Dr. Mini Shaji Thomas
Dr. (Mrs) Mini Shaji Thomas is the Director of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NIT, Trichy). Dr. Thomas and her team, with the inputs from all stakeholders, developed the Strategic Plan for the Institute, which envisages to propel the Institute to be among the top 500 Institutes in the world in 5 years. The position of the Institute in ‘overall’ in the NIRF India rankings improved from 34th to 24th and from 12th to 10th in ‘Engineering’, in the last two years. With her keen interest, able guidance and leadership, NIT Trichy has set up the first of its kind Centre for Excellence in manufacturing in 2018, at an investment of Rs. 190 Crores, in collaboration with Siemens Industry Software, for Research and Training. The research publications, projects and consultancy at the Institute has improved substantially with consistent encouragement and recognition of excellence in multiple ways. Patent filing and publication saw a surge in the last two years with an IPR policy in place. The Faculty recruitment was done after a decade and promotions for a large number of Faculty was carried out. The new offices of the Alumni Relations, International Relations, public relations and media are taking the Institute to greater collaborations and visibility.
Dr. Thomas has done extensive research work in the area of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Substation & Distribution Automation and Smart Grid. She has published over 130 research papers in International Journals and Conferences of repute, has successfully completed many research projects, and is the coordinator of the Special Assistance Program (SAP) on Power System Automation from UGC, Government of India. She is also a reviewer of reputed journals in her field.
Dr. Thomas has set up the first of its kind SCADA laboratory and Substation Automation (SA) Laboratory at JMI, with Industry involvement, which is bringing laurels to the University in terms of research publications, MOUs, and training opportunities and more importantly, enhanced image among the world power engineering fraternity. She, as the founder coordinator, drafted the curriculum, started a unique, first full-time, M Tech program in the Faculty of Engineering & Technology, JMI, in 2003 in Electrical Power System Management, with industry participation, which has courses on power automation and novel hands-on training. For these contributions, Dr. Thomas won the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Meritorious Achievement Award 2015 for 'Design and Development of curriculum and laboratory facilities for professionals and students in the electric utility industry".
She is the author of the text book 'Power System SCADA and Smart Grids' by CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, USA and a book chapter in the McGraw hill Standard Handbook of Electrical Engineers, 17th edition, 2018. She is a 'Distinguished Lecturer' of IEEE Power & Energy Society. She has introduced a new course on Power system Automation at NIT Tiruchirappalli and is in the process of setting up an Automation lab at NIT Trichy. As the founder Director of Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Jamia, Dr. Thomas had created an environment of Innovation and Entrepreneurship which has led to the setting up of a Design Innovation Centre, a Livelihood Business Incubator, doubling the number of patents filed, winning prizes at many innovation competitions and incubating a few student startups.
Dr. Thomas received the ‘Career Award’ for young teachers, Govt. of India, won the IEEE Power and Energy Society Outstanding Chapter Chair award 2013, IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Innovation award 2008, IEEE Outstanding Volunteer award 2005, IEEE Outstanding Branch counselor award 2002 and Power and Energy Society (PES) Outstanding Chapter Engineer award. She is a certified trainer for ‘Capacity building of Women managers in higher education’, by UGC and has conducted many training session for Women empowerment.
Dr. Thomas is very active in Professional societies and she is among a handful from Asia Pacific to be on the global boards of IEEE with experience over a decade on the international boards and committees. Dr. Thomas has traveled extensively around the globe, delivered lectures in prestigious universities and has interacted with technical experts from all over the world.
Dr. Thomas was the founder Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, JMI. She was the Central Public Information officer (CPIO) of JMI from 2008- 2014 and the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 2005-2008. Dr. Thomas was a faculty member at Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi (now DTU), and at the REC (now NIT), Calicut, Kerala before joining Jamia. She graduated from University of Kerala (Gold Medalist), completed her M. Tech from IIT Madras (Gold Medalist, Siemen’s prize) & PhD from IIT Delhi, India, all in Electrical Engineering.