Rajiv Gupta

Rajiv Gupta is an engineer, a repeat entrepreneur and currently an executive at McAfee.

Early life

Gupta earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur around 1984. He received his Ph.D. in compiler optimization from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1990. He married a British woman, Debra and they have two children – Veda and Anya. He resides in Los Altos.


Gupta joined Hewlett-Packard in 1990, and developed the IA-64 architecture, which HP called WideWord and Intel marketed as Itanium. From 1995 he developed a client utility project at HP Labs, which was an early example of a service-oriented architecture for Web services. He was co-inventor and general manager of the E-speak project when it was announced in 1999. Around the same time, he supported his brother Sanjiv Gupta, to start Bodhtree Consulting, Ltd., in Hyderabad, India. The E-speak technology was abandoned in late 2001. In 2002, Gupta founded Confluent Software, developing what became the CoreSV product. It was acquired by Oblix in February 2004, which in turn was acquired by Oracle Corporation in March, 2005. In 2005 he founded Securent, which was acquired by Cisco in November 2007 for an estimated $100 million. He has more than 45 patents.

In 2011 Gupta founded Skyhigh Networks. The first round of financing was led by Greylock Partners in April, 2012, for about $6.5 million. The company raised $20 million in May, 2013, led by Sequoia Capital. Another investment of $40 million was announced in June, 2014, from existing investors and Salesforce.com.

On November 28, 2017, McAfee announced it would acquire Skyhigh Networks and appoint Rajiv Gupta as the head of McAfee’s entire cloud business.

Arti Agrawal

Arti Agrawal is a scientist and engineer known for her work on computational photonics as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM; she has been recognized in both of these areas by a number of awards. Her research is focused on numerical modeling and simulation of photonic devices and optical components. Agrawal is currently serving as Associate Professor and the Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney and Associate Vice President of Diversity for the IEEE Photonics Society.

Early life and education

Agrawal was born in New DelhiIndia. She earned her Ph.D. in Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2005, developing mathematical techniques to study optical beam propagation in waveguides  with Anurag Sharma. Agrawal was awarded a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship to study photonic crystal fibers at the City, University of London; she then spent almost a decade working there as a researcher, lecturer, and PhD adviser.

Research and career

Agrawal is an author or editor of a number of books on computational photonics and over 50 peer-reviewed articles. She teaches physics, optics, and engineering courses. Her areas of expertise include finite element methodssolar cellsphotonic crystal fibersnanophotonics, non-paraxial optics, supercontinuum generation, and biomedical optics.

Agrawal has engaged with numerous organizations and projects relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, including outreach to young students, creating internship and scholarship opportunities for women, founding networking groups, organizing conferences, and is currently leading a department dedicated to women in STEM. She focuses her efforts on women, people of color, and those identifying as LGBTQ+.

Awards, selected

Academic service, selected

  • Associate Vice President of Diversity, IEEE Photonics Society
  • Chair and Board Member, Membership Engagement and Development Council, OSA
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Photonics Journal
  • Section Editor, Journal of the European Optical Society
  • Organizer, Women in Engineering Symposium, 2019
  • Founder, GWN (LGBTQ+Women’s Networking) Multicultural group, 2009

Publications, selected

Recent Trends in Computational Photonics, Springer (2017)

  • Finite Element Time Domain Methods for Photonics, Springer (2017)
  • “Hut-like pillar array Si solar cells,” Solar Energy (2016)
  • “Golden spiral photonic crystal fiber: polarization and dispersion properties,” Optics Letters (2008)
  • “New method for nonparaxial beam propagation,” Journal of the Optical Society of America A (2004)

Susmita Mohanty

Dr. Susmita Mohanty (born 1971) is an Indian spaceship designer, serial space entrepreneur and a climate action advocate. She is well known for her research on space related topics. She co-founded India’s first private space start-up, Earth2Orbit in 2009. She is the only space entrepreneur in the world to have started companies on three different continents in Asia, Europe and North America. Susmita is one of the few people to have visited both the Arctic and Antarctica.


