Mind Over Matter (MOM) | Tata Steel’s Annual Innovation Challenge

In view of the continuing pandemic scenario, this year we will not have students physically present in our facility at Jamshedpur to do their project work. We would be seeking the technical applications as per the revised format (refer ‘Rules’ tab) and schedule (refer ‘Schedule’ tab).

Stay Tuned!

If you’re as smart as you think you are, here’s your chance to win the opportunity to be mentored by top R&D experts at Tata Steel for a 2-month internship. Launched in 2014, Mind over Matter challenges the sharpest and smartest engineering students in the country’s top institutes, with real-life problems related to steel-making. The winning teams are then invited to Tata Steel to create prototypes of their ideas under the mentorship of the Tata Steel R&D team.

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Are you submitting this project as an individual or a team?

  • I’m representing a team
  • I’m submitting as an individual

Select College NameBE ShibpurBIT MesraBIT SindriBITS, PilaniCET BhubaneswarCOE, PuneCV Raman College of Engineering, BhubaneswarDelhi Technological UniversityIISC BangaloreIIT BhubaneswarIIT BombayIIT ChennaiIIT DelhiIIT GandhinagarIIT GuwahatiIIT HyderabadIIT KanpurIIT KharagpurIIT PatnaIIT RajasthanIIT RoorkeeIIT-BHUISI KolkataISM DhanbadITER, BhubaneswarJadavpur UniversityKIIT BhubaneswarMNIT AllahabadNICMAR, PuneNIST, BerhampurNIT BhopalNIT DurgapurNIT JaipurNIT JamshedpurNIT PatnaNIT RaipurNIT RourkelaNIT SuratkalNIT TrichyNIT WarangalPSG CoimbatoreUPES, DehradunVNIT NagpurVSSUT, Burla

Students can attempt multiple solution/ entities for one challenge and can attempt solutions for multiple challenges also.

Please ensure you have read the Rules and Criteria


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Select Theme NameBioCoke for steel makingCO2 capture and in-situ conversion into value added productComposite additive manufacturing by in-situ addition of carbon nanoparticlesGreen H2 production from renewable resourcesNano-particles as collectors for coal flotationProtecting steel sheets during automotive Hot-Forming processSilent Steels for NVH Management in Lightweight VehiclesSynthesis of a novel Nano iron oxide based hydroxyapatite from non-metallic LD Slag fines and its possible applications in bio medical & Biosensors applications.Synthesis of Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide using the low grade Mn oresValue addition of Iron bearing superfinesZn coating of steels containing high amount of Si

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Document should contain title, team name, methodology and experimental facility required to explore the idea)

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  • Topics of research would be open to students of 3rd year engineering* campuses (*4-year degree courses only)
  • Entries must be submitted individually or in teams of 2 participants.
  • All participants in a team must be from the same college.
  • Each team ideally comprises 2 members, but if only 1 member in a team of 2 is mentioned in the entry then it will be considered as a 1 member team entry.
  • Entries should be submitted in .doc, .docx, .pdf and .ppt files, up to 2 MB only.
  • All entries must be the original creation of the participants.
  • Entries with plagiarized content will be disqualified.
  • Incomplete entries will not qualify.
  • No entries will be accepted after the final submission date.
  • Students would be given a time frame of 2 months to conduct a research and come up with a solution to a challenge.
  • Based on the submission, top team per challenge would be offered internship.
  • Internship programme cannot be exchanged for cash rewards.
  • For the students shortlisted, train fare, accommodation, food and local travel related expenses will be borne by Tata Steel.
  • Any additional expenditure (meals other than those provided, etc.) will be borne by candidates.
  • A final evaluation would be done at the end of the internship and basis that, the top three teams would be rewarded.
  • A Pre-placement offer means that a student would not go through any shortlisting process and would directly be offered a job.
  • The decision of the Jury shall be final, conclusive and binding and no contestation will be accepted.

