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Citations: 2002 Distinguished Alumnus Awards Recipients

B S Sudhir Chandra:

Shri B. S. Sudhir Chandra received his B.Tech. degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1964.

Shri Sudhir Chandra joined the Railways in November 1965 after successful completion of the Combined Engineering Services Examination of 1964. From 1967 onwards, Shri Sudhir Chandra has worked in various capacities in Central Railway, North East Frontier Railway, South Eastern Railway and Southern Railway. From a probationer in 1965, he rose to the position of General Manager of Central Railway in 2001 and finally became a member of the Railway Board in 2002.

In a span of 36 years, Shri Sudhir Chandra has held with Distinction many positions in the Indian Railways: Assistant Engineer, Executive Engineer, Deputy Chief Engineer, Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Chief Track Engineer, Divisional Railway Manager, General Manager and finally Member of the Railway Board. He has also served for five years with the Zambian Railways (on deputation) where he oversaw the construction of a railway line from Malawi to Zambia.

As Chief Administrative Officer, Shri Sudhir Chandra completed the guage conversion of the 311 km Tambaram – Trichy section, in addition to completing guage conversions and construction of double line to an extent of 440 km. He executed the construction of a number of bridges with Pile foundations on the Diva – Bassein Rail Link project using innovative techniques in treacherous soil conditions. For the very first time in Indian Railways, he completed the construction of a bridge using the Diaphram Wall Technique. He was responsible for the construction of a number of tunnels and viaducts on South East and North East Ghats in Central Railway for laying a third track. He started the construction of a Cable Stayed Bridge with a central pylon and unbalanced spans of 45 m and 135 m in Bangalore, again a first for Indian Railways.

Shri Sudhir Chandra’s career combines engineering excellence and administrative ability of a very high order. The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is proud to confer the Distinguished Alumnus Award on Shri B. S. Sudhir Chandra.


K V Rangaswamy:

Shri K V Rangaswami received his B.Tech. degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1965. He is also an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

KVR, as he is affectionately known, has worked with the well known Larsen and Toubro Limited since graduation, having joined the Engineering Construction Corporation (ECC), a wholly owned subsidiary of L&T as a Junior Engineer in 1965. Today he is the Executive Vice-President – Buildings and Infrastructure Cluster – ECC Division of Larsen and Toubro Limited.

Since 1965, Shri Rangaswami has held many important positions in the L&T organisation: Head, Pre-cast, pre-stressed concrete structures; Planning Manager and later Business Development Manager, Chennai Regional Office; Regional Manager, Chennai Region during which period he completed the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Puttaparthy Super Speciality Hospital. In 1992 he assumed charge as Joint General Manager (Civil) at ECC headquarters and in 1994 General Manager (Civil). In 1998 he became Vice-President (Building and Infrastructure Projects). Since December 2001 he has been Executive Vice President (Building & Infrastructure Cluster). This cluster contributed approximately Rs.2,200 Crores of business to the ECC Division which had a total turnover of 3600 Crores in 2001-2002.

Shri Rangaswami serves as a Director in a number of L&T associated companies and in other prestigious companies such as Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited, Bangalore International Airports Limited and L&T Holdings Limited among others.

Shri Rangaswami was responsible for the success of such projects as the International Technology Park Limited in Bangalore, the Ready Mixed Concrete business of L&T, and the HITEC City at Hyderabad.

Shri K. V. Rangaswami’s career provides an excellent role model for young engineers beginning their careers. The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is proud to confer the Distinguished Alumnus Award on Shri Rangaswami.


Dr. Meera Chandrasekha r (nee Chandrapal):

Prof. Meera Chandrasekhar (nee Chandrapal) obtained the M.Sc. degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1970. She subsequently obtained another Masters and the Ph.D. degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She spent about two years as a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany before joining the University of Missouri at Columbia as a faculty member of the Physics Department.

Awards and prizes have come at regular intervals to Prof. Chandrasekhar, for excellence in both teaching and research. In 1992, she was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. Prof. Chandrasekhar’s most significant contributions have been in the area of optical properties of semi-conductors and superconductors.

In 1983, Prof. Chandrasekhar established a research laboratory at the University of Missouri for optical studies at high pressures (upto two hundred thousand atmospheres) and low temperatures (down to liquid helium at 4.2 K). At the time there were only five other laboratories in the US with similar capabilities, among them the facilities at IBM, Xerox, Harvard and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Two decades later, her techniques are still considered to be among the best.

The focus of Prof. Chandrasekhar’s work has been in the pressure behaviour of multiple quantum well structures (superlattices). These structures are increasingly important due to their unique properties and device application, including solid state lasers. Using the tools of high pressure coupled with a variety of optical techniques such as absorption, photoluminescence, Raman scattering and photo-modulated reflectivity, Prof. Chandrasekhar’s group has elucidated the optical and electronic properties of semiconductor heterostructures. Her recent interests include the exciting new area of organic semiconductors.

Interested in outreach and mentoring, Prof. Chandrasekhar has developed programs in the physical sciences for schools and teacher training. The program was particularly targeted at female students because of the well known phenomenon of their dropping physical science courses from their curriculum in the later years of high school.

Prof. Chandrasekhar’s achievements in teaching, research and service to the community make her a unique member of the academic fraternity. The Indian Institute of Technology Madras is proud to confer the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Prof. Meera Chandrasekhar.