ChE Distinguished Alumni

 ChE Distinguished Alumni 


Dr. D.V. Satya Gupta (1974 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Technical Fellow @ Baker Hughes, USA

Dr. D. V. Satya Gupta graduated from IIT Madras in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He obtained Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering from Washington University, U.S., in 1976 and 1979, respectively. Dr. Gupta is one of the world’s preeminent experts on well stimulation technology including fracturing, which, along with horizontal drilling, has made the US almost self-sufficient in energy in recent years. Read More

He is a prolific inventor whose inventions and co-inventions have resulted in more than 150 U.S. and international patents in application of chemical technology for oil and gas production enhancement. He is also the author of more than 70 technical papers and co-author of Chapters on ‘fracturing fluids’ in several books. Since 2015, he is a Technology Fellow at Baker Hughes, a GE company.

Prior to his service at Baker Hughes and affiliated companies, Dr. Gupta had diverse appointments and responsibilities at reputed firms and institutes such as Gulf South Research Institute and Pennzoil Technology Center. His technological developments in the field of chemical engineering include: encapsulated breakers, polymer-specific enzyme breakers, long-term release production assurance products, premium performance aqueous fluid systems, non-aqueous fluid systems, and ultra-light weight proppants. Currently, along with an elite group of two other technology experts, he consults with executive management on technology matters, and mentors technical talent at one of the largest oil field service companies in the world. For his contributions to the industry and company, he was awarded the Baker Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, one of only 12 who have been honored with this accolade during the 108-year history of this esteemed company.

Industrial contributions apart, his academic endeavours are exemplified in being an active member of the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, National Association of Corrosion Engineers and Society of Petroleum Engineers. He was the 2014-15 Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Distinguished Lecturer on the topic of “How to Frac with little or no water”, a topic on which he has given seminars around the world. He was awarded the 2017 Society of Petroleum Engineers’ International Completions Optimization and Technology Award for his work in the area of fracturing. He has chaired several symposia on Green Corrosion Inhibitors and Fracturing Fluids, and co-Chaired the 2016 American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Hydraulic Fracturing Conference. He is on the Editorial Board of SPE technical journals, and the Hydraulic Fracture Quarterly Technical Journal. At the behest of the U.S. Department of Energy, he has been on the Industry Advisory Committee for the University of Oklahoma Fracturing Fluid Characterization Facility. He has presented at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Hydraulic Fracturing Study Group as an invited speaker on “Unconventional Fracturing Fluids”.

For his singular contributions to the development of well-simulation and fracturing technology, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer this award upon Dr. D. V. Satya Gupta.


Mr. Ajita Rajendra (1976 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Chairman and Chief Operating Officer @ A. O. Smith Corporation

Shri Ajita Rajendra graduated with a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1976, and subsequently obtained his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978. He has since held a wide range of finance, operations, marketing, and executive management positions at numerous leading organizations such as Corning Inc., Kennametal Inc., etc. Read More

through the course of his 36-year career in American industry, excelling in each of them. He is currently the Chairman and CEO at A.O. Smith Corporation, a global leader in water heating and treating technologies. Shri Rajendra was elected to the A.O. Smith Board of Directors in December 2011.

Of particular note is his tremendous contribution to improving the quality of life in India by generating employment and investing in a large manufacturing facility in the Bengaluru area. Shri Rajendra has been the driving force behind A.O. Smith’s implementation of a large-scale manufacturing facility for water heaters in Harohalli, Bengaluru. The investment of $ 25-30 million was greenfield – adding capacity by purchasing land and building a factory, rather than simply purchasing existing assets. The factory, established in 2010, manufactures residential water heaters specially designed for robust use in the Indian subcontinent, and is now adding capability to manufacture water purification products. The Company is growing its business while generating employment in India, and providing a technologically advanced product to the Indian consumer. A.O. Smith continues to invest its proceeds from this operation back into the Indian business, benefiting the community greatly. The Company exclusively uses national talent in India, and consequently there are no expatriates in Harohalli. Current employment is about 400, of which approximately 50 are professionals.

