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Citations: 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Awards Recipients

Dr. G. K. Surya Prakash:

Dr. G. K. Surya Prakash is currently Professor and holder of the George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also the Scientific Co-Director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at USC.

Dr. Surya Prakash received his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from IIT Madras in 1974. He joined the Noble Laureate Professor George Olah’s group at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio to pursue doctoral work. He moved with Professor Olah to the University of Southern California in 1977 to help establish the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and obtained his Ph.D. in physical-organic chemistry at USC in 1978.

Dr. Surya Prakash’s research interests are in the area of Synthetic Organic, Mechanistic and Hydrocarbon Chemistry. He has made many fundamental contributions in these areas. His pioneering work developing new ways to add fluorine to organic compounds has been critical to the boom in fluorinated molecules over the last few decades. He is a co-inventor of the proton exchange membrane based direct oxidation methanol fuel cell.

He has over 550 publications and 21 patents to his credit. He is one of the top 10 cited Chemists of Indian origin with over 7800 citations. He has also co-authored or edited 8 books. His latest book co-authored with G. A. Olah and A. Goeppert titled “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy” has been widely recognized. He has served as a member of the editorial board of a number of Chemistry journals. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He the recipient of a number of awards including the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship (2000), two American Chemical Society National Awards (2004 and 2006), and Tolman Medal (2006) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Chemistry.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Chemistry, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Dr.Raghu Ramakrishnan:

Dr. Raghu Ramakrishnan is currently Vice-President and Research Fellow at Yahoo! Research, heading the Community Systems group. He has been on the faculty of University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1987, and is currently Professor of Computer Science (on leave). He was also the Founder, CTO and Chairman of QUIQ, Inc. during the period 1999-2002. He received his B.Tech (Electrical Engineering) degree from IIT Madras and his PhD from University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Ramakrishnan’s research is in the area of database systems, in particular data storage and retrieval, query optimization, and data mining. His paper on the Birch Clustering Algorithm is one of the most widely cited database publications over the past decade, and received the 10-year Test of Time Award in 2006 from ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD). His work on the Magic Sets optimization and extension of relational queries over ordered relations have advanced commercial database systems and influenced the ANSI/ISO SQL:1999 standard. He received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award for his significant contributions to the field of database systems, and was elected Fellow of ACM in 2001.

He has written the standard text “Database Management Systems”, which is used world-wide, including at leading Indian and US universities. He was elected Chair of ACM SIGMOD in 2006. He is on the Board of Directors of ACM SIGKDD (Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery in Databases) and VLDB (Very Large Databases) Endowment.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of database systems and Computer Science in general, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Dr.Srinivas T.Rao:

Dr. Srinivas T. R. Rao is currently Vice President, Corporate Technology at Flextronics responsible for the new initiative on Advanced Materials. Prior to joining Flextronics hewas CEO and CTO of Molecular Nanosystems Inc., a stealth nanotechnology company in Palo Alto, California. Earlier, he was Vice President of technology at Solectron Corporation. He served as a Senior Scientist at Raychem Corporation. At Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories and RCA Laboratories he held key positions in technology management and research.

Dr. Rao earned his B.Tech degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (1973) and master’s and doctorate degrees in metallurgy and materials science from the Stevens Institute of Technology, USA.

Dr. Rao is known for his expertise in materials science, microelectronics and fabrication, electronic packaging, second level and system level assembly and nanotechnology. He has contributed in bringing new technologies into commercialization in the areas of videodisc technology, semiconductor lasers, erasable optical recording and environmentally conscious manufacturing and assembly. He holds numerous patents and is the author of several technical papers. He is Fellow of the Institute of Metal Finishing (UK), Chair of the Editorial Committee of Surface Mount Technology, and chair of Technical Committee – 22, “Electronic Manufacturing Services’ of IEEE’s CPMT.