She was born in Cuttack and was raised up in Ahmedabad. She was highly influenced to venture into space research by her father Nilamani Mohanty who was a former ISRO scientist.


She completed her bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering from Gujarat University and master’s degree in Industrial Design from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. She also completed Masters in Space studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg.

She co-founded Moonfront, an aerospace consulting firm based in San Francisco in 2001, which marked her entry into space entrepreneurship. She also co-founded Liquifer System Group (LSG), an aerospace architecture and design firm in ViennaAustria in 2004. She also served as one of the prominent members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace Architecture for over a period of ten years while she was residing in California. In 2005, she was conferred with the International Achievement Award for promoting international cooperation. She was included in the elite list of 25 Indians to Watch by the Financial Times magazine in 2012 and also featured on the front cover page of Fortune magazine in 2017.

She was nominated to the World Economic Forum‘s Global Future Council for Space Technologies for a period of three consecutive years from 2016 to 2019. She was included in the BBC‘s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.

Kumares C. Sinha

Kumares C. Sinha is an Indian-American engineer, researcher and educator known for contributions to transportation systems analysis, transportation infrastructure economics and management, transportation safety, and the use of emerging technologies in transportation. He has served as Edgar B. and Hedwig M. Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. since 1998.


Sinha received his bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University in India in 1961, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Connecticut in 1966 and 1968, respectively. He was a faculty member at Marquette University for six years before joining the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue in 1974. Sinha served as Head of the Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Area in the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue from 1981 to 2001 and Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program of Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Transportation from 1995 to 2010. He was a visiting professor of Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in fall 1980 and at the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, India, in spring 1981. He was also Lockheed Martin Guest Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida during 2015-2016 and Hagler Fellow and Eminent- Scholar-in-Residence at Texas A&M University during 2016-2017. He has been an Honorary or a Guest Professor at five universities in China.

Sinha conducts research in the areas of highway infrastructure planning, engineering and management. One of his chief contributions is the development of an integrated approach to highway-asset-management based on facility condition modeling, treatment effectiveness and life-cycle costing. Sinha’s studies on system performance, costing, and network optimization have informed pavement, bridge and safety management systems developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has also served as a consultant for the World Bank and the United Nations Environmental Program, conducting transportation systems analysis and planning in countries such as Bangladesh, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Nepal, Palestine and Yemen, among others. He was one of the early advocates for the use of advanced technologies in transportation. He and his colleagues at Purdue were early researchers conducting experiments for shared mobility service. Sinha’s most recent work examines the impacts of autonomous transportation and connected vehicles. He is the co-author (with Samuel Labi) of Transportation Decision MakingPrinciples of Project Development and Programming (Wiley & Sons, 2007).

Sinha is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Journal of Transportation Engineering (ASCE), and he serves on the editorial boards of Transportation and Statistics (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, US DOT), the Journal of Transportation in Developing Economies (Springer), the Journal of Transportation (Institute of Transportation Engineers), and the Archives of Transport Quarterly (Polish Academy of Sciences). He has served as President of the Transportation & Development Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), President of the Research and Education Division of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), and President of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC). He also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board (2011- 2017),[  Strategic Highway Research Program Oversight Committee (2009- 2015), Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts, US National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission (2006- 2007), and Federal Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics (2001- 2005).

