Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Book

My book "Essentials of Heat and Fluid Flow in Porous Media" has been published a few days back by Ane Books (India) and CRC Press (International).

Start in this page to read more on the salient features, table of content etc. The two forewords [ here and here ] were provided by Prof. Andrew Rees (Uty. of Bath, UK) and Prof. Pradip Dutta (IISc. India). The preface explains the content and the acknowledgements express my gratitude to the academics whose association helped me remain positive.

The Indian paperback (student) edition should be available by next week in your local Tata Book House (I believe most of the IIXs house one) and such stores that sell technical books. The international (hard bound) edition should be distributed from Oct 31st, 2012. You can pre-order at Amazon (link in the above 'details' page).

If you are an instructor of a related course (graduate fluid mechanics or heat transfer) or a researcher from civil, mechanical, chemical and bio-medical engineering, you may find the content useful. If you want to suggest the book to your students and require an evaluation copy or want to suggest copies for your libraries, contact me.

Similarly, if you want to write a review of the book in a related research journal (or in your blog), please contact me and I could arrange a copy of the book for you.

I would love to hear your feedback, comments, suggestions and errata (it seems, 5% typos are expected by the publishers in the first edition).

And now for some related 'gyan', beneath the fold...

  • Indian academia is worthwhile. One can contribute by working on problems of choice that are 'non-tenurable' elsewhere and write books at a relatively early stage of one's career, without having to take special sabbaticals or 'give up' on research or teaching.
  • No this is not my mega achievement. I always meant and wanted to do this; several times. It is an activity of an academic.
  • Colleagues (several of them have written recent textbooks and monographs) encouraged me to write the book and also gave good advice. For instance, listening to them convinced me to write a lengthy preface after completing the book.
  • How long it took me to write this book (a question that is repeatedly asked to me)? The writing took about four to six months (first part of 2012). The preparation took ten years (of related research) that subsumes four years of teaching a related research elective course.
  • Yes, research and science blogging helped. Some of the notes and figures and explanations that I wrote a few years back at "nonoscience blog" found their place in the book; but the writing was modified to sound more, ahem, erudite.
  • The above doesn't mean you should blog if you want to write a technical book. I perhaps would have completed more of my papers and books if I haven't been blogging during nights. Or may be I would have been burnt out...
  • How do I find time to do this (and also enjoy my evening walk -- no, seriously, I get asked this only this way)? The answer is, I don't know. Because, I know I am neither 'path-breaking' (in research) nor prolific and do waste more time like this sort of 'blah'ging (even though two of my other book drafts are yet to see the light). So, I feel very embarrassed to answer such questions and usually laugh it off.
  • I perhaps could mention this (as it may be of use to some of us): During my Ph. D. days a decade back, I met in a conference, one of the original thinker and top performers in my domain of research (heat transfer); over a bar conversation, I was about to excitedly explain an idea that I 'planned to work' and he gently patted me to silence in mid-breath; Arunn, don't tell me what you 'plan to work', work; and publish; and I will know what you did. That response (from a 'gentle giant' with more than 600 papers and 10 books and one of the 100 highly cited authors in mechanical engineering) was a 'slap of advice' that is indelible. It helps now and then to keep oneself busy.
To end: I tried convincing the publisher to title the book "Nine-point Someone" to boost the sales a bit; well, who listens to the 'dull ivory tower academic' anyway...


  1. Anonymous said...


    Congratulations on _finishing_ a book---I mean, writing one.

    If I don't find the book in a Pune bookstore in a month's time or so, I will contact you for, ahem, a (blog) reviewer's copy. (Though jobless for almost a year by now, and despite carrying as bad a history of joblessness before it as I do, I think I could still shell out Rs. 350/- without (yet) having to borrow the sum from someone else. I don't have to do that as of today; Diwali is still more than a month away.)

    In the meanwhile, an irresponsible question (which only an ignorant could possibly muster with as much ease as I do): It's clear that the sand, the Milky Way, the bar code and the back cover of a book are all porous media. Also, the computer keyboards and monitor screens. But one (at least transiently) irrepressible question immediately arising to the mind is this: Do you guys also regard the P/M (long form: powder-metallurgical) bearings as porous? In your opinion, is it a fruit hanging low enough to try and model the related flows, esp. using LBM, say, in some tribologically interesting context (even if the computer simulation is not very sophisticated or "multiphysics" enough, and not very useful enough---not at least in the immediate future)? Could you please point out, say, a review article that shows the lay of the land for research in this area, in case you are aware of it? (And, further: could you share a preprint of it?) Thanks in advance.

    I wrote this all in a public blog comment primarily because one technical email I wrote you in the past had gone unanswered; it was concerning the singularities in the fluid fields, in case you remember it (i.e. in case it was not thrown out by the spam filter at IITM). Never mind; I have since then stumbled on the answer myself.

    Your own advice on book-writing is well taken, as is the advice you received from that 600+ papers guy.

    Look forward to hearing from you, and congratulations, again.



  2. Abi said...

    Congratulations, Arunn!

    And thanks a bunch for sharing the 'gyan' -- especially the wisdom you received from the gentle giant.