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Citations: 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Awards Recipients

Dr. L.Mahadevan:

Prof. L. Mahadevan received his B.Tech (Mechanical Engineering) degree from IIT Madras in 1986, Masters (Engineering Mechanics) degree from University of Texas at Austin in 1987, Masters (Mathematics) degree and PhD from Stanford University in 1992 and 1995, respectively.

Prof. Mahadevan is presently England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, and is also affiliated with the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining Harvard University, he was the inaugural holder of the Schlumberger Chair in Complex Physical Systems in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University and Professorial Fellow at Trinity College. He started his academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 and is currently Schlumberger Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

Prof. Mahadevan uses quantitative approaches to understand the non-linear and non-equilibrium mechanical behavior of living and nonliving matter. Much of the inspiration for his work arises from simple curiosity about what might be deemed familiar phenomena but are nevertheless broadly relevant to questions in a variety of fields. His approach is a very practical one – using whatever it takes to understand a problem: experiment and theory, analysis and computation, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, biology… His research on how a Venus flytrap works is a typical example of this, as are his studies on problems such as the dynamics of occlusion and rescue in sickle cell disease, the crumpling of paper, the drying of mud, the patterns in flowing liquids, the mechanics of DNA, etc.

Prof. Mahadevan has more than a hundred publications to his credit and has received many awards and given many named lectures. These include the Society of Engineering Science’s Young Investigator Medal (2000), MIT’s Edgerton award (2000), the G I Taylor Lectureship at the Cambridge Philosophical Society (2001), a Chaire Condorcet at Ecole Normale Superieure-Paris (2001), the Alan Tayler Lectureship at Oxford University (2003), Harvard’s Ledlie prize (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), a Miller Visiting Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley (2007), an Ig-Nobel prize (2007), the Penner Lectureship at the University of California, Sa Diego (2008), and most recently, a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), for work exhibiting outstanding creativity and promise.

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


Dr. Jagadeesh S Moodera:

Dr. Jagadeesh S. Moodera received his Ph.D in Physics from IIT Madras in 1978. He obtained his M. Sc (Physics) degree from Mysore University.

Dr. Jagadeesh S. Moodera is presently a scientist and leads the Thin Film Magnetism, Tunneling and Nanospintronics group at the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. Prior to joining MIT, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at West Virginia University, Morgantown.

Dr. Moodera’s contribution to academics revolves around both fundamental and applied aspects of Physics. He pioneered research on spin polarized tunneling, transport and thin film magnetic structures. Among other research accomplishments, his (patented) work on room temperature tunnel magneto-resistance is considered to be a path-breaking discovery that has already revolutionized high-density magnetic data storage and nonvolatile magnetic random access memory devices are being developed for future technology. In the field of spin transport, Dr. Moodera is considered a world leader, and several groups around the world are collaborating with him.

Dr. Moodera is passionate about motivating young minds to engage in cutting edge research. Dr. Moodera is recognized as an extremely effective and inspiring team leader. His recent publications, which include 5 in Physical Review Letters in 2008 alone, are a reflection of his sustained zeal towards research. He has contributed over 150 papers in peer reviewed journals, and delivered over 170 invited talks, colloquia at national and international conferences, universities and companies in more than 12 countries. He has more than 5000 scientific citations and has been serving as a member of advisory boards in several research bodies including NSF, USA.

Dr. Moodera has been the recipient of several honors and awards including the prestigious American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship by National Science Foundation, and the Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics of American Physical Society in 2009.

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


Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayana:

Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan received his B. Tech (Chemical Engineering) degree from IIT Madras in 1982 and M. Tech (Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology) degree from IIT Delhi in 1984.

Mr. Shrikumar is presently the Director General of the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises of India (ABLE), Bangalore, Advisor to the Department of Biotechnology and to the DBT UICT Center for Energy Biosciences, Mumbai and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Biocon Limited.

His professional career with Biocon Limited started in 1984 with the establishment of the R & D division and rose to the level of President, R & D. During this period, Mr. Shrikumar was responsible for development of many processes for industrial enzymes, the design and construction of a novel bioreactor for Solid State Fermentation, that was described as an outstanding innovation in the field of fermentation technology by Prof. Charles Cooney of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The invention also received the 2001 Biotechnology Process Development award from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

He was also responsible for development of several processes for the development of pharmaceutical small molecules by fermentation and synthetic chemistry, and a Bio-therapeutics program which included injected and oral insulin, several recombinant therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies. He was instrumental in seeing Biocon grow from a small company manufacturing industrial enzymes to a specialized biopharmaceutical company with market capitalization in excess of a billion dollars, currently ranked seventh largest employer globally among biotechnology companies.

Mr. Shrikumar has made significant contributions to the development of biotechnology education in India and abroad. He has been visiting faculty at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden and is currently an adjunct faculty with the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras. He is also member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Department of Biotechnology and is a Board Member of IIT Madras Research Park.

Mr. Shrikumar has recently established two post doctoral fellowships at Biotechnology Department IIT Madras, and has funded student participation in MIT’s International Genetically Engineered Machines 2008 competition.