Honors and awards

Sinha was elected member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2008 “for contributions to the advancement of highway infrastructure engineering and management and to the education of transportation professionals worldwide.” He was recognized as a Distinguished University Alumnus of Jadavpur University, India in 2017, an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2005 and a member of the University of Connecticut School of Engineering’s Academy of Distinguished Engineers (2004). Sinha has received many awards including the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the 8th International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements (2016), the ASCE James Laurie Prize (2011), the Transportation Research Board’s Roy W. Crum Award (2009), the Council of University Transportation Centers Lifetime Achievement Award for University Transportation Education and Research (2004), the Wilbur S. Smith Distinguished Transportation Educator Award (2002) given jointly by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and several other professional organizations, the ASCE Francis C. Turner Lecture Award (2001),] the American Road and Transportation Builders Association Steinberg Award (1999), the ASCE Harland Bartholomew Award (1996), the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award of the University of Connecticut (1995), the ASCE Arthur Wellington Prize (1992), the ASCE Frank M. Masters Transportation Engineering Award (1986), and the Fred Burggraf Award of the Transportation Research Board (1972). Sinha was also recognized as a National Associate of the National Academies in 2005 for his involvement in numerous committees and panels of the National Research Council.


Fwa,T.F. and Sinha,K.C. (1986), A Unified Approach for Allocation of Highway Pavement Costs , Transportation Research –A, Vol. 20A, No.3, 211-221.

Doherty,M.J., Sparrow,F.T. and Sinha,K.C. (1987), Public (Shared) Use of Autos: Mobility Enterprise Projec t, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 113, No.1, 84-100.

Feighan,K.J., Shahin, M.Y., Sinha, K.C. and White, T.D. (1989), Application of Dynamic Programming and Other Mathematical Techniques to Pavement Management SystemsTransportation Research Record 1200, 90-98.

Sharaf, E.A., Shahin, M.Y. and Sinha (1989), Analysis of the Effect of Deferring Pavement MaintenanceTransportation Research Record 1205, 29-35.

Saito,M., Sinha, K.C. and Anderson, V. (1991), Statistical Models for the Estimation of Bridge Replacement ModelsTransportation Research-A, Vol. 25A, No.6, 339-350.

Karlaftis, M.G., Latoski, S., Richards, N. and Sinha, K.C. (1999), ITS Impacts on Safety and Traffic Management: An Investigation of Secondary Crash CausesITS Journal, Vol.5, 39-52.

Sinha, K.C., Sustainability and Urban Public Transportation (2003), ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 129, No. 4, 331-341.

Li, Z. and Sinha, K.C. (2004), Methodology for Multi-Criteria Decision-Making in Highway Asset ManagementTransportation Research Record 1885, 79-87.

Bai, Q., Labi, S., Sinha, K.C. (2012). Tradeoff Analysis for Multiobjective Optimization in Transportation Asset Management by Generating Pareto Frontiers Using Extreme Points Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm IIASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol.138, No. 6, 798-806

Everett, S., Xiong, Y., Sinha, K.C. and Fricker (2013). Ex Post Facto Evaluation of Indiana’s Highway Investment ProgramTransportation Research Record 2345, 24-30.

Kumar, I., Tyner, W.E. and Sinha, K.C. (2016). Input–output Life Cycle Environmental Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Utility Scale Wind Energy in the United StatesEnergy Policy. 89: 294-301

Sinha, K.C., Labi, S. Agbelie, B., (2017). Transportation Infrastructure Asset Management in the New Millennium: Continuing Issues, and Emerging Challenges and OpportunitiesTransportmetrica Part A: Transport Science 13(7), 591–606

Chanan Singh

Chanan Singh is an Indian-American electrical engineer and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University. He was named Irma Runyon Chair Professor and Texas A&M System Regents Professor.


Singh got his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and B.Sc. (honors) from the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India.


From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M and later, from 2012 to 2015, he served as Interim Head. He has held a position as a Guest Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He has also served as Program Director at the National Science Foundation of USA. He is also a principal and Vice-President of Associated Power Analysts Inc. a firm that specializes in developing software and conducting reliability studies of the electric power grid. Before joining Texas A&M University he worked in the R&D Division of Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications on the development of innovative public transit systems.

Singh is known for his contributions to electric power system reliability evaluation, particularly in developing the theoretical foundations for frequency and duration methods, non-Markovian models, modeling of interconnected power systems, integration of renewable resources and machine learning method for reliability analysis of large power systems. He is author/co-author of four books, several book chapters, and over 400 technical articles.