Shri Rajendra’s professional accomplishments are reflected in the various corporate awards he has been a recipient of, such as the Corporate Marketing Award in three different years, and the highly-regarded Individual Outstanding Contributor Award from the Board of Directors of Corning. Further, he was elected as the Chairman of the Air conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), a major industry trade organization. His extensive involvement in community activities makes him a truly respected business leader, as does his serving on various prestigious Boards in a leadership capacity. He is a Director of Donaldson Company, Inc. and The Timken Company. He was a Board Member of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and of the Tennessee Business Roundtable.

In recognition of Shri Ajita Rajendra’s focus on bringing manufacturing excellence to India, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer upon him this award.


Mr. Lalit Mahajan (1968 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Chairman and Managing Director @ J Mitra & Co, Pvt Ltd

Shri Lalit Mahajan graduated with a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1968, and is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of J Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd. He is credited with the phenomenal growth of the company. He is recognized as both an inventor and an entrepreneur, motivated by his strong vision to see India become self-sufficient in medical diagnostics through indigenous products.Read More

He has rendered his philosophy of preserving the life of the critically unwell into a practical realization through the innovative products created and successfully marketed by J Mitra & Co.

Shri Mahajan has demonstrated how a technology company can be built in a globally competitive space through integrated efforts of R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship. His strong focus on innovating for the country is illustrated by the success of products such as diagnostic kits for infectious, and even life-threatening, diseases. While a sustained focus on R&D has allowed Shri Mahajan to develop these novel products, indigenous production, with innovative procurement and marketing strategies, has enabled him to make these products affordable to the Indian healthcare system and patients. The products developed under the leadership of Shri Mahajan are among the rare successes of indigenous diagnostic kits in the country, making India self-reliant in these areas and reducing the need for imports. His focus on delivering quality products is underlined by the credit given by the World Health Organization for quality and sensitivity of the test kits for HIV, Dengue NS1 and Hepatitis. With 23 patents granted in the five years from 2007-2011, Shri Mahajan was recognized by the Indian Intellectual Property Office as India’s leading individual inventor on World IP Day in 2011. He currently holds 26 patents to his name.

Shri Mahajan is also the Chairman of two running Hydro-Power projects located in Kulu, Himachal Pradesh. The electricity generated is being distributed to the town of Manali, HP. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Biotech Consortium India Ltd., Government of India, and is a Member of the Taskforce formed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI, for framing guidelines for WHO-GMP norms for Medical Diagnostic Kits and Devices.

In recognition of Shri Lalit Mahajan’s innovative contributions to the field of indigenous medical diagnostics, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer upon him this award.


Mr. Raju Venkatraman (1981 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Managing Director and CEO @ MEDall Healthcare Pvt Ltd.

Shri. Raju Venkatraman, popularly known as Raju, obtained his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering in 1981 from IIT Madras and completed an executive MBA, including a 3-tier training program, at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He also has a Diploma in Quality Education Systems from the General Motors Institute, USA.Read More

Raju has always led from the front, right from starting his career with Cadbury-Schweppes. At Electronic Data Systems (EDS), he pioneered the innovation and application of Digital Imaging Technology. He led the team in integration of Raster Image Scanning and Tagged Image File Formats with files, compression techniques, optical disk storage, and early adoption of Ethernet communication. He was the founder of Vetri Systems, and a pioneer in Business Process Outsourcing in bringing work to India rather than getting the work done in USA. In this sector, his contributions include adoption of satellite technology for data transmission. He also initiated the movement of BPO to tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India, which opened up many job opportunities in those areas.

Currently as the MD and CEO of Medall Healthcare Private Limited, Raju is taking Healthcare Diagnostics, Wellness & Preventive Care to several small towns across the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra. Medall is partnering with several organizations, and also with IIT Madras in providing 24X7 counseling services for students at IIT Madras.

Raju has been honored with the AIIM Excellence Award. He has been recognized as one of the top 50 entrepreneurs in Michigan for the years 1994 and 1995, and was the recipient of the “American Dreamers” award from Crain’s Business Magazine for the year 1999. For close to two decades, Raju has been associated with Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He is the Chairman for TiECON 2013 Chennai Chapter, and also Senior Vice President, MMA (Madras Management Association). He passionately believes in mentoring young entrepreneurs, and plays basketball with equal passion.