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


Mr. K Ravi Kumar:

Mr. K. Ravi Kumar received his M. Tech (Electrical Engineering) degree, from IIT Madras in 1972, and also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Mr. Ravi Kumar is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, a USD 5 billion company that ranks among the leading companies of the world engaged in the field of Power Plant Equipment. As CMD, he is responsible for maximizing market-share and establishing BHEL as a total solution provider in Power Sector. He has handled variety of assignments during his long career spanning 36 years. His fields of expertise are Design & Engineering, Construction & Project Management of Thermal, Hydro, Nuclear, Gas based Power Plants and Marketing of Power Projects.

Mr. Ravi Kumar has the unique distinction of having booked USD 25 billion orders for BHEL. His vision is to transform BHEL into a world class engineering enterprise. Towards this, he has been pursuing a growth strategy based on the twin planks of building both capacity and capability, and this has resulted in an increase in BHEL’s manufacturing capacity from 10,000 MW to 20,000 MW per annum. He also introduced new technologies in the field of coal and gas based power plants for the first time in the country, such as Supercritical thermal sets of 660 MW and above rating, Advance class Gas Turbines, Large size CFBC Boilers and Large size Nuclear sets. BHEL has the distinction of having installed over 1,00,000 MW of Power Plant Equipment worldwide.

Mr. Ravi Kumar has also forged number of strategic tie-ups for BHEL with leading Indian utilities and others like NTPC, TNEB, NPCIL, MMTC, HEC to leverage equipment sales and develop alternate sources for equipment needed for the country. He has been guiding BHEL’s technology strategy to maintain the technology edge in the marketplace with a judicious mix of internal development of technologies with selective external co-operation. He has focused on meeting customer expectations and has strengthened the BHEL’s image as a total solution provider.

Mr. Ravi Kumar has presented a number of papers in the fields of Electronics and Energy in National and International Seminars.

In recognition of his professional accomplishments, leadership qualities and outstanding contributions to Indian Industry, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


M G Parameswaran:

Mr. M G Parameswaran (popularly known as “Ambi”) received his B. Tech (Chemical Engineering) degree from IIT Madras in 1977 and PGDBM (MBA) from IIM Calcutta in 1979.

Mr. Ambi Parameswaran is presently the CEO and Executive Director of DraftFCB Ulka Advertising Private Ltd, Mumbai, India?s fourth largest marketing communication firm. In his marketing and sales career, he has worked with companies like Rediffusion DY&R, Boots Company India and UDI Yellow Pages. During his twenty year stint with Ulka Advertising, he has played a key role in the turnaround of the agency and has set up and built several new divisions such as Nebula Films, Direct/Digital, HealthCare and Cogito Brand Consulting. Mr. Ambi Parameswaran helped build major Indian Brand in diverse categories such as automotive, healthcare, entertainment, consumer goods, IT services etc.

Mr. Ambi Parameswaran has been consistently ranked among the 20 most influential advertising professionals and as one of the 50 most influential people in Indian marketing and media. He has also been a core faculty in Strategic Brand Management at IIMC during the last six years for PGP and PGP Executive MBA students, and a guest lecturer at several management schools. He has also conducted training programs and branding workshops for leading companies in India and the region; he is a regular speaker at industry seminars organized by Indian Society of Advertisers, CII, FICCI, ASCI and Bombay/ Madras Management Associations.

Mr. Parameswaran has written more than 100 articles, three books, including one award winner, on branding, advertising and consumer research, and is a recipient of honor from Indira Group of Institutions for his Lifetime Contributions to the Advertising Industry. He was named to the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta in 2007. He is an active member of the PanIIT Alumni organization for over six years.

In recognition of his professional accomplishments and outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to the advertising industry, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


D. Chandrasekhar:

Mr. D. Chandrasekhar (DC to friends and well-wishers) obtained his B. Tech. (Metallurgy) from IIT Madras in 1970, and spent 18 months in training in the aluminum aerospace industry in Germany.

He is known as an entrepreneur with the Midas touch. He began as a first-generation entrepreneur with zero capital in the small-scale sector way back in 1974 and made a success of many companies in different areas of engineering: machine-building, aluminum foundry, electro-less nickel coating, light chemicals. He holds an enviable record in industrial harmony — 34 years as entrepreneur and zero hours lost!

His products have found useful applications far and wide. UNICEF uses his salt-testing kits for checking iodine content in iodized salt in more than 120 countries he is the single global supplier. He exported and commissioned over 150 salt iodization plants in 12 countries. His low-cost application for gold-plating on metallic and non-metallic surfaces led to more glittering Gopura Kalasams, in great temples such as Kapaleeswarar temple. It also has many domestic and retail sector applications.

Mr. Chandrasekhar has been associated with coffee he was part of the team Qwikys that set up India’s first coffee caf� chain. He has twice won the Regional Export Award of the Government of India’s Engineering Export Promotion Council.

Mr. Chandrasekhar has played Good Samaritan in the social sector, particularly in the areas of education and health services. To illustrate: he was in the managing committee of the Ramakrishna Ashrama for over 25 years. Founder member of the Madras Dyslexia Association, he has been its President for the past six years. He is founder-trustee of the Rotary Central TTK-VHS Blood Bank; founder-member of the VHS Institute of Cardio Vascular Sciences; secretary (1995) of the IIT Madras Alumni Association; secretary of the IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust and IIT Madras Research Foundation; Chairman – Finance Committee of the PanIIT 2008 Alumni Global Conference.

In recognition of his entrepreneurial excellence and outstanding contributions to society, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.