Terms and Conditions

I agree and accept:

  • My idea/ proposal/ research plan will be considered and evaluated on non-confidential and non-proprietary basis. Tata Steel does not intend to receive any confidential or proprietary information.
  • Tata Steel will not treat the submitted idea/ proposal/ research plan as confidential and hence, Tata Steel is not restricted to use the submitted idea/ proposal/ research plan.
  • I did not breach any confidentiality agreement between my institute and any third party and that, to the best of my information. Possession or use of the information by me does not misappropriate or infringe any intellectual property rights of others.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: I understand that I must file for intellectual property rights (“IP Rights”) before disclosing idea/ proposal/ research plan to anyone on a non-confidential basis. In case I submit/ disclose the idea/ proposal/ research plan on a non-confidential basis before filing an IPR, I will lose the IPR protection as per applicable IP law. In case I have any concern associated with IPR protection, or need any help to understand the integrity of IPR related to my idea, I will contact Tata Steel IP – munish.sudan@tatasteel.com
  • “Intellectual Property” means the legal rights relating to inventions, patent applications, patents, copyrights, trademarks, mask works, trade secrets, and any other legally protectable information, including computer software, first made or generated during the performance of the work at Tata Steel.
  • In the event any inventions are made, arising from the work conducted at Tata Steel, which may be protected by any form of Intellectual Property Rights, the same will be in the name of Tata Steel Ltd. and Tata Steel Ltd. will own the complete Intellectual Property Rights. I will provide all the support to get the said Intellectual Property registered in the name of Tata Steel.



  • Jyoti
    BIT Mesra, Ranchi
  • Rishi Raj
    & Jaya BIT Sindri, Jharkhand
    1st runners-up
  • Ashwini Kumar
    & Anish Baranwal NIT Jamshedpur
    2nd runners-up
  • Shreya Sinha & Anamika Sinha BIT, MESRA, RANCHI
  • Nisha Sinha & Shubham Sinha NIT, JAMSHEDPUR
    1st runners-up
  • Shivani Agarwal & Vishal Dwivedi JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY
    2nd runners-up
  • Niharaika Singh & Kayenat Farheen BIT, MESRA, RANCHI
  • Venkata Ravi Teja IIT, MADRAS
    1st runners-up
  • Sankalp Sachdev & Kislay Jha BIT, MESRA, RANCHI
    2nd runners-up
Name College Project Title
Winners Mr Mukesh Kumar and Mr Vijay Anand IIT Kharagpur Segmented and Stacked Thermoelectric Modules for waste heat recovery during Continuous Casting.
First Runner-up Ms Priyanka Sinha and Ms Aarushee Agarwal NIT Jamshedpur Dephosphorisation of BOF slag using slag treatment and slow cooling techniques
Second Runner-up Mr Manish K Chandan and Mr Sourav Agarwal BIT Mesra, Ranchi Use of Density Gradient Centrifugation (DGC) for separation of coal macerals.
Name College Project Title
Winners Pranay Ranjan & Ambar Katyayyan IIT Jamshedpur Bio-Algal Gas Cleaning (Bio-AlGaC) System for Blast Furnace
Mentor Name: Mr. Omkar Avinash Shinde
First Runner-up Amlan Baishya & Gaurav Sinha IIT Roorkee Use 3D printing technology in refractory/high temperature ceramic application
Mentor Name: Mr. Raj Kumar Prince
Second Runner-up Sandeep Prasad & Sheeraz Zama Khan NIT Jamshedpur Pre-treatment of para-magnetic minerals for effective magnetic separation
Mentor Name: Mr. Sunil Kumar Tripathy

The Challenge

Nano-particles as collectors for coal flotation

Coal beneficiation process such as flotation is inevitable to treat coal fine of size -0.5mm. The coal flotation process requires several reagents to modify the coal particle surface for effective flotation. The collectors such as, kerosene, diesel oil, HSD etc. are commonly used to make the coal surface more hydrophobic. In this line, we invite innovative proposals to develop a methodology to identify and use the nano-particles as a collector for coal flotation to enhance the process efficiency.
( Mentor: Ms. N Gurulaxmi Srikakulapu, E-Mail: sn.gurulakshmi@tatasteel.com)

