for basic and application-oriented research (22 Cr), establishing state-of-the-art research facilities (FESEM, XRD, AFM and INSTRON etc).

It has not only forged strong ties with several academic institutions across the country but also with various research laboratories, offering the students a unique opportunity to hone their research skills. The collective efforts of all the stakeholders of SEST have resulted in it being recognized as a rising engineering school by the international community and the opportunity to organize IIW7 is a natural outcome of the global scientific network and impact the school has created in the field of materials engineering. Building on these achievements, the school aims to consolidate its position in the national and global arena in the near future by diversifying into new and upcoming areas of materials research.

– Contributed by Prof. Jai Prakash Gautam, Convenor IIW7 & Dean SEST, UoH