3.1.1 Photos of Research Facilities
Sacred Heart College remains on the cutting edge of research thanks to its handful of dedicated research centres, specialised laboratories and supporting facilities.
Division of Arachnology
The Division of Arachnology at Sacred Heart is the only arachnological research centre in South India devoted exclusively for the documentation of the diversity of spiders and other related groups of organisms including pseudoscorpions and millipedes. Over the years, the division has grown to become synonymous with spider research in India. Identifying and cataloging the spider diversity of South India, particularly Kerala, has been the primary mandate of the division since inception. The research team has so far documented more than 500 species of spiders from South India including nearly 30 species new to science.
The Biotechnology Lab at Sacred Heart College, working under the Department of Chemistry conducts research focusing on developing Targeted Drug Delivery Carriers (TTDCs) for hydrophobic drugs, hydrogels for biotechnology applications and synthesis of small molecule inhibitors. The lab collaborates with premier R&D Institutes in India such as the Department of Biotechnology (DBT, New Delhi), IISC (Bangalore), CUSAT, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR, Bangalore), CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (Lucknow) and others. Other areas of concern for the Lab includes nano-systems for anti-cancer drug delivery, organic synthesis of thioureas and ketene imines for inhibition of NHEJ (Nonhomologous End Joining) of DNA.
Computational Chemistry Research Group
The Computational Chemistry Research Group is equipped with workstations and adequate facilities for executing high level computations in chemistry and interdisciplinary disciplines. Several pertinent research outcomes of the group have come out in international science journals with publishers like Elsevier, Wiley, ACS, RSC and Springer. The Group specializes in Computational Quantum Chemistry, Molecular Simulations, Reaction Mechanism Studies and Drug Design.
Fr. Berchmans Central Instrumentation Facility
Fr. Berchmans Central Instrumentation Facility serves as a hub to promote and facilitate research across the various specialized research facilities on campus. It is equipped with a host of equipment and instruments which can be used to support research in the fundamental sciences and allied disciplines. The facility is continuously updated and maintained to ensure high standards of accuracy and precision. The facility is supported by DST-FIST and UGC-CPE programs.
Library Research Bay
Fr. Francis Sales Library of Sacred Heart College is named after its illustrious co-founder Rev. Fr. Francis Sales CMI (1904-1984). As a vital academic unit of the College, the library is an ubiquitous partner in all research and consultancy activities of the college. The library contains the Palackal Sophia Hall (Air Conditioned) which is a conference hall that can seat up-to 30. This hall is exclusively earmarked for research related discussions and presentations.
The optoelectronics lab was setup using the UGC – CPE Funding. There are Instruments for PG experiments and PG and UG research. The following are the instruments used in the lab. The lab comprises of equipment including an Optical Table (2m x 1.5m) with passive vibration isolation legs, Pockel Effect Apparatus, Zeeman Effect apparatus, Michelson Interferometer, Faraday Effect Apparatus. These are used in the PG experiments and
are also used for PG and UG research activities.
Space Science Lab
The Space Science Group (SSG) undertakes scientific research concerning the connection (Coupling) between Sun and Earth with emphasis on Space Weather and Plasma processes. The lab uses both Ground and space based platforms to provide corrections (which are more relevant over magnetic dip equatorial regions like Kerala, due to the unique electrodynamics of equatorial ionosphere) to the GPS signals with the help of ionospheric modeling. This enables ‘operational forecasting’ and has societal applications. In fact, the work encompasses the themes of international programs like NASA’s Living with a Star (LWS) and Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES) very well. Further, it helps in the fundamental understanding of space, which is useful in context of safety of spacecrafts and astronauts. The wide gamut of activities of the Space Science Lab helps to improve the reliability of communication/navigation systems and also unravel many of the unresolved scientific problems in the realm of solar terrestrial research.
Centre for Research in English
The Centre for Research in English is equipped with a state-of-the-art Language Lab with forty dedicated terminals with high-speed wireless internet connectivity. The facility caters to the research scholars of the department by providing access to online resources and databases on humanities and linguistics. The Centre also features a well-stocked reference library and research bay dedicated to Ph.D scholars in English literature. The facility caters to the entire student community of the college and provides services to fine tune their articulatory skills including accent-training, intonation, interview skills and public oratory. The software solutions implemented in the lab support real-time assessment and correction of pronunciation and dedicated accent training. The lab is also capable of serving as a test centre for ELT based online examinations such as IELTS, OLTAS and BEC.