Synthesis of Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide using the low grade Mn ores

Tata Steel manganese mines in Joda, Odisha generates huge amount of low grade manganese ores every year and utilization of these fines/rejects is a challenge. A hydrometallurgical process like leaching is effective to extract metal values from low grade ores into liquid medium which on further processing leads to various manganese derivatives. Manganese oxides (MnO2, Mn2O3) are used as cathode material in battery industry and also, as a catalyst for hydrogen generation. Manganese dioxide (EMD) can be produced through electrolysis using these fines however the major challenges that needs to be addressed during the electrowinning is to produce a deposit that has only gamma form of MnO2 and no other structure /oxides and, obtaining a high purity deposit and with high current efficiency. So, we are searching for a methodology or additive which can provide a pure EMD during processing of these ores.
( Mentor: Mr. K V Krishnareddy, E-Mail: kallam.krishnareddy@tatasteel.com)

Value addition of Iron bearing superfines

The iron bearing superfines present in Iron Ore Slime, Blast Furnace Dust and Sludge, etc. have become a worry for the steel makers and environmentalists. The status quo involves beneficiation and recycling of such wastes. Since, this waste contains other important elements like Calcium, Alumina, etc. Therefore, the idea is to utilise the iron and other resources present in the waste to produce value-added products. Proposals are being invited to produce value added products from these iron bearing superfines.
( Mentor: Mr. Rohan Ohri, E-Mail: rohan.ohri@tatasteel.com)

BioCoke for steel making

Steel industry largely depends on coking coal to produce desired quality coke which is used as a reductant as well as heat source in the blast furnace. The scarcity of desired quality coals and environmental issues associated with coke making process compelling the industry to identify alternative raw materials and more environmental friendly processes. The huge quantity of biomass generated by industries and humans (wood residues, waste from food crops, horticulture, corn cobs, animal farming, etc) has huge potential to utilize it as a raw material for coke making. We are searching for a suitable methodology/process to convert these materials into a useable green coke for steel making.
( Mentor: Dr. Debjani Nag, E-Mail: debjani.nag@tatasteel.com)

Synthesis of a novel Nano iron oxide based hydroxyapatite from non-metallic LD Slag fines and its possible applications in bio medical & Biosensors applications.

LD Slag is a waste generated in the LD steel making process and after the recovery of metallic value, non-metallic portion of LD Slag fines finds very little industrial importance. LD Slag is very complex material containing majorly, Fe, Ca, P, Si etc., The main challenge is the extraction of Iron and Phosphorus from LD Slag fines and using them for the preparation of “Iron oxide based Hydroxyapatite Nano powder” for finding the possible applications in the field of biosensors and biomedical field. We are searching for a methodology to selectively remove the undesired elements during hydrometallurgical processing of LD Slag to produce these products.
( Mentor: Dr. Shrenivas Ashrit, E-Mail: shrenivas@tatasteel.com)

CO2 capture and in-situ conversion into value added product

There several technologies are available for CO2 capture from flue gases. However, capturing of CO2 will not going to reduce its GHG potential. Therefore, it is essential to convert CO2 in to value added product so that it can be sequestrated permanently. Some of research initiatives have been taken in this domain where CO2 is captured and simultaneously it is converted to different products by the catalytic activity of the capturing material. We invite the proposals to CO2 capture and in-situ conversion into value added products.( Mentor: Dr Niloy Kundu, E-Mail: niloy.kundu@tatasteel.com)

Green H2 production from renewable resources

Hydrogen is green fuel till date. However, in present scenario the route of production of hydrogen is driven by fossil fuel and eventually those processes are responsible for GHG emission. Several initiatives have been taken for green hydrogen production though most of those failed to catch up commercial viability. In steel industry, green hydrogen can be used as reducing agent as well as fuel. Therefore, we invite ideas to develop a process to produce green hydrogen.
( Mentor: Dr Santanu Sarkar, E-Mail: santanu.sarkar@tatasteel.com)