Dr. Rao was conferred the Electronic Packaging and Production’s “Engineer of the Year” award in 2000. He was the recipient of the RCA’s Outstanding Achievement Award and the STAR Award (2004) for his services rendered to the Asian American community in Santa Clara County in California. He was a member of the Distinguished Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology (2005) for the state of California. In 2005, he was also recognized by International Electronics Initiative (INEMI) for his technical leadership.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the fields of materials science and electronics manufacturing, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Mr.Y.Gopala Rao:

Mr. Gopala Rao was until recently the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore. In a career spanning over three decades at BEL, he has made outstanding technical and business contributions to the company. Prior to joining BEL, he served as a faculty member at IIT Madras and Madras Institute of Technology. He received his B.Tech in 1967 and M.Tech in 1970 (Electrical Engineering) from IIT Madras.

Very early in his career, Mr. Gopala Rao was responsible for developing the first solid-state black and white television receiver, using solely indigenous components. At the helm of the component activities at BEL, he was responsible for the indigenous development and manufacture of several semiconductor devices for the communication and consumer electronics markets. In recognition of his contributions to the component industry, the Electronics Industries Association of India (ELCINA) awarded him the Electronics Man of the Year Award for 2003-04. As the Executive Director of the Bangalore Unit of BEL, he was responsible for introducing several new product lines, resulting in the growth of business from Rs. 569 crores in 1998-99 to Rs. 990 crores in 2000-01.

As Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Gopala Rao has transformed BEL into a customer-focused, competitive company for the supply of world-class products and turnkey solutions indefense and other chosen fields. The turnover of the company doubled over a period of four years, with a thrust on exports. Mr. Rao’s leadership at BEL helped the company garner many prestigious awards. BEL won the MoU Award in 2004 for being among the top ten public sector units for two consecutive years and the Raksha Mantri’s Award of Excellence in 2005. It also won the STAR PSU award for the year 2005. Based on operating performance, strategy, financial health and R&D, BEL has been ranked first among medium-sized aerospace / defense companies worldwide, for 2003-04 and 2004-05 by Aviation Week & Space Technology.

In recognition of Mr. Gopala Rao’s technical contributions and managerial excellence, IIT Madras and its alumni take pride in conferring on him this award.



Dr. K. Ramalingam, Chairman, Airports Authority of India, is a highly qualified and vastly experienced technocrat who has started his career with the Civil Aviation Department, Government of India in June 1972. He holds an M.Tech. (Electrical Engineering) degree from Indian Institute of Technology (lIT) Madras in 1971; and also a Post Graduate Diploma in Management with specialization in Information Technology. Recently, he has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Electronics and Communication Engineering by Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. Earlier, recognizing his outstanding contribution in Civil Aviation, Anna University awarded the Honorary Doctorate.

Dr. Ramalingam has 35 years of valuable experience in development and management of Airport Infrastructure and Air Navigation Infrastructure in senior level positions in AAI. Prior to becoming Chairman, he was whole-time Member (Planning) and held additional charge of Member (Operations) in the Board of AAI. He is also a Board Member of the Airports Council International (ACI)-Asia Pacific Region and Governing Board Member of ACI World.

An acknowledged expert in the field of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS), Dr. Ramalingam is on the Navigation System Panel (NSP) of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for preparation of standards and recommended practices. He is also a Member of Project Management Council for implementation of Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in India named GAGAN as a joint venture project of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and AAI. He was Technical Advisor with the Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL), first private sector airport in India.

Dr. Ramalingam played an important role as a Member of the Steering Committee for selection of Joint Venture Partners for Development of New International Airports at Devanhalli, Bangalore and Shamshabad near Hyderabad. He has also represented AAI in various committees set up by the Government of India to examine the need and location for Infrastructure Development of New Airports.

In recognition of his professional accomplishments and the dynamic leadership in the field of airport and air navigation infrastructure, IIT Madras and its alumni take pride in conferring on him this award.