Major awards and recognition

Major publications

Ruchi Sanghvi

Ruchi Sanghvi (born 20 January 1982) is an Indian computer engineer. She was the first female engineer hired by Facebook. In late 2010, she quit Facebook and in 2011, she started her own company Cove, with two other co-founders. The company was sold to Dropbox in 2012 and Sanghvi joined Dropbox as VP of Operations. She left Dropbox in October 2013.

In 2016, Sanghvi established South Park Commons, a residential and professional tech space that functions similarly to a hackerspace.


Early life and education

Sanghvi was raised in PuneIndia. When she was young, she intended to join her father’s business after completing her studies. Sanghvi pursued her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.



After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004, Sanghvi initially planned to work in New York City, but says that she was horrified by the small cubicle size. She decided instead to move to Silicon Valley where her former CMU colleague Aditya Agarwal, whom she was dating, worked. She got a job at the Oracle Corporation.

In 2005, Sanghvi and Agarwal both started working at Facebook. Sanghvi was Facebook’s first female engineer.

Sanghvi was one of the main people working on the first version of Facebook’s News Feed product, first launched in September 2006, and she wrote the blog post announcing its launch. The original news feed was an algorithmically generated and constantly refreshing summary of updates about the activities of one’s friends. The concept was relatively new at the time, with Twitter having launched only a few months in advance.

The News Feed feature was greeted with a lot of pushback and criticism, including some that was directed personally at Sanghvi. The criticism was dealt with through the introduction of new privacy controls in terms of what personal data would appear in friends’ news feeds. These privacy controls were coded in a hectic 48-hour coding session by Sanghvi and other Facebook engineers including Chris Cox and Andrew Bosworth, and announced in a contrite blog post by Facebook’s principal founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2006, Sanghvi became the product lead for Facebook Platform.

Cove and Dropbox

In late 2010, Sanghvi left Facebook and in 2011, co-founded a stealth collaboration startup called Cove along with Aditya Agarwal. In February 2012, Dropbox, the file synchronization and backup service company, announced that it had acquired Cove and that Sanghvi and Agarwal would be joining Dropbox. Sanghvi later became the Vice President of Operations at Dropbox, managing product, marketing, communications and other functions. In October 2013, Sanghvi left Dropbox, but continued to retain an advisory role at the company.

South Park Commons

In 2016, Sanghvi founded South Park Commons, a townhouse located in San Francisco that functions similarly to a hackerspace. The Commons houses 25 to 30 people at a time. In 2018, the Commons received a $40 million seed fund backed by many individuals Sanghvi met through DocuSign and Facebook. The South Park Commons has additionally funded start-ups such as San Francisco based “gaming performance” start-up Visor.

Board memberships

Sanghvi is an investor and adviser in a number of Silicon Valley companies including cancer drug developer Stemcentrx (acquired by AbbVie Inc. in 2016), workplace collaboration application Asana, and backup and storage service Dropbox (where she used to work). She is also on Paytm’s board of directors.


Sanghvi was listed as one of the founders of FWD.us, a 501(c)(4) lobbying group formed in Silicon Valley to promote immigration reform, improve education, and facilitate technological breakthroughs in the United States. The group launched on 11 April 2013.

Sanghvi’s personal story was featured on the FWD.us website’s “Stories” section.

In an interview with Mint in November 2013, Sanghvi described her involvement with FWD.us as follows: “Silicon Valley is a very idealistic society. So FWD.us is a mission to step down from the idealistic world and do some real work. The mission is to boost the knowledge economy. Immigration is only one part of it, the other part of it is to figure out bipartisan policies to help include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) studies in the education system. Immigration is a really hot topic and I am very satisfied with the senate Bill. I am hopeful that immigration reform will pass, even though right now Washington is divided.”

