Every year the Alumni Association of College of Engineering, Guindy (AACEG) selects a number of alumni for the Distinguished Alumnus Award. The categories are:
- Renowned Professors from Academic Institutes
- Eminent Scientist
- Illustrious Defense Personnel
- Prominent Industrialist / Entrepreneur / Administrator
- Prominent young Scientist/Entrepreneur/ Administrator (Less than 45 years of age)
- Outstanding Sports Personnel
- Eminent personnel in Arts and Music
- Philanthropist /Prominent Social Service rendered personnel
- Any Others (Specify)
This year’s distinguished alumni have excelled in academics, industry, military, sports, philanthropy, and general accomplishment (other). There was no awardee in the Arts and Music category. The accomplishments of these awardees exemplify the excellence of CEG. Here are the brief profiles of this year’s awardees.
Renowned Professors from Academic Institutes
Prof. S. Sadagopan (1973 ECE)
Professor Sadagopan is currently the Director (President) of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Bangalore (a Ph.D. granting University). As the first Director of IIIT-Bangalore, he is involved in the visioning, planning, and executing the growth of this Institute that is counted as one of the premier Institutes in India. He obtained his MS & Ph.D. Degree from Purdue University, the USA in 1979. He had taught at IIT Kanpur (1979 to 95) and IIM Bangalore (1995-99). His visiting professorships include GSM, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA; AIT, Bangkok, Thailand; and IIT, Madras. His research interests include Operations Research, Multi-criteria optimization, Simulation, and Enterprise computing. He was a Fulbright Fellow (1992) and a JN Tata Scholar (1976). He has received numerous academic excellence awards, including Lifetime achievement awards from Padode Foundation, BITES (Board for IT Education and Standards), and the MeltingPot2020 Innovation Summit. Other awards include the Technology Excellence Award from Intel India, Cisco Digital Pioneer Award, and Champion of Humanity Award, Hindustan Chamber of Commerce, Chennai.
Prof. G.B. Jaiprakash Narain (1969 Civil Eng.)
Prof. G.B. Jaiprakash Narain, former Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) S.R, MHRD, G.O.I, is a teacher par excellence with more than four decades of experience in teaching, research, administration, development, consultancy and extension projects in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He developed the Centre for Environmental Studies (CES) at CEG into a centre of international excellence. He has guided more than 75 postgraduate students in engineering for thesis and doctoral work and has published more than 90 technical papers in journals and conferences. At CES, he executed zero discharge of wastewater at the CEG campus. More than 35 common effluent treatment plants for treating textile bleaching, dyeing units, and tannery benefitted from his technical guidance and alleviated the distress of farmers from the pollution of rivers. Under his leadership at NITTTR, nearly 25000 Engineering teachers have been trained from 2001 until now. About 6,50,000 rural and downtrodden people have been trained in vocational education through 256 polytechnics in Southern states; 15 new polytechnics in eight states in the Northeastern region and Jammu and Kashmir were established and strategic plans developed. Prof. Jaiprakash Narain has received numerous awards, including Best Education and Best Teacher awards from the Indian Association of Applied Psychology, and Anna University service award. He was a member of the state Appellate authority (2007-2013) for Environment and Pollution control and President (2008-2010) of AACEG.
Dr. Sriram Rajamani (1991 CS)
Sriram Rajamani is a Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research India. His research interests are in designing, building, and analyzing computer systems in a principled manner. Over the years he has worked on various topics including Hardware and Software Verification, Type Systems, Language Design, Distributed Systems, Security, and Privacy. His current research interest is in combining Program Synthesis and Machine Learning. Together with Tom Ball, he was awarded the CAV 2011 Award for “contributions to software model checking, specifically the development of the SLAM/SDV software model checker that successfully demonstrated computer-aided verification techniques on real programs.” Sriram was elected ACM Fellow in 2015 for contributions to software analysis and defect detection. Recently, Sriram has been elected Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, and a master’s from the University of Virginia. Sriram was general chair for Principles of Programming Languages (POPL) 2015 in India and was program Co-Chair for Computer-Aided Verification (CAV) 2005. He co-founded the Mysore Park Series and the IEEE Integrated STEM Education (ISEC) conference series in India. He serves on the Communications of the ACM (CACM) editorial board as co-chair for special regional sections, to bring computing innovations from around the world to CACM.
