Tag Archives: Engineer

Research Associate Posts on Gender, Skilled Migration and IT

Research Associate

Open University – Faculty of Social Sciences, Geography

We have an exciting opportunity for 2 Research Associates to work on a 2-year ESRC funded project Gender, Skilled Migration and IT:  a comparative study of India and the UK.

You will be a dynamic, highly motivated person, with a PhD in human geography, sociology, gender, development studies or other areas relevant to the project. Excellent skills in qualitative or quantitative research are essential and ideally you will also have some post-doctoral research experience.

One post will be based in the UK but will involve extended periods of fieldwork (of up to 6 months) in India while the other will be almost entirely UK based. We are looking for one researcher with quantitative skills and one with experience of qualitative research. Some knowledge of the IT industry and/or IT labour market would be useful.

If you would like to discuss the particulars of this role before making an application please contact Prof. Parvati Raghuram at parvati.raghuram@open.ac.uk or Dr. Clem Herman at Clem.Herman@open.ac.uk.

Closing date:  Noon 10 December 2015

Interview date: Interviews will be held early January 2016

For detailed information and how to apply go to http://www.open.ac.uk/employment/job-details.asp?id=8931 or email Socsci-Recruitment@open.ac.uk quoting the reference number.

We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

— The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Book : Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai


Despite Mumbai’s position as India’s financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai’s dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters, Lisa Björkman shows how an elite dream to transform Mumbai into a “world class” business center has wreaked havoc on the city’s water pipes. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Björkman argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the highly contested futures and democratic possibilities of the actually existing city.

2015 Duke University Press

About the Author

Lisa Björkman is Assistant Professor of Urban and Public Affairs at University of Louisville, and Research Scholar at CETREN (Transregional Research Network), University of Göttingen.


Call for Papers : Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia, political and social uses of technical knowledge

Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia: political and social uses of technical knowledge

The 24th ECSAS (European Conference on South Asian Studies) will take place at the University of Warsaw (Poland) from 27 to 30 July 2016.


Berenice Girard (EHESS Paris) email
Vanessa Caru (CNRS ) email
Mail All Convenors

Short Abstract

This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia, to discuss its centrality in government policies. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner, to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools.

Long Abstract

This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools. The centrality of technology in government policies has been widely discussed in contemporary research. This panel would like to discuss this centrality while adopting a historical perspective on the evolving political use of technology and a specific focus on South Asia.

In the years following Independence, technology was conceived as a central tool to further the economic development and social policies of South Asian countries, and technical elites were offered important roles in the implementation of technocratic development programs. The present context of liberalisation and redefinition of the role of the State seems however to have brought both new uses and actors, as well as changes in the modes of interaction between States and technologies. We invite papers discussing this dynamic, and especially welcome case studies focusing on the specific use and place of technology in social policies. We further invite papers looking at processes of defining politically pertinent technologies, as well as detailed papers on the interaction and relationship between the different technical professional groups and the State. Finally, we also invite reflexions and case studies on how technology affects States’ prerogatives, balances of power and control over political territories and spaces in South Asia.

Propose paper

Book: Roads, an anthropology of infrastructure and expertise


Roads, An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise

Penny Harvey, Hannah Knox

Cornell University Press : http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100865490.

Roads matter to people. This claim is central to the work of Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox, who in this book use the example of highway building in South America to explore what large public infrastructural projects can tell us about contemporary state formation, social relations, and emerging political economies.

Roads focuses on two main sites: the interoceanic highway currently under construction between Brazil and Peru, a major public/private collaboration that is being realized within new, internationally ratified regulatory standards; and a recently completed one-hundred-kilometer stretch of highway between Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, and a small town called Nauta, one of the earliest colonial settlements in the Amazon. The Iquitos-Nauta highway is one of the most expensive roads per kilometer on the planet.

Combining ethnographic and historical research, Harvey and Knox shed light on the work of engineers and scientists, bureaucrats and construction company officials. They describe how local populations anticipated each of the road projects, even getting deeply involved in questions of exact routing as worries arose that the road would benefit some more than others. Connectivity was a key recurring theme as people imagined the prosperity that will come by being connected to other parts of the country and with other parts of the world. Sweeping in scope and conceptually ambitious, Roads tells a story of global flows of money, goods, and people—and of attempts to stabilize inherently unstable physical and social environments.

