Think about mobile phones, medical devices, solar power and many more! It’s obvious that engineering can make your life better. But for years engineering programs have often failed to make that real-world connection apparent. Traditionally, engineering students have been focusing almost exclusively on advanced maths, taking notes in large lecture halls, and working in isolated labs on narrow abstract projects. Breaking the ice is ‘Project Deep Blue’, an intercollegiate competition introduced in 2015, providing opportunity for engineering college students to find solutions to solve real-life social problems using their technological skills.
The unique initiative by one of the most renowned multi-national software company Mastek-Majesco, ‘Project Deep Blue’ is an innovative competition which has entered into its 4th season. The aspiring technocrats have to come-up with meaningful technical solutions over a course of three months for these social problems which has an impact nationally and internationally. Project Deep Blue throws up challenges for participating engineering graduates to create working solutions for real life problems applicable in the social sector.
Ms. Kavita Mukherjee, head of ‘Project Deep Blue’, said, “Many complain about the lack of connect between industry and academia, Project Deep Blue serves as an impeccable platform for those aspiring engineer graduates to test their technological knowledge under the mentorship of industry experts from leading multinational firms who volunteer to guide these young minds to deliver significant and meaningful technical solutions to civic problems.”
It is believed that experiential learning has long been a component of education, as a way to engage and excite them. Participants of the upcoming Season 4 of Project Deep Blue feel that such competitions are building ways for budding engineers to apply classroom theory to real life situations. This year the theme of season 4 intercollegiate competition is sanitation and public health with emphasis on deploying technology for open defecation free India, waste segregation and plastic ban. “It is an interesting competition wherein students get the chance to provide solutions to real life civic problems. We have chosen the challenges of implementing the plastic ban as a problem and will work towards providing solutions to the on-going problem,” said Shomil Shah, one of the participants and a student from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering.
He added, “This project is focused on profiling the plastic waste and litter which is disposed of in our nearby garbage dumps. Citizens simply need to click pictures of garbage and upload onto the software that we are making. Just by clicking a mere picture of a garbage dump, the algorithm can identify wrappers, packets, etc and also identify the product brand and backtrack it to its respective manufacturer. Through this we can create a graph which can tell us which manufacturers are the major contributors to the plastic waste in the country.”
“Project Deep Blue is different from other intercollegiate competitions. The association with students lasts for three months and they undergo holistic workshops, thus encouraging them to arrive at the best solutions. This very journey of known to the unknown and the learning thereof create a huge impact on the participating students. It also serves as a preparatory ground for them, before stepping into the corporate life or becoming an entrepreneur,” added Ms. Kavita Mukherjee.