Illustrious Defense Personnel
Captain Karthikeyan VSM (1979 EEE)
Capt. Karthikeyan started his career as an Assistant Engineer in the Maintenance Department of Tuticorin Thermal Power Project (TTPP). In 1982, he was commissioned in the Indian Air force (IAF). In 1983, he graduated as an Aeronautical Engineer (Electronics) from Air Force Technical College (AFTC) Bangalore. During his illustrious military career of over 30 years, he served in increasingly impactful roles in IAF. His service to India includes various relief and peace-keep operations. In 1995 he became Associate Member, Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers (AMIETE), and in 1997, he received an MTech. from IIT, Delhi, specializing in Management Systems. He pioneered the induction of MI-17 Medium Haul Helicopter and MI-35 Attack Helicopter into IAF. As the Commanding officer of the Ground Electronic Signal Unit (GESU), he was involved in the collection of valuable intelligence data at the borders. He mentored and trained IAF personnel all over India. For his exemplary contributions, he was awarded the Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India in the year 2008. He retired as Group Director from his deputation to Defense Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) Bangalore, where he was involved in the development of the Airborne Early Warning System.
Brigadier Nyamathullah Shabeer Ahamed (1980 EEE)
Brigadier Nyamathullah Shabeer Ahamed served 33 years in the Indian Army before he hung up his uniform on 31 May 2012. As a young Major Shabeer served with United Nations as Military Observer, in Liberia, Africa, responsible for the resolution of conflict and field operations in 1994. From 2003 to 2007 he headed the Defence Wing as the Defence Advisor at the High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was a rare distinction. This was an important post, as only Ambassadors / High Commissioners and Head of Defence Wings must formally present their credentials to host countries which then accept their nomination. He was awarded the Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army Commendation Card in 2003. He served as dean of Military Attaché Corps in Malaysia 2006-2007. He was awarded 12 various types of operational and Service medals during his service. Shabeer was, and still is, active in carrying out numerous social services including being an advisor to the Ex-servicemen Forum of Chengalpattu District to help all the retired soldiers and their families for resettlement, upliftment, and education. Along with his spouse, he rendered services for various social causes and especially needs of special children in India and Malaysia.
Prominent Industrialist / Entrepreneur / Administrator
C.R. Sasi (1963 TCE)
C.R. Sasi joined the Indian Engineering Service in 1964. He is a Chartered Engineer and Registered Independent Director with 56 years of service in government, industry, and academics. His roles included administrator, manager, director, consultant, entrepreneur, mentor, and trainer. He has been actively engaged with the Alumni Association of College of Engineering, Guindy (AACEG) for 50 years, having held the position of President during 2006 and 2007 (Building Project & Career Guidance). He was Chairman of the IEEE Madras Section during 1989 and 1990 and is currently the Chairman, Life Member Affinity Group. Sasi is a founding member of Information Technology Enablers for the Disabled (INTEND) and Wireless Advisor at the Indian Red Cross Society. He is currently Director, Munoth Industries Ltd., Lithium Cell manufacturing in Andhra Pradesh, an Rs.1000 crore project, which is a first in India under Make in India Project. At M.N.M Jain Engineering College, he is a Governing Council Member (Tamil Nadu Govt. nominee). A seasoned mentor, accredited by city and guilds, he is active at Bharatiya Yuva Shakthi Trust and Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute. In his capacity as an advisor to Ability Foundation, he is involved in employability training for those who are differently-abled.
Dr. Shantha Mohan (1971 ECE)
Dr. Shantha Mohan is an entrepreneur with software engineering and operations management expertise who currently serves as Executive in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s Integrated Innovation Institute. She rose to a software engineering leadership position in Consilium Inc., a public company in the manufacturing execution system domain, and then went on to co-found Retail Solutions Inc., a leader in retail analytics. Under her leadership, Retail Solution became a leader in the retail analytics market serving customers such as PepsiCo, Unilever, P&G, Nestle, and many other CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) leaders. She has over thirty years of experience as a product development leader. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Editor’s Choice award for the Women in IT Awards, New York. She serves on the board of Alumni Association of College of Engineering, Guindy, North America (CEGAANA), and was instrumental in starting a CEG student mentoring program. She is the author of Roots and Wings: Inspiring Stories of Engineering Women in India, which chronicles the lives of pioneering engineering women of CEG who graduated between 1943 and 1971.
