Interdisciplinary B.Tech Project & an Honors degree at IIT Bombay

Interdisciplinary B.Tech Project & an Honors degree at IIT Bombay

I am Siddharth Saha, Mechanical B.Tech graduate from the Batch of 2021. You can read about me and my projects here.

I have met all the requirements to be granted an Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering!
I have also completed my BTP from the System & Controls department under the guidance of Prof. Leena Vacchani, SysCon and co-guidance of Prof. Abhishek Gupta, Mechanical.

Disclaimer: These are views from my own experience and may not be reflective of the latest rules. The UG Rulebook and the UGAC are the most reliable sources of information in case of confusion.

Table of Contents

  1. Background
  2. My Experience
  3. Procedure


BTP stands for B.Tech project offered in two parts as BTP-I and BTP-II. These may be pursued as additional learning courses or used in the fulfillment of the Honors degree.

The B.Tech Honors degree is an additional degree conferred on completing 24 credits (which usually includes the BTP).

More nuanced details can be found in the UG Rulebook (the link may expire when IITB releases an updated rulebook; a quick web search for “IITB UG Rulebook” will suffice)

My Experience

BTP-I (7th Sem)
It was an amalgamation of two works titled “Application of Field Theory to Occupancy Maps” and “Octree based Heatmaps”.

BTP-II (8th Sem)
My BTP Thesis was titled “Mapping regions of dynamic activity and building dynamic-free 3D occupancy maps”. Apart from the customary literature survey, it involved designing and implementing a novel clustering algorithm for mapping dynamic activity. My work is demonstrated here.


Vanilla BTP

The primary task is to resolve the field of research that you would pursue as part of your BTP. This ensues finding a professor who has experience in the respective field and is willing to guide you (perhaps based on your credentials).

In each department, there are course codes corresponding to the BTP (in mechanical, ME494: BTP-I and ME496: BTP-II as of 2020-21). In order to register for the BTP, you must simply register for the corresponding course code before the last date of adjustment. On the successful completion of BTP-I in the 7th semester, you become eligible to register for BTP-II in the 8th semester.

You do not have to finalize the BTP topic before the last date of adjustment. In fact, you aren’t even asked to submit the project topic or the name of your project guide to the Academic office. The only official communication by your supervisor with the academic office is at the end of the semester after your presentation. He/she must fill a form evaluating your BTP performance and submit it to the department office. This gets forwarded to the Academic office and the grade is entered into your transcript.

Interdisciplinary BTP

I had pursued an interdisciplinary BTP from the SysCon department. Most of the procedure is unchanged from above. The differences are elucidated below.

You can choose the guide professor from a different department. But as the grades are finally submitted to your parent department, you also require a co-guide professor from the same. You would have to give a background about your project’s field of study to the potential co-guide before he/she accedes to your request.

The co-guide only plays a supervisory role which explains why senior professors are reluctant to function as one. However, in my case, my guide Prof. Leena (SysCon) worked closely with Prof. Abhishek (Mech). This is the ideal case which saves you the hassle of finding a willing professor to co-guide your project.

At the end of the semester, you would have to present your work before a panel comprising your guide, co-guide and an external examiner (another professor from IITB).