In recognition of Raju Venkatraman’s contributions as an entrepreneur, leader and manager, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Award.


Dr. Ashok S. Krishna (1974 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Vice President of Technology for Global Downstream @ Chevron Corp., USA

Dr. Ashok S. Krishna, Vice President of Technology for Global Downstream, Chevron Corp., USA (1974/BT/CH).

Dr. Ashok S. Krishna (aka S. Krishnaswamy) obtained his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1974, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. His work on “Diffusional Influences on Catalyst Deactivation Rates” is now part of undergraduate texts in Chemical Reaction Engineering.Read More

He also completed his MBA from University of Pittsburgh in 1983. Dr. Ashok Krishna is in his 35th year of service at Chevron Corporation.

Dr. Krishna was, and continues to be, a leader recognized for application of Chemical Engineering principles and technology to effectively manage a wide variety of energy resources. He is adept at identifying technological concepts that ultimately produce viable business outcomes. During his career, he has led commercialization of technologies associated with reforming, fluid catalytic cracking, hydrocracking and residuum processing. During the last decade, he has moved up through positions of increasing responsibility in technology management at Chevron, and sits on the Boards of Chevron Lummus Global, a Chevron JV with CBI Lummus for licensing technologies worldwide, and Advanced Refining Technologies, with Grace Davison, a global leader in petroleum catalysts. As MD of Chevron’s Technology Marketing, he brought high-pressure hydro-processing to India, enabling production of clean fuels and premium lubricants. Today, most Indian refineries employ Chevron technology.

Dr. Krishna has represented Chevron at numerous technical forums and provided strong leadership in managing Chevron’s in-house as well as external downstream technology development programs. He was selected to guide the joint venture between Chevron and Weyerhauser, called “CatchLight Energy”, which is focused on developing and commercializing technologies for conversion of cellulosic feedstock into usable forms of energy, while minimizing global greenhouse footprint.

Dr. Krishna has been involved in many public service and charitable activities, including United Way campaigns and individual contributions to various organizations. He is particularly well recognized for his mentoring activities, whether directed towards youth groups or professionals in the technology fields.

In recognition of Dr. Krishna’s academic excellence, innovation and industry leadership, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Dr. Raj Mutharasan (1969 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering @ Drexel University, USA


Dr. Raj Mutharasan, Frank A. Fletcher Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Drexel University, USA (1969/BT/CH).

Dr. Raj Mutharasan obtained his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1969 with ‘First Rank’. Subsequently, he earned his Ph.D. degree from Drexel University in Chemical Engineering in 1973. He currently serves as Frank A. Fletcher Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Drexel University.Read More

Prof. Mutharasan has had a distinguished and remarkable career in both teaching and research. He is professionally active, chairing many research symposia as well as organizing major research conferences held by AIChE, Engineering Foundation, AIME and others. He has served in the academic leadership ranks such as the Interim Dean of College of Engineering (1997-2001) at Drexel University. Three major scientific and engineering societies (AIChE, AIMBE and AAAS) have recognized his contribution to his chosen field by electing him as a Fellow. Another remarkable achievement of Prof. Mutharasan is sustained transfer of technology from his laboratory to the industrial and commercial world. His early work on process control led to the development of the “Gautam-Mutharasan” algorithm, which, in modified form, is incorporated into commercial process control systems. His second major commercialization is related to his recent work on biosensors, which has received 4 patents already with eight more pending.

During his career, Prof. Mutharasan has served as technical consultant to industry, as well as on the Science Advisory Board of several corporations; some of his notable appointments are those on the Board of Apogee, Inc. (founded by one of his PhD students), and on Leversense LLC (which is based on Prof. Mutharasan’s biosensor invention)

As evidenced by the above summary of achievements, Professor Mutharasan’s career over the past 40 plus years has had a profound impact on society in general, in addition to leaving an imprint on academia, scientific research and industrial linkage. The extent of Prof. Mutharasan’s social involvement is evidenced by his civic activities, which include serving as President of various cultural societies in the U.S. He has also served as Advisor to many graduate students coming from India.