Premchand Kurup (1982 ECE)
Premchand is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Barcode Gulf Headstart Global and Paramount Computer Systems, all in Dubai. He has over thirty years of industry experience, including 25 years in the management of technology-dominant businesses. His expertise includes startup management, strategy consulting, corporate sales, channel management, and executive mentoring. He is a charter member of Dubai TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). He was motivated by “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and an ardent desire to create a company that is respected in the market-place. With a mission of “Building People, Building Entrepreneurs, and Building Organizations”, he has been on the entrepreneurial journey having co-founded three companies and created over 20 Entrepreneurs who in turn have generated employment for over 250 people. Premchand is the winner of the prestigious Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Business Excellence. He is a prolific speaker, having spoken at several symposiums and delivered guest lectures at management institutes, international and local conventions in UAE, India, and the United States. He considers himself a learner and teacher in the workplace.
Prominent young Scientist/Entrepreneur/ Administrator
Durai Raj (2002 MTech.)
Durai Raj received his MTech. in Laser & Electro-Optical Engineering, in 2002 from CEG. His bachelor’s degree is from Madurai Kamaraj University in Electrical & Electronics Engineering. He joined the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2002 at the Space Applications Center, Ahmedabad. In 2007, he started working at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, ISRO. As a Space Scientist in ISRO, Durai made significant contributions in the development of spacecraft systems in the areas of remote sensing, meteorology, planetary missions (such as Chandrayaan). At the age of 44, he is currently the Division Head, Artificial Intelligence & Space Robotics Division, involved in the development of ISRO’s prestigious Gaganyaan Human Space Mission. He has received multiple awards, including the ISRO Young Scientist Award-2010 for the meritorious contribution in spacecraft technology to the Indian Space Programme and the ISRO Team Excellence Award-2017 for the contribution to the development of GSAT-19, India’s first High Throughput satellite. He is a member of various national bodies including the Indian Society of Systems for Science & Engineering (ISSE) and National Institution for Quality and Reliability (NIQR).
Outstanding Sports Personnel
Krishnamachari Srikkanth (1981 EEE)
Srikkanth is a former captain of the Indian Cricket Team and a key member of the 1983 World-Cup winning Indian cricket team. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Selection Committee that picked the 2011 world-cup winning Indian cricket team. In 2019 he received the prestigious Life-Time Achievement Award from the BCCI. He was the Brand Ambassador for the Chennai Super Kings during the inception of the IPL Cricket Tournament, and subsequently, also served as a mentor for the Sun Risers Hyderabad Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team. He works as a broadcaster and expert commentator with various sports channels and is currently one of the leading expert cricket commentators in the Star Sports group of channels. He is well-known for his talk shows on leadership, positive thinking, overcoming fear of failure, often including management analogies from the field of cricket. Srikkanth is passionate about education and skill development and has launched a number of unique educational digital/E-learning initiatives that use the language of cricket to make learning interesting and easy to understand. They include learning spoken-English, personality development and career enhancement, math and science through sports, and learning to play cricket online.
Philanthropist /Prominent Social Service rendered personnel
P. Suresh (1979 Mech)
He is the Managing Director of Arun Excello Group of Companies, which he started in 1987 as an engineering contracts company. It has grown into one of the reputable names in the field of execution of engineering contracts both in India and abroad on a turnkey basis. Starting in 1997, the group has branched into real estate around Chennai and recently launched an active retirement community at Mahabalipuram. Under Suresh’s leadership, the company has won many awards and accolades. His group created Vidya Mandir @ Estancia, a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) school in partnership with Vidya Mandir, Mylapore, to be run on a Not-for-Profit basis in Vallanchery. He is also a member of the Management Committee of the school. Another CBSE format school created by his group is the PS Temple Green Vidyashram, in partnership with P.S. Senior Secondary School, Mylapore located in Oragadam, near the Automobile Hub, also as a non-profit. Suresh has a master’s in Industrial Management from IIT, Kharagpur.
General Overall Accomplishment
Shobana Radhakrishnan (1996 EEE)
Shobana is Director of Engineering, Android TV – Google, leading next-generation TV with product and research groups across Google. She has held various technical leadership roles at Roku, Mindflash Technologies, and Netflix (Video Metadata Platforms). She has a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Shobana is an active conference speaker and host including international conferences such as Amazon AWS Reinvent, QCon, Grace Hopper, and Yahoo Conferences. Shobana is an active philanthropist over 20+ years including children’s education and mental health, women in tech, women in STEM, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives across Roku, Google, Netflix, Yahoo, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She influenced the adoption of several diversity initiatives at Netflix, Yahoo, and Google. She is also an experienced Entrepreneur. As part of the CEO’s team for Mindflash, she helped its growth with 100+ business partnerships. She founded the grassroots organization, Tekspark, to serve gender, racial and ethnic diversity working with school children and professionals to spread knowledge and help them become confident with technology.