Composite additive manufacturing by in-situ addition of carbon nanoparticles

Addition of carbon nanoparticles (nanotubes, nanoplatelets, Graphene etc.) during additive manufacturing can be a route for manufacturing composite material components. Addition can be ex-situ or in-situ vis-a-via process and consumables. We ae looking for a feasible proposal to make it a scalable process.
( Mentor: Dr. Kanwer Singh Arora, E-Mail: kanwer.arora@tatasteel.com)

Zn coating of steels containing high amount of Si

Si is one of the important inexpensive alloying elements added in steel to increase both strength and formability. It is vital in development of special steels like carbide-free bainite steels. It is also an important deoxidizer during steel making. However, its addition in advanced high strength steels is restricted due to various problems during zinc coating/coatability. Research so far is focused on understanding the problem with Si addition on Zn coating. However, there are no solutions that allow addition of Si in the range of 0.5 to 2 wt.% without any detrimental effect to Zn coating or its quality. A solution to the problem will help to develop advanced high strength and crash resistance steels at lower cost. So, proposals are invited to effective Zn coating of steels containing high amount of Si.
( Mentor: Dr. Appa Rao Chintha, E-Mail: apparao@tatasteel.com)

Protecting steel sheets during automotive Hot-Forming process

Hot forming is a press forming and simultaneously hardening process of the formed components in contact with the water-cooled dies. High strength/ ultra-high strength steel sheets are heated up to the temperature about 950oC and quickly transferred to a forming press. The uncoated steel surface is oxidised and decarburised to a smaller extent (~ 3 micron) after hot forming. Also, the die life is affected by the oxide particles and the formed component has to be cleaned by additional sand blasting process. Widley acceptable solution to these issues are to coat the steel with Al-Si coating, which is a patented process. The challenge is to provide a viable solution to avoid these problems of hot forming without Al-Si coating. So proposals are invited to develop temporary coatings which can be applied easily before heating and removable (if required) after forming for subsequent painting processes.
( Mentor: Mr. Nemai Chandra Gorain, E-Mail: nemai@tatasteel.com)

Silent Steels for NVH Management in Lightweight Vehicles

The growing awareness on sustainability and environment consciousness lead to the more stricter norms of automotive emission. While EVs or Hybdrid vehicles are likely to be the long-term solution to this problem, the present situation demands chasing the target of reducing auto body weight even more aggressively. The lightweight automobiles will definitely help cut the IC engine emission but are also expected to maintain a certain level of passenger comfort and stability of the vehicle structure. This requires the steels or the materials used in manufacture of the modern cars to be resistant to Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). Foams, laminates, sandwich panels are probably some of the best offerings in the current market for this segment but these materials are seldom used as in mass to manufacture automobiles. The present challenge is going to be all about imparting the NVH resistance as a specific differential attribute to the regular steel products available in the automotive market.
( Mentor: Dr. Sourabh Chatterjee, E-Mail: sourabhchatterjee@tatasteel.com)


Activity Target Date
Entry Submission 28th December 2019 to 15th March 2020
Short listing of entries 16th March 2020 to 17th March 2020
Declaration of Winners 18th March 2020
Internship at Tata Steel 21st September 2020 – 31st October 2020
Grand Finale 10th November 2020


All participants in a team must be from the same college
The Challenge is open only for students of 3rd year engineering* campuses (*4-year degree courses only)
Students of ‘Dual degree courses’ are not eligible
Participants must be students of the following engineering colleges

