Newsletters DAE-BRNS Symposium on Emerging Trends in Separation Science and Technology (SESTEC-2012) held at SVKM’s Mithibai College, Mumbai during Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2012

The fifth DAE-BRNS Symposium on “Emerging Trends in Separation Science and Technology (SESTEC-2012)” was held in SVKM’s Mithibai College, Vile Parle, Mumbai-400 056, during February 27 – March 01, 2012. Prof. (Mrs.) Z.R. Turel, Department of Chemistry, Mithibai College, & Convener, Local Organizing Committee (LOC), SESTEC-2012 welcomed the delegates. Prof. Kiran Mangaonkar, Principal, Mithibai College & Chairman, LOC, SESTEC-2012 highlighted different research activities of the host institute and the importance of separation science and technology. Dr. P.K. Mohapatra, Convenor, SESTEC-2012 and Head, Actinide Chemistry Section, Radiochemistry Division, BARC outlined the technical programme of the Symposium and acknowledged the overwhelming response from delegates within the country as well as from overseas. Shri B.P. Sheth, Vice President, SVKM, Vile Parle thanked BARC for accepting their invitation to organize SESTEC-2012 in Mithibai College. Dr. R.K. Sinha, Director, BARC in his inaugural address, highlighted the importance of separation science and technology in the atomic energy programme of India. He made particular mention of the membranes application in different areas of research which are of great importance in different areas like desalination of water and uranium recovery from sea water. He also emphasized on the need for forging alliances between academia and research institutes for national benefit. Dr. K.L. Ramakumar, Director, Radiochemistry and Isotope (RC&I) Group, BARC in his Presidential address made special emphasis on the need to develop green technologies to achieve desired separation in different areas of research. The separation technology development should also keep in mind the minimization of waste volume and its treatment to bring about changes to biodegradable form. Dr. P.N. Pathak, Secretary, SESTEC-2012 proposed vote of thanks.

There were about 300 delegates who attended SESTEC-2012 out of which 140 were from DAE including 114 from BARC. It is heartening to note that 214 contributory papers (30 ORAL and 184 Poster presentations) in SESTEC-2012 are authored by scientists from 8 National Labs, 24 academic institutions apart from various DAE units. There were 7 plenary and 23 invited speakers (including 13 from overseas) in SESTEC-2012. These speakers were outstanding scientists/technologists and represented 10 countries. Approx. 114 delegates from BARC participated in the Symposium. All the posters were rappoteured by expert scientists during SESTEC-2012.

A wide range of topics related to separation science and technology were covered including design, synthesis and characterization of solvents and resins, design and development of separation equipments, separation science and technology in the nuclear fuel cycle, emerging separation technologies, electrochemical and pyrochemical separations, treatment of industrial effluents, isotope separations, membrane science and technology, radiochemical separations, and water treatment and recycling. There was a very lively interaction between the young scholars and the experts during the POSTER sessions.

Shri T.K. Haldar, Additional Chief Executive, Heavy Water Board, Mumbai delivered a special evening public lecture on “R&D in Separation Science & technology – Contribution to Technology Commercialization” on February 28, 2012.

In the concluding session, a panel discussion was conducted which was chaired by Dr. K.L. Ramakumar, Director, RC&I Group, BARC. Dr. G.D. Jarvinen, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, Dr. Isabelle Billard, IPHC/CNRS and Strasbourg University, France, and Dr. (Mrs.) Manjusha Karve, Department of Chemistry, University of Mumbai participated. All the speakers provided their perspective about SESTEC-2012 and on the future directions of separation science and technology. The prizes for best ORAL (3) and POSTER (15) presentations were also distributed by Association of Separation Scientists & Technologists (ASSET). A feed back session was arranged to seek suggestions for future programmes. The valedictory function was chaired by Prof. Rajan Welukar, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai. Shri S.G. Markandeya, Head, Planning & Coordination Division & Secretary, BRNS emphasized the need for strengthening the collaborative research between different DAE units and academic institutions.

At the inaugural function from left to right are: Prof. Z.R. Turel, Mithibai College, Mumbai & Convener-LOC, SESTEC-2012, Dr. P.N. Pathak, Secretary, SESTEC-2012, Dr. K. L. Ramakumar, Director, RC&I Group, BARC & Chairman Organizing Committee, SESTEC-2012, Dr. R.K. Sinha, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai; Shri B.P. Sheth, Vice President, SVKM, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Prof. Kiran Mangaonkar, Principal, Mithibai College & Chairman-LOC, SESTEC-2012, Dr. P.K. Mohapatra, Convener, SESTEC-2012.

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