Book : Tamil Brahmans. The making of a middle-class caste

9780226152745 A cruise along the streets of Chennai—or Silicon Valley—filled with professional young Indian men and women, reveals the new face of India. In the twenty-first century, Indians have acquired a new kind of global visibility, one of rapid economic advancement and, in the information technology industry, spectacular prowess. In this book, C. J. Fuller and Haripriya Narasimhan examine one particularly striking group who have taken part in this development: Tamil Brahmans—a formerly traditional, rural, high-caste elite who have transformed themselves into a new middle-class caste in India, the United States, and elsewhere.Fuller and Narasimhan offer one of the most comprehensive looks at Tamil Brahmans around the world to date. They examine Brahman migration from rural to urban areas, more recent transnational migration, and how the Brahman way of life has translated to both Indian cities and American suburbs. They look at modern education and the new employment opportunities afforded by engineering and IT. They examine how Sanskritic Hinduism and traditional music and dance have shaped Tamil Brahmans’ particular middle-class sensibilities and how middle-class status is related to the changing position of women. Above all, they explore the complex relationship between class and caste systems and the ways in which hierarchy has persisted in modernized India.


Book : Impossible Engineering

k8911Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi

Chandra Mukerji


The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering–in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal’s surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. Continue reading

Book : Engineers and the Making of Francoist Regime

 In this book, Lino Camprubí argues that  science and technology were at the very center of the building of Franco’s Spain. Previous histories of early Francoist science and technology have described scientists and engineers as working “under” Francoism, subject to censorship and bound by politically mandated research agendas. Camprubí offers a different perspective, considering instead scientists’ and engineers’ active roles in producing those political mandates. Many scientists and engineers had been exiled, imprisoned, or executed by the regime. Camprubí argues that those who remained made concrete the mission of “redemption” that Franco had invented for himself. This gave them the opportunity to become key actors—and mid-level decision makers—within the regime.

Camprubí describes a series of projects across Spain undertaken by the civil engineers and agricultural scientists who placed themselves at the center of their country’s forced modernization. These include a coal silo, built in 1953, viewed as an embodiment of Spain’s industrialized landscape; links between laboratories, architects, and the national Catholic church (and between technology and authoritarian control); vertically organized rice production and research on genetics; river management and the contested meanings of self-sufficiency; and the circulation of construction standards by mobile laboratories as an engine for European integration. Separately, each chapter offers a fascinating microhistory that illustrates the coevolution of Francoist science, technology, and politics. Taken together, they reveal networks of people, institutions, knowledge, artifacts, and technological systems woven together to form a new state.


Publication : Looking through glass walls: Women engineers in Portugal

Looking through glass walls: Women engineers in Portugal

Women Studies International ForumVolume 45, July–August 2014, Pages 27–33

by Luisa Saavedra, Alexandra M. Araujo, Joao Manuel de Olivera and Christine Stephen

Women face significant barriers adjusting to the professional culture of engineers, which is strongly connected to hegemonic masculinity. This study aims to investigate how Portuguese female engineers negotiate their identities and subjective positions in a relational environment marked by this dominant form of masculinity. Drawing on the analyses of interviews with 39 female engineers, we focused on the ways women position themselves in this professional culture and cope with the gender regimes they experience in this environment. Using a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, we identified an essentialist and dichotomous discourse about what it is to be a man or a woman in engineering and the following four themes: disguising differences with similarities, assuming differences by valuing femininity, assuming differences and inequalities, and maintaining limits and respect. The participants in this study seemed to be stuck in a prison with transparent and unbreakable glass walls, which risks their personal and relational well-being.

Colloque ingénieurs FO 17 juin 2014 : programme

Colloque ingénieurs 17 juin 2014

Du savoir-faire artisanal d’Imhotep à la formalisation des connaissances de l’époque moderne, en passant par Gutenberg, de Vinci ou Eiffel, pour n’en citer que quelques-uns, l’expertise technique fut de tout temps le trait caractéristique de la figure de l’ingénieur, plaçant ce dernier au cœur des transformations économiques et sociales.

Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui au regard des évolutions technologiques et d’une société toujours plus fortement modelée par la rationalité économique et le court-terme ? Cela préfigure-t-il une transformation historique de l’identité de l’ingénieur ? Cela pose-t-il un regard nouveau sur le contenu et la valorisation de leur formation ? Sur leur recrutement au sein des entreprises ? Enfin, comment l’évolution de leur carrière dans l’excellence scientifique et la défense de la reconnaissance de leur qualification et de leur diplôme est-elle appréhendée par les ingénieurs ?
Autant de questions auxquelles les participants aux trois tables rondes tenteront de répondre. Continue reading

Online publication : the ICT sector in India

Roland Lardinois, en collaboration avec P. Vignesh Illavarasam, Le secteur des technologies de l’information et de la communication en Inde, Les études de l’emploi cadre, n°2014-07, Février 2014, Association pour l’emploi des cadres, Paris, 142 pages.


Le travail d’investigation réalisé a utilisé toutes les méthodes classiques : recherches et veilles documentaires, entretiens qualitatifs, enquête quantitative. Il éclaire sur une société et une économie où les transformations sont profondes. Ceci a pour premier effet de faire de l’Inde étudiée, un monde plus proche, mais néanmoins spécifique, tant par rapport aux pays développés que par rapport aux autres pays émergents. Toutes les données accumulées proposent une nouvelle lecture de la réalité indienne. Elles donnent à voir les conditions d’émergence d’une classe moyenne éduquée et urbaine dans un pays où la grande majorité des emplois relèvent du secteur primaire (agriculture) et dont la population vit massivement en milieu rural. Elles montrent aussi l’impact des choix politiques, publics et privés, privilégiant le développement du secteur des services IT. Continue reading

Call for papers : History of aluminium (19th-20th century)

L’aluminium, matière à création

XIXe-XXIe siècles
Colloque international
École des Hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris
11 et 12 décembre 2014
Matériau de la seconde industrialisation, symbole du progrès de la science puis de la « modernité », l’aluminium fait l’objet de perceptions contrastées : adoubé par certains créateurs (designers, couturiers, artistes), métal de l’exploit et la performance scientifique, technique ou sportive,  il  a dans d’autres domaines du monde social une image moins forte, car la banalité est moins glorieuse.
Pour ce dernier colloque de l’ANR Créalu, il s’agit de mettre en lumière, par une démarche pluridisciplinaire, les processus créatifs à l’œuvre depuis la découverte et l’invention d’un matériau nouveau au milieu du XIXe siècle : création d’un secteur industriel allant de la mine de bauxite aux objets du quotidien, réception et usages des produits de consommation courante ou d’exception, appropriation par les sociétés dans un contexte de globalisation. Continue reading

ENGIND Seminar : Aurélie Varrel – Researching on IT engineers return migration in the 2000s: socio-spatial trajectories and spatial mobility.

Le deuxième atelier de l’ANR ENGIND – Ingénieurs et société en Inde coloniale et post-coloniale se tiendra le 17 février 2014

de 14h à 17h, en salle 638, CEIAS-EHESS, 6e étage, 190-198 avenue de France, Paris
Métros : Bibliothèque (ligne 14) ou Quai de la gare (ligne 6)


Aurélie VARREL

(CEIAS – Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud- CNRS)

 Enquêter sur le retour des ingénieurs IT à Bangalore au début des années 2000 : trajectoires socio-professionnelles et mobilité spatiale 

Cette communication présentera certains résultats d’une enquête menée à Bangalore dans les années 2000 auprès d’un échantillon d’ingénieurs du secteur des hautes technologies. Ce groupe a pour double caractéristique d’une part le type d’emploi et le secteur d’activité en Inde, d’autre part une trajectoire spatiale et professionnelle originale : il s’agit d’ex-migrants revenus en Inde au terme d’une période d’expatriation professionnelle à l’étranger, principalement des États-Unis. Cette migration de retour s’est articulée avec l’évolution de la géographie économique à l’échelle mondiale, en dehors de toute incitation politique directe, ce qui en fait un cas sans précédent dans le domaine des études migratoires. Cette communication portera plus précisément sur la complexité du retour comme étape dans des trajectoires individuelles qui seront examinées à la fois sous l’angle des parcours professionnels et d’un point de vue spatial. Continue reading

ENGIND Seminar : Roland Lardinois – The Indian ITC Sector

ajjcddaj « Le secteur des technologies de l’information et de la communication en Inde. Éducation, formation et emploi des informaticiens »


Le premier atelier de l’ANR Ingénieurs et société en Inde coloniale et post-coloniale (ENGIND)

aura lieu le 7 janvier 2014 à 14h30 en salle 640

Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud/CNRS-EHESS

190 avenue de France 75013