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Govind Gopakumar, PhD

Associate Professor and Chair, Centre for Engineering in Society


Govind Gopakumar, PhD
Office: S-EV 2255 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4068
Email: govind.gopakumar@concordia.ca
Website(s): Personal Website
ENCS website

Govind Gopakumar is Chair and Associate Professor at the Centre for Engineering in Society. Govind Gopakumar received his PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 2008.


Teaching activities

In his teaching at Concordia, Dr. Gopakumar has developed and taught some key courses that are required for all engineering students. He has contributed significantly, in terms of pedagogy and content, to developing the Impact of Technology on Society course and the Professional Practice and Responsibility course. Both these courses are required courses for all engineering students as mandated by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). In Fall 2014 he developed the Professional Practice and Responsibility course as an online course. He also developed and currently teaches the Development and Global Engineering course as an elective for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the faculty.


Research activities

His research centres on the socio-political aspects of urban infrastructure and the governance of infrastructure change. His most recent book on automobility in Indian cities titled Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Streets and Mobilities in Indian cities is published by MIT Press in their Urban and Industrial Environments Series. Another  research interest is on processes of change in engineering education in the context of intervening in development, globalization.  

During his tenure here at Concordia, Dr. Gopakumar has scripted and directed a film (in partnership with a citizen group, Bengaluru Bus Commuter Forum) titled Social Life of a Bus, and published a single-authored book Transforming Urban Water Supplies in India that was published by Routledge. He has published articles in the Science as Culture, Geoforum, Economic and Political WeeklyInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Water Policy, Water Alternatives, Mobilities, Engineering Studies, and the European Journal of Engineering Education. His research has been supported by Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC),
the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC), Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, IC-IMPACTS Canada-India Research Centre for Excellence established through the Canadian Networks of Centres for Excellence, and the National Science Foundation USA.


PhD positions

PhD opportunity in politics of collective mobility & politics of pedimobility

We invite expressions of interest in pursuing doctoral research that will critically investigatemodes of collective mobility and pedi/velo mobility in urban India.

The rapid growth in motorization is a palpable presence in metropolitan Indian cities and istransforming streets and roads into conduits for conveying automobiles. Against this context ofan established automobility paradigm, it is necessary to investigate how non-motorized modes as well as collective modes ofmobility, especially bus-based public transit, navigate and exist on the roads. 

We are looking for potential candidates to fill these two positions. The PhD student will be part of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC),Canada funded project titled Constituting Urban Indian Mobility. The student will have thechoice of applying to either the doctoral programme in Geography, Urban and EnvironmentalStudies or the Independent doctoral programme at Concordia University. The student selectedfor the research will be helped to put together an application package for admission to thedoctoral programme of their choice. If admitted, they will be jointly supervised by ProfessorsGovind Gopakumar (Concordia University), Craig Townsend (Concordia University), Madhav G.Badami (McGill University), Sarah Turner (McGill University), and Rutul Joshi (CEPT University).

We are seeking a candidate with a Masters degree, an excellent academic background includingfamiliarity with sociomaterial aspects of mobility and movement and with a range of qualitativeand mobile methods, and, ideally, a proven track record in research relevant to the topic.

Those interested should email Govind Gopakumar (at govind.gopakumar@concordia.ca) latestby December 1, 2020, explaining why they are interested in and suitable for this doctoralresearch programme. The following materials should be attached: a letter of application thatexplains their interest; a CV, including qualifications, and names of two academic referees; anunofficial academic transcript; and one or two samples of critical, analytical writing (includingpublished articles), that will allow assessment of suitability. We will hold Zoom interviews withshort-listed applicants in December. 

 

 


PhD Opportunity in Decision-making and Financing of Rapid Transit Systems in India

We invite expressions of interest in pursuing doctoral research that will critically investigate decision-making and financing of rapid transit systems in urban India.   

 

The rapid growth in motorization in Indian cities has been met with several responses. A salient response has been the planning, financing and development of rapid transit systems in several Indian cities. This choice, while often seen as bringing in a world-class orientation to transportation in Indian cities, also raises questions about its efficacy among other issues. These questions are often posed because of the exceptionally high capital requirement associated with this choice, its inability to cater to a wide section of society, as well as the potential for such modes to reinforce existing urban exclusions. The accepted PhD student will have the opportunity to investigate aspects of how and why decisions to implement and finance these projects were made, and their implications for urban transport outcomes, in urban India.

 

The PhD student will be part of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada funded project titled Constituting Urban Indian Mobility. The student, if admitted, will enter the doctoral programme in the School of Urban Planning at McGill University, and will be jointly supervised by Professors Madhav G. Badami (McGill University), Craig Townsend (Concordia University), Sarah Turner (McGill University), Govind Gopakumar (Concordia University), and Rutul Joshi (CEPT University). The student selected for the research will be helped to put together an application package for admission to the doctoral programme. On gaining admission, the student will be nominated for fellowships and other funding to support the doctoral studies and field-work.

 

Qualifications

We are seeking a candidate with a Masters degree, an excellent academic background, including skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis, and ideally, a proven track record in research relevant to the topic of research.  

 

Those interested should email Madhav G. Badami (at madhav.badami@mcgill.ca) and Govind Gopakumar (at govind.gopakumar@concordia.ca) latest by December 1, 2020, explaining why they are interested in and suitable for this doctoral research programme. The following materials should be attached: a CV, including qualifications, and names of two academic referees; an unofficial academic transcript; and one or two samples of critical, analytical writing (including published articles), that will allow assessment of suitability. We will hold Zoom interviews with short-listed applicants in December.

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