Sr. No. College Name
1 IIT Delhi
2 IIT Kharagpur
3 IIT Bombay
4 IIT Kanpur
5 IIT Chennai
7 BITS, Pilani
8 IIT Guwahati
9 Delhi Technological University
10 NIT Trichy
11 ISM Dhanbad
12 NIT Suratkal
13 IIT Hyderabad
14 BIT Mesra
15 NIT Warangal
16 PSG Coimbatore
17 NIT Rourkela
18 COE, Pune
19 BIT Sindri
20 VNIT Nagpur
21 IIT Roorkee
22 NIT Jamshedpur
23 BE Shibpur
24 NIT Durgapur
25 NIT Raipur
26 IIT Bhubaneswar
27 CET Bhubaneswar
28 KIIT Bhubaneswar
29 Jadavpur University
30 NIT Jaipur
31 MNIT Allahabad
32 NIT Patna
33 NIT Bhopal
34 IIT Patna
35 IIT Rajasthan
36 IIT Gandhinagar
37 ISI Kolkata
38 UPES, Dehradun
39 NICMAR, Pune
40 VSSUT, Burla
41 ITER, Bhubaneswar
42 CV Raman College of Engineering, Bhubaneswar
43 NIST, Berhampur
44 IISC Bangalore


Title : Nano-particles as collectors for coal flotation
Mentor : Ms. N Gurulaxmi Srikakulapu
Email :sn.gurulakshmi@tatasteel.com

Title : Synthesis of Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide using the low grade Mn ores
Mentor : Mr. K V Krishnareddy
Email : kallam.krishnareddy@tatasteel.com

Title : Value addition of Iron bearing superfines
Mentor : Mr. Rohan Ohri
Email : rohan.ohri@tatasteel.com

Title : BioCoke for steel making
Mentor : Dr. Debjani Nag
Email : debjani.nag@tatasteel.com

Title : Synthesis of a novel Nano iron oxide based hydroxyapatite from non-metallic LD Slag fines and its possible applications in bio medical & Biosensors applications.
Mentor : Dr. Shrenivas Ashrit
Email : shrenivas@tatasteel.com

Title : CO2 capture and in-situ conversion into value added product
Mentor : Dr Niloy Kundu
Email : niloy.kundu@tatasteel.com

Title : Green H2 production from renewable resources
Mentor : Dr Santanu Sarkar
Email : santanu.sarkar@tatasteel.com

Title : Composite additive manufacturing by in-situ addition of carbon nanoparticles
Mentor : Dr. Kanwer Singh Arora
Email : kanwer.arora@tatasteel.com

Title : Zn coating of steels containing high amount of Si
Mentor : Dr. Appa Rao Chintha
Email : apparao@tatasteel.com

Title : Protecting steel sheets during automotive Hot-Forming process
Mentor : Mr. Nemai Chandra Gorain
Email : nemai@tatasteel.com

Title : Silent Steels for NVH Management in Lightweight Vehicles
Mentor : Dr. Sourabh Chatterjee
Email : sourabhchatterjee@tatasteel.com

Rules (2nd Round)

  • The 2nd round will be 4 to 6 weeks long and virtual mentoring will be provided to the project teams to prove their hypothesis/supposition.
  • Teams will submit a project report to theoretically prove their idea using data available in literature/research papers, mathematical calculations, modelling and simulations tools (Thermodynamic, Fluid flow, Empirical models, Discrete element, Continuum models, Data mining, etc.), virtual models, lab test, etc.
  • Tata Steel will not bear any unapproved expenditure made by the teams during execution of the project.
  • Teams will be invited for online presentation in the finale for final evaluation.
  • Internship programme cannot be exchanged for cash rewards.
  • The final evaluation would be done at the end of the internship using a suitable online interaction platform (MS Teams, Skype, etc.) and basis that, the top three teams would be rewarded.
  • The decision of the Jury shall be final, conclusive and binding and no contestation will be accepted.


Dr. Atanu Ranjan Pal
Chief, Product Research
A B Tech (Ceramics) graduate from Calcutta University, Dr. Pal has completed the General Management Development Programme from XLRI, Jamshedpur & even holds a Phd (Engg) Metallurgy and Material Science from Jadavpur University. He has been a part of core Human Resource Management Team of Tata Steel for 3years & boasts of a work experience that involves Research Management, Blast Furnace & Coke Oven Project Management, Coke oven, Blast Furnace and Steel making operation and refractory maintenance. He has even received the Refractories Technologist award from Indian Ceramic Society, for lifetime achievement in the field of refractories.

