Eight of the IIT-M’s former students were presented with Distinguished Alumnus awards
They head operations in large MNCs, invest in firms of great repute, and have co-founded and mentored innovative start-ups worldwide. Some of them teach in the best technical institutes of the world, and are often the most cited experts in research papers.
And, all of them have spent four or more years of their life, learning the basics of engineering at IIT-Madras. On Tuesday, the institute commemorated its Institute Day, honouring eight of its alumni with the IIT–M Distinguished Alumnus Awards 2013.
The chief guest at the event was M. Damodaran, Chairman, IIM-Trichy and former civil servant and business leader, who recalled his days as a student of IIT-Madras. “I left without a degree. I was not cut out for engineering,” he said, talking about his brief stint at IIT-Madras.
“As students then, we would wonder why the hostels are named after rivers. Hostels don’t move like rivers. And buses named after mountains. It was strange then, but I realise this is a place which can move mountains. You just need to have an organised mind and a heart in the right place, and use them for public interest,” he said.
Among the awardees were S. Gopalakrishnan, professor, IISc; Venky Hariharan, Senior Vice President, Walmart Stores; Anand Rajaram, Founding partner, Cambian Ventures; Hari Balakrishnan, professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Shankar Ramamurti, Professor, Yale University; Sailesh Krishna Rao, Founder, Climate Healers; Kumar N. Sivarajan, Chief Technology Officer, Tejas Networks and Ramanathan V. Guha, Google Fellow.
IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said the awardees were picked from a list of many successful alumni.
He said the Institute Day was a day of celebration and thanksgiving, to commemorate the achievements of the students.
The alumni base of IIT-Madras has details of over 20,000 persons, said R. Nagarajan, Dean, International & Alumni Relations.
Besides using social media and alumni networks, he and Prof. Ramamurthy had toured some of the best institutes in the world last summer to connect with IIT-Madras alumni and improve the network, Prof. Nagarajan said.