media release

Indian scholars visit SFU

November 08, 2011

Nav Chima, SFU-India Mobility Initiative, 778.782.2330;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Note: Scholars Gaur and Tyagi are in town until Friday. Rai is here until Nov. 18. They will also have a short window on Wednesday, Nov. 9 between 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. (rm 4010) for interviews.

Indian Scholars
Photos on Flickr

While Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter heads to India this week to strengthen academic and industry ties, a trio of Indian scholars will engage with the university here at home.

The scholars are meeting with university and industry officials as part of the BC-India Innovation, Exchange and Mobility Initiative, established by Western Economic Diversification together with SFU in June 2011.

WED is providing $302,535 for the initiative, which supports collaborative research between the two regions, as well as trade and investment activities.

The scholars will be at SFU’s Surrey campus on Wednesday (Nov. 9) to meet with Andrew Saxton, parliamentary secretary to the president of the Treasury Board, and for WED. They include:

Daya Gaur, head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (IITR). Dr. Gaur is a leading Indian researcher in bioinformatics and computing applications to healthcare and a graduate of SFU (he earned both his master’s degree and PhD in computer science).

Himanshu Tyagi, an assistant professor at IITR’s School of Mechanical, Materials & Energy Engineering. Dr. Tyagi is working to develop clean and sustainable energy sources with a team of graduate and undergraduate students.

Durg Viyay Rai, director and senior professor at the Centre for Biomedical Engineering’s School of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics at Shobhit University in New Delhi. Dr. Rai’s visit will help the universities to collaborate on exploring medical diagnostic devices markets in India, and develop a program where diagnostic concepts can be tested in an Indian environment.

Says Tyagi: “I see tremendous benefit in coming to B.C. and seeing innovations happening in the renewable energy sector here.  In exchange, I am sharing my research related to harvesting more energy from renewable sources and discussing ways the Indian energy sector is developing clean energy sources. Exchanges such as this are valuable in moving our initiatives forward in a coordinated way.”

Nimal Rajapakse, SFU’s dean of applied sciences, says the initiative enables B.C. to build connections with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, while the scholars’ exchange of information with B.C. researchers and companies will create opportunities in clean energy and health and life sciences.

“The impact of their visit will be seen in the years ahead as we bridge our local economies to benefit B.C. companies and create new opportunities for our students,” says Rajapakse, who is also part of the India mission.

In addition to visiting scholars, the initiative places SFU students in Indian organizations. Ten are currently completing work terms in various regions of India.


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