In recognition of Dr. Raj Mutharasan’s contributions to research, technology commercialization, and societal outreach, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Shri. M.G. Venkatesh Mannar (1970 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
President @ Micronutrient Initiative, Ottawa

Shri M. G. Venkatesh Mannar, President, Micronutrient Initiative (MI), Ottawa, Canada graduated from IIT Madras in 1970 with a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering, and later completed a Master’s degree from Northwestern University. In 1972, he returned to India to join his father and establish a large solar salt operation near Mamallapuram.Read More

While running the salt works, he became actively involved in developing technology for fortification of salt with essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and iodine. He was invited by various UN agencies to assist with a global program to correct dietary deficiencies through fortification of salt and other staple foods. During this period, he conducted situation assessments and advised governments to plan micronutrient fortification programs in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Finding his work in micronutrients more challenging and life enriching, Venkatesh decided to devote his time entirely to this area. In 1990, he sold his salt company and relocated to Canada. He then worked as a consultant to UNICEF in planning their salt iodization programs, and led the global thrust to address Iodine Deficiency Disorders through mandatory iodization of salt. Nearly 4 billion people now have access to iodized salt. He extended his work to include fortification of a wide range of staple foods and condiments with vitamins and minerals, and targeted provision of vitamins and minerals to severely-malnourished children and women.

Venkatesh is now recognized as a leader in global health with 35 years of experience in pioneering effective nutrition and development initiatives focusing on the world’s most vulnerable citizens. He has been the Head of MI, an international non-profit nutrition organization since its inception in 1994 – working to enable access to essential micronutrients for the common man through the regular diet, and ensuring the impact of these interventions in more than 75 countries. MI, starting with 4 employees, has now become the global leader in nutrition development programs with more than 100 full-time staff, 120 full-time consultants, 2 regional offices, 11 country offices and a budget of USD 38 million per year. In his role as President of MI, Venkatesh regularly interacts with and advises national leaders and policy makers to develop policies, strategies and plans for their countries. His efforts through the MI to provide essential vitamin and mineral supplements to children and women, iodize salt and fortify staple foods are saving children’s lives and improving livelihoods of over 500 million people in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

He has been invited to join the Boards of several global organizations, including the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Flour Fortification Initiative. In addition, he serves as a member on the scientific advisory boards of some of the largest food companies in the world, such as Nestle and Pepsico. In 2010, Venkatesh was awarded the Tech Award in Health by Nokia for the contributions he has made to develop technology for the double-fortification of salt with iron and iodine. Earlier, he was recognized as the third most influential citizen in Ottawa by Ottawa Life Magazine in the year 2009.

In recognition of Shri Venkatesh Mannar’s outstanding contributions to the global effort to stem micronutrient deficiency, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Dr. Vijay Kumar (1975 – BTech – Chemical Engineering) & (1978 – MS – Industrial Management)
Senior Associate Dean & Director @ MIT

Dr. Vijay Kumar received his B.Tech. Degree in Chemical Engineering in 1975, and his M.S. degree in Industrial Management in 1978, both from IIT Madras. After a brief career in management consulting in India, he joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and received his Ed.D. degree in 1986.Read More

His dissertation topic was: Introducing Technological Innovations for Education in Developing Countries – Implications for Planning. The following 24 years speaks for Vijay’s distinguished career and accomplishments in this endeavor.

He is currently Senior Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His work at MIT is helping to redefine the relationship between universities and society. In 1996, Vijay was appointed as the Principal Investigator of MIT’s Open Knowledge Initiative, an MIT-led collaborative project to develop an open architecture for enterprise educational applications. He is a key member of the Advisory Committee of MIT OpenCourseware, the pioneering initiative that has put every classroom lecture in every subject taught at MIT on the worldwide web. OpenCourseware aggregates the knowledge of one of the world’s great universities and makes it available to students anywhere on our planet.

