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Kerala’s first marine lab to study waves, tidal energy opened at Kochi

Kerala's first Marine Hydrodynamics Lab was inaugurated at Cochin University of Science and Technology

One of Kerala’s premier institutions, the Cochin University of Science and Technology was in news for more than one reason. The State’s first and newly constructed Marine Hydrodynamics Lab in the Department of Ship Technology, was inaugurated and a faculty member of CUSAT’s was awarded an international project grant worth £50,000.

The Lab was inaugurated by the former CUSAT Vice Chancellor Dr. K.N. Madhusoodanan, making it the first marine hydrodynamics lab in an academic institution in Kerala. One of the major attributes of this Lab is that it has the indigenously developed Wave Flume which takes forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliance. The Wave Flume has been developed by a team led by Mohammad Ashiq, Assistant Professor, Ship Technology.

CUSAT Marine Lab3
The wave flume which has been built indigenously by CUSAT

The lab and equipment have been installed in the University at a cost of Rs.15 lakhs.

A wave flume or a wave channel is a special sort of wave tank. The width of the flume is much less than its length and the waves generated in it are two-dimensional in a vertical plane. This makes it a well-suited facility to study near-2DV structures, like cross-sections of a breakwater.

This new facility will enable scientists to study the effects of water waves on coastal structures, offshore structures, sediment transport and other transport phenomena. It will also allow them to conduct research on coastal protection, tidal energy, wave energy, ocean disturbances, water vibrations, etc. by creating artificial flumes.

The lab is expected to be a major asset in the field of renewable ocean-based energy research.

CUSAT Marine Lab2
Former CUSAT Vice Chancellor Dr. K.N. Madhusoodanan, cutting the ribbon of the lab

CUSAT is also making efforts to bring high-value equipment like towing tanks for testing systems in the next phase of the MHL. With Kochi turning into a major maritime hub, the lab will play a crucial role in the future.

The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Dr. Satheesh Babu P.K.,  Head of Ship Technology Department.

International grant

Dr. Punnadath Preetham, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences made the University proud as he was awarded with Veterinary Network Catalyst Project Grant, 2023, from the United Kingdom.

He was given this grant for the project “Enhanced vaccine efficacy against Streptococcus agalactiae by molecular adjuvants for tilapia aquaculture in Low and Middle-Income Countries “. Tilapia is an inexpensive and mild-flavoured fish which has become a favourite of people.

The objective of this project is to improve the sustainability of tilapia aquaculture in India and other Asian countries, by developing a high quality cross protective vaccine against bacterial diseases prevailing in farmed tilapia. Streptococcosis is an important bacterial disease for which there is no commercial vaccine.

CUSAT Dr Preetam
Dr. Punnadath Preetham, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences received a grant for 50,000 pounds

The project comes with an initial grant offer of £50,000 for one year period with industrial partner Epitogen X Limited, UK. The academic partners are University of Aberdeen, University of Stirling (Scotland, UK), Nord University, (Norway), Mahasarakham University, (Thailand) and CUSAT.

At present Dr. Preetham is working on two international projects supported by BactiVac and International Vaccine Network, UK.