Personal life

Sanghvi is married to Aditya Agarwal, who was her colleague at Carnegie Mellon University and later at Facebook, Cove, and Dropbox.

Awards and honors

Sanghvi was awarded a TechFellow “Best Engineering Leadership Award” in 2011 for her work at Facebook.

In 2018, Sanghvi was a keynote speaker for HackMIT.

Ishwar Puri

Ishwar Kanwar Puri is an Indian-American and Canadian scientist, engineer, and academic. He is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is ranked among the top 2% of scientists worldwide based on citations of their work.


Puri studied at St. Xavier’s School, Delhi from 1964-76. Thereafter, he graduated with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering of Delhi University, Delhi in 1982. He then completed his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D (1987) degrees in engineering science (applied mechanics) from University of California, San Diego.

Career in engineering science

Puri’s vision for McMaster Engineering has been to invest in excellence by recruiting and retaining the best talent, marshalling resources to help the faculty, staff and students fulfill their capabilities, recognizing outstanding contributions and innovations, and efficient governance and administration.

Motivated by the need to “prepare students to be flexible in a rapidly changing world and to meet challenges not yet imagined”, in 2019 he announced the most significant transformation in the sixty year history of engineering education at McMaster University through The Pivot, where design thinking, an innovation mindset and entrepreneurship are embedded in all programming. The three pillars of The Pivot are (1) changing the curriculum by seamless, project-based learning experiences, (2) reimagining the classroom by creating purpose-built studio spaces that replace lecture halls, and (3) amplifying experiential learning by offering more extracurricular and research opportunities to students.

His leadership facilitated the first McMaster MOOC, which was launched through Coursera. In partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Puri initiated the McMaster University’s – and first of its kind in Canada – Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Program (IBEHS) that integrates engineering and health sciences, allowing multiple career pathways for graduates in health, engineering and entrepreneurship.

The 2017 ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects ranked the Faculty’s civil engineering program 29th in the world, and metallurgical engineering, computer science and engineering, and transportation science and technology programs within the top 75 around the globe.

He established the community-engaged co-curricular experiential learning MacChangers program, which enables teams of McMaster students across disciplines to propose local solutions to the problems posed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. MacChangers, which was the first Canadian program to be part of the US National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program, has led to social innovation startups, such as for healthcare. In June 2020, during one of the first such hackathons, students successfully collaborated with members of the Hamilton, Ontario community to propose solutions to local challenges related to combatting COVID-19 in the areas of food, mobility, digital technology, and supporting local businesses.

Before he was appointed dean and professor at McMaster, he served as N. Waldo Harrison Professor and Head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Virginia Tech. He led the ESM program for nine years from 2004 through 2013.

He was a postdoctoral researcher and then an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987-90. In January, 1990, he was appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This was converted to a tenure-track appointment as assistant professor in August, 1991. He was thereafter promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure in 1994, and the rank of Professor in 1999.

He continued to serve at UIC as Director of Graduate Studies of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs from 1994–97, and also 1999-2000; as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies from 2000–01, and finally as Executive Associate Dean of Engineering (2001–04). At UIC, he also served on the steering committee of the UIC Institute for Environmental Studies, and helped facilitate several of UIC’s micro- and nanotechnology initiatives.

In 2004, Puri moved to Virginia Tech to assume the position of professor and department head of engineering science and mechanics. He helped move that program into new convergences at the intersections of the life and physical sciences, and engineering mechanics, and promoted transformative scholarship, particularly through several new faculty hires in novel and interdisciplinary areas of applied mechanics. These efforts helped the department to be ranked fifth in the United States in the undergraduate engineering physics/engineering science category by U.S. News & World Report in 2012.

As department head, he played a leading role at Virginia Tech in the reoccupation of Norris Hall, where his department was housed, after the tragic shootings initiated by a mentally disturbed student.



Puri is the eldest child born in 1959 into a Punjabi Khatri family in New Delhi, India where he lived until his early twenties.