Before joining MIT, Vijay worked as Director of Academic Computing and Assistant Professor of Computer Applications (1987-1991) at the University of Maine at Machias, and as Director of Academic Computing at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts (1991-1996). The focus of Vijay’s entire career has been the intersection of education and technology, and specifically, initiatives that use technological innovations to positively transform the educational experience, making it easier and cheaper to share knowledge among institutions and across national borders.

His expertise in this area is globally acknowledged. Among many notable contributions, he has been an Advisor to the National Knowledge Commission, India, since 2006. He has advised numerous leading educational institutions and governments in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. He was appointed as an Advisor for IT to the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in 2010.

Vijay has never been a distant ivory-tower academic. For forty years, he has remained good-humored and ever accessible. He is generous with his time and expertise, and wears his numerous accomplishments lightly. Of him, it can be truly said: Vidya dadaati vinayam Learning bestows humility’.

In recognition of Dr. Vijay Kumar’s excellence in technology innovation for education, academics and managerial practices, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Mr. M.G.Parameswaran (1977 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Executive Director and CEO @ Draft FCB Ulka Advertising

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. Read More

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.


Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan (1982 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Director General, The Association of Biotechnology Enterprises @ Former President (R&D), Biocon

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.Read More

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.


Dr. Narayanadas J (1971 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Director @ Naval Materials Research Laboratory, Ambarnath, Maharashtra

Dr. J. Narayana Das is currently the Director of Naval Materials Research Laboratory, Ambarnath (DRDO). He received his B.Tech (1971), M.S. (1987) and Ph.D (1993) degrees in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras.

During his nearly 36 years of R&D career in DRDO, in various capacities, Dr. Narayana Das has made outstanding contributions in Materials Science and Technology, adding great value to strategic self reliance and industrial progress. At the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory, in the early 1980s,Read More

he initiated R & D in the specialized area of passive acoustic materials and studied acoustic wave propagation through fiber composites. He has been instrumental in development of patented special rubber compounds for application in SONAR sensor technologies. In recognition of his significant contributions, DRDO conferred on him the “Scientist of the Year” Award in 1998. His work in the field of Magneto-rheological fluids and Magneto-resistive fluids have earned two US patents.

As Director, NMRL, he has been playing the lead role in conceptualization, development and productionisation of materials of crucial importance to Naval technology. Example of the many self reliance initiatives he has led are Welding technology for Ship Building Steels and Industrialisation of “Fuel Cell” technology in the Country. NMRL is poised to launch 33 KW Fuel Cell based Power Plant in 2008. DRDO has promoted him to the select grade of “Outstanding Scientist” in 2007. Under his stewardship, the NMRL has won the Titanium Trophy of DRDO in 2005.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Materials Science & Technology and his search for self reliance in strategic defence technologies, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.


Dr. Kris Venkat (1968 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Chairman & CEO @ Sundari Enterprises, USA

Dr. Kris Venkat is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sundari Enterprises Inc., USA. He is the Chairman of the Board of several companies in USA, Germany and India, and a member of the Board of many others. He is an experienced entrepreneur, manager and teacher.

Dr. Kris Venkat graduated with a B.Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1968 and followed it up with a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, USA. Read More

He has more than one hundred scientific publications and several patents to his credit. He has served on the editorial boards of many technical journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose award.

In his illustrious career, Dr. Kris Venkat has held various senior management positions with multinational corporations including Merck & Co. and H.J. Heinz Company, USA, as well as start-up entrepreneurial organizations. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Phyton, Inc., (USA) and it’s subsidiary Phyton GmbH (Germany), he was instrumental in building up a successful bio-technology company, whose formulations include the leading anti-cancer drug Taxol.

Dr. Kris Venkat is a Visiting Professor of Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University and has also held visiting faculty positions at Yale University, Dartmouth College, University College, Galway, Ireland, IIT Delhi and Anna University. He has served as an advisor on Biotechnology to the Government of India as well as a number of other Governmental institutions. He also serves as the Senior Investment Advisor to Techno Venture Management, Munich, one of Europe’s largest biotechnology venture capital funds.

