More than 60 years ago, when the late Rajeshwari Chatterjee joined the Department of Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), she was the only woman faculty member at the institute and was widely considered the first woman engineer from Karnataka. Her path-breaking contribution, which paved the way for more women to join engineering, has been recognised by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, which on Wednesday named her posthumously as one of the ‘first women achievers of India’.
The award was announced for her contributions to the field of microwave engineering and antennae engineering in the country.
Along with her husband, S.K. Chatterjee, she had pursued research in the field of microwave engineering and built a microwave research laboratory at IISc. Dr. Rajeshwari Chatterjee’s contribution to microwave research is still relevant in the field of RADAR and is used in defence applications.
Dr. Chatterjee, who passed away in 2010 aged 88, received her early education at an experimental school set up by her grandmother in Mahila Seva Samaj in Basavanagudi. She completed B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. in mathematics from Maharani’s College, Bengaluru, before obtaining a Ph.D from the University of Michigan.
“The Electrical Communication Engineering Department is honoured to be part of Prof. Rajeshwari Chatterjee’s journey in pursuit of excellence in engineering. Her stellar contributions to the department will be remembered with a lot of pride,” said K.V.S. Hari, chairman of the department at IISc.