His father was Dr. Krishan Kanwar Puri, who retired as Department Head of Chemistry at Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi, and his mother was Dr. Sushila Gaind Puri who retired as Department Head of Anesthesiology at G. B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi. The elder Dr. Puri, his father, wrote his thesis on acetin fats at the University of Münster where he received his Dr. rer. nat. degree. His mother began her career as a pioneering anesthesiologist at Lady Harding Medical College and Hospital in New Delhi.

Before marrying, his parents settled separately in Delhi in 1947 as refugees due to the partition of India. His Puri family origins lie in Ghartal village that is in Gujranwala District, now in Pakistan, and his Gaind family origins are from Pasrur in Sialkot District, also in Pakistan now.

He lives with his wife, Beth Levinson, in Ancaster, Ontario in Canada. Ms. Levinson’s Jewish roots run through San DiegoCalifornia and Brooklyn, in the United States to Eastern Europe where many of her relatives were consumed and displaced by the Holocaust. They have three children.

Together, the family has established the Ishwar K. Puri and Beth R. Levinson Scholarship that enables the education of an underprivileged girl student through grades K-12 at St. Xavier’s School, Delhi in India.

Jagdish Narayan

Jagdish Narayan is an Indian-born American engineer. Since 2001, he has served as the John C. C. Fan Family Distinguished Chair Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. He is also the distinguished visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Narayan has published above 500 high-impact journal articles, with his discoveries covered in over 40 US and international patents. His body of work can be segregated into highly nonequilibrium laser processing of novel nanomaterials, including Q-carbon, Q-BN, diamond and c-BN related materials. These research articles have received over 31,000 Google Citations with h-index >85. Narayan and his students discovered Q-carbon as the new allotrope, thereby finding a new route to fabricate diamond and related materials in ambient conditions, resulting in properties and applications ranging from high-temperature superconductivity in Boron-doped Q-carbon to hardness than diamond in Q-carbon to enhanced field-emission in Q-carbon to Nitrogen-doped nanodiamonds for quantum computing, nanosensing and solid-state devices.


Early life and education

Jagdish Narayan came to the United States in 1969 from India. After completion of his bachelor’s degree (with Distinction and Honors) from IIT Kanpur, India, he joined UC Berkeley in 1969 and finished his MS (1970) and PhD (1971) in materials science and engineering in two years. His doctoral thesis led to the publication of a dozen papers on defects and diffusion phenomena in archival journals. His minors at Berkeley were physics, electrical and computer engineering. Narayan has continued his research at the interfaces of these disciplines of materials science, physics, electrical and computer engineering.

Professional career

After finishing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, Narayan was appointed as research metallurgist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 1971–1972. He later moved to the Solid State Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served as a senior scientist and group leader of the Thin Films and Electron Microscopy Group (1972–84). In 1984, he joined the North Carolina State University as NC Microelectronics Professor and director of the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina. His multi-faceted approach and contributions to research and teaching led to his appointment as a Distinguished University Professor in 1989. In 2001, he was appointed as the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor. He also served as director of the Division of Materials Research (DMR) of US National Foundation (1990–92). Under his leadership, National Science Foundation launched a highly successful Presidential Initiative on Advanced Materials and Processing, which led to him receiving NSF’s Distinguished Service Award. He has mentored over 80 PhDs, who are highly successful in the field of synthesis and processing of novel nanomaterials, atomic- and nanoscale materials characterization, structure-property correlations, modeling and devices.


Honors and awards

Rambabu Kodali

Rambabu Kodali is the Vice-Chancellor at Vellore Institute of Technology since Oct 2020. Previously he had served as director of Madanapalli Institute of Technology and Science (Oct 2019 to Sept 2020). He is former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Odisha, India (Aug. 2017 to Sept 2019) and former Director of the National Institute of Technology JamshedpurIndia. He took this responsibility on 3 August 2012. Prior to this role, he was Shri S.K Birla Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and was Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani.