Dr. Saurabh Kundu
Chief Process Research
Dr. Saurabh Kundu has more than 18 years of experience in the area of product development in Tata Steel. He is having a PhD degree in Materials Science and Metallurgy from University of Cambridge and got the Young Metallurgist and Metallurgist of the Year award from the ministry of steel, Govt of India in the year 2003 and 2013 respectively. His research interest lies in the area of phase transformation and crystallography of steel and he is passionate about developing new and innovative microstructure.

Dr. S. K. Ajmani
IIT alumnus Dr. S. K. Ajmani has more than 25 years of working experience in the area of steel making and casting. Dr. Ajmani takes a keen interest in the area of physical and numerical modelling of iron making and steel making processes. He was awarded Metallurgist of the Year in 2011 by the Ministry of Steel, Government of India for his excellent contributions to metal research.

Dr. Veerendra Singh
Principal Scientist, FAM Research Group
Dr. Veerendra Singh has been working in research for the last 15 years. His research interests include mineral processing, artificial intelligence and CO2 Sequestration. He has published more than 60 research papers and filed more than 25 patents His list of accolades includes the Tata Innovista Award (2011, 2012, 2013), Ms. Kiren Devi Memorial award, 2017, by MEAI; R P Bhatnagar award (2014) by MGMI, and various Best Paper Awards. He is an active member of various national and international professional bodies (Indian Institute of Mineral Engineers, Mining Engineers Association of India, Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, USA, etc.).

The Reward

First Stage
6 weeks internship opportunity
Stipend during internship
Certificate of internship

Final Stage
Winner: ₹1,00,000 + Trophy + Certificate + PPI
1st Runner Up: ₹ 75,000/- + Certificate + PPI
2nd Runner Up: ₹ 50,000/- + Certificate + PPI

Note: A Pre-placement Interview (PPI) offer means that a student would not go through any shortlisting process and would directly appear in the Job interview.

Title Winners
Synthesis of novel reagent for oxidized coal Name: Ashwin Kumar and Anish Barnwal
Institute: National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur
Biodegradable surfactants for coal and iron ore beneficiation Name: Jyoti
Institute: BIT Mesra, Ranchi
Synthesis of new generation nanofluids from Iron ore slime Name: Pranjal Chakraborty and Mayukh Das
Institute: Jadavpur University, West Bengal
Novel refining of High Carbon Ferroalloy by physical or chemical processes. Name: Rahul and Kumar Preetam
Institute: BIT Mesra, Ranchi
Soil conditioner from the chemical processing of LD Slag fines Name: Vidisha Jha and Arnab Biswas
Institute: BIT Mesra, Ranchi
Energy efficient intelligent cooling tower Name: Niket Kumar and Utkarsh Gupta
Institute: Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT R), Uttarakhand
Smart system for prediction and elimination of surface defects in steel strip Name: Pruthivi Raj Mohapatra, Sriman Ayashant Avtak
Institute: CET Bhubaneswer
Suitable processing technique for alteration of properties of steels beyond conventional thermomechanical treatment Name: Subhadip Midya and Rajrishi Sarkar
Institute: Jadavpur University, West Bengal
Measurement of silica layer on cold rolled steel cleaned by Electrolytic cleaned process necessary Name: Rishi Raj, Jaya
Institute: BIT Sindri , Jharkhand
Addition of carbon nanoparticles into similar and dissimilar welds of steel and aluminium Name: Anmol Agarwal and Dhruva Agarwal
Institute: IIT BHU, Utter Pradesh
Bring disruptive change in steel making sub-processes Name: Ashish Kumar, Manish Kumar
Institute: ISM Dhanbad, Jharkhand