Professor Rambabu Kodali earned his B.E., MTech in Mechanical Engineering from MANIT Bhopal, and his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in the year 1991.

Madhu Bhaskaran

Madhu Bhaskaran is an engineer and Professor at RMIT University. She co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University She won the APEC Aspire prize in 2018 for her development of “electronic skin”.

Early life and education

Madhu Bhaskaran was born and grew up in Chennai in India. After high school he went on to study Electronics and Communications Engineering at PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore from 2000 to 2004, where she met her partner Sharath Sriram. After moving to Australia, Bhaskaran completed a Masters in Microelectronics Engineering at RMIT University in 2005, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Electronic Materials Engineering four years later.


After completing her PhD in 2009, Madhu Bhaskaran won a competitive Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate piezoelectric thin films. She also co-established and currently co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group in 2010. Bhaskaran’s group measured the potential of piezoelectric nano-films to provide energy for small electronic devices. Bhaskaran’s research interests include functional oxide thin films, wearable technologies and stretchable electronics which can be applied in monitoring health and in communications.

Professor Madhu Bhaskaran is transforming the way we use and interact with electronic devices and sensors. Her breakthroughs on combining functional oxide materials processed at high temperatures with elastic and plastic materials has led to stretchable electronics and sensors, that can be worn as electronic skin. Bhaskaran is a member of the Australian Nanotechnology Network and her team focuses on the characterisation of semiconductor interfaces (metal-silicide and silicide-silicon), characterisation of piezoelectric thin films, and micro-scale semiconductor and microsystem fabrication. Bhaskaran’s research use a material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in the design of their devices. PDMS is stretchable, transparent and non-toxic, and it has been used in contact lenses, and skin and hair products. Her publications (December 2005 – August 2018) include one edited book, six book chapters, 106 journal articles, 36 conference proceedings – totalling 152 publications and five patents.

Bhaskaran has obtained over $5 million in competitive research funding for projects and equipment, and in an industry partnership, Bhaskaran’s research team and Sleeptite were awarded $1.7 million in a Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) grant from the Federal Government in July, 2018. These funds will be used to develop a silicon fabric with sensors to monitor sleep. As part of the 23rd Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Professor Bhaskaran is serving on the COMMAD Scientific Advisory Committee.

Board service

An advocate for young researchers and women in science, Bhaskaran is a co-founder of the Women Researchers’ Network at RMIT University and Board member of Women in STEMM Australia. Bhaskaran was one of six women in science recently featured in “Just some of the Australian women killing it in science leadership right now” published by Women’s Agenda in 2018. Professor Bhaskaran says, “What gives me happiness is that I have managed to do many things beyond research in my career so far – this includes mentoring PhD students and postdocs, holding leadership positions in the Higher Degrees by Research space (and that has helped enhance the research environment at my workplace) as well as contributing to the gender diversity space.” Bhaskaran currently serves with the Expert Advisory Group to the Australian Government’s Decadal Plan for Women in STEM and recently attended an APEC Women in STEM workshop ‘Making the Case for APEC Women in STEM‑Partnership and Impact’.

Awards and honours

Professor Madhu Bhaskaran has received the following honours and awards for her research:

  • International Postgraduate Scholarship 2006-2009
  • Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship 2010-2014
  • Research Media Star Award 2011
  • Victoria Fellowship Physical Sciences 2015
  • Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship 2016–present
  • named one of Top 10 Innovators under 35 for Asia, MIT Technology Review, 2016
  • Australian inventors on MIT’s top 10 ‘Innovators Under 35’ list
  • Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher 2017
  • named one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia 2017
  • Batterham Medallist, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

In 2018 she won the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s Batterham Medal and the Victorian QuickFire Challenge: Driving Device Innovation. Nominated by Australian Academy of Science, Bhaskaran also won the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE). ASPIRE recognises young scientists from Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in innovation, research and education.