In recognition of his managerial excellence and significant contributions to the fields of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to present him this award.


Dr. C Mohan (1977 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
IBM Fellow @ IBM Almaden Research Center, California, USA

Dr. C. Mohan has been an IBM researcher for 34 years in the database area, impacting numerous IBM and non-IBM products, the research and academic communities, and standards, especially with his invention of the ARIES family of database locking and recovery algorithms, and the Presumed Abort commit protocol. This IBM (1997),Read More

and ACM/IEEE (2002) Fellow has also served as the IBM India Chief Scientist for 3 years (2006-2009). In addition to receiving the ACM SIGMOD Innovation Award (1996), the VLDB 10 Year Best Paper Award (1999) and numerous IBM awards, Mohan was elected to the US and Indian National Academies of Engineering (2009), and was named an IBM Master Inventor (1997). This Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras (1977) received his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin (1981). He is an inventor of 47 patents. Recently (2016), he was named a Distinguished Visiting Professor of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. He has served on the advisory board of IEEE Spectrum, and on numerous conference and journal boards. Mohan is a frequent speaker in North America, Europe and India, and has given talks in 40 countries. He is very active on social media and has a huge following. More information could be found in his Wikipedia page at

He has made seminal contributions in database recovery leading to the success of commercial database systems. He has played a key role in establishing the foundations of database systems, which are at the core of modern information infrastructure, that support modern society. His work is among the lessons taught to students of database systems across the world. He has won numerous awards and holds key patents. It is rare for the work of one person to have had such a significant research, commercial and societal impact.

In recognition of the efforts, achievements and academic excellence of C. Mohan in the world of information technology, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to present him this award.


Dr. Sankaran Sundaresan (1976 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Prof. of Chemical Engg. and Asso. Dean for Academic Affairs @ Princeton University, USA

Dr. Sankaran Sundaresan is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA. He received his B.Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1976. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Houston in 1978 and 1980 respectively.Read More

Dr. Sundaresan’s contributions constitute an impressive body of work which spans the spectrum of chemical reaction engineering. He has made fundamental contributions in the areas of Hydrodynamics of Multiphase Reactors, Oxidation Catalysis and Reactor Dynamics. His work is remarkable for its unique combination of formal elegance and practical utility.

Dr. Sundaresan has published over 100 papers in reputed journals and has four patents to his credit. He has won several awards and honors including the Richard H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1999.

Dr. Sundaresan has been an outstanding teacher and is known for an unfailing dedication to illuminating complex subjects for students. Dr. Sundaresan has served as a consultant to several corporations and research institutions in the USA.

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


Mr. V Prem Watsa (1971 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd., Ontario, Canada

Mr.V.Prem Watsa has distinguished himself in the field of Insurance and Finance in the competitive environment of Canada. He is among the elite group of IITians who have become the Chief Executive of Multibillion dollar Corporations in North America.Read More

After graduating from the Institute in 1971 with a First Class degree in Chemical Engineering, Mr.Prem Watsa joined the University of Western Ontario and obtained his Master Degree in Business Administration.

Mr.Prem Watsa’s professional career began in 1974 when he joined Confederation Life Insurance Company where he did investment research and managed stock portfolios for pension clients. Having gained insight into the working of this industry, he founded the company Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd. (now owned by Fairfax) with an associate. He now manages $18 billion in pensions, individual and corporate funds through this company. In terms of results of long-term investments of funds of clients, his company ranked in the top 10% across Canada.

In 1985 Mr.Prem Watsa took control of the financial service holding company, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He manages a company with a total asset of $31 billion earning an average annual return of about 20% on shareholders equity. This company is listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Mr.Prem Watsa is a Chartered Financial Analyst. His membership includes Fairfax Financial Holding Limited and Lindsey Modern Group. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Children and is the Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

IIT-Madras is happy to bestow the Distinguished Alumnus Award on Mr.Prem Watsa.


Mr. V Shyam Sunder (1969 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
Chairman & MD @ Nagarjuna Oil Corp

Shri V Shyam Sunder belongs to that small distinguished class of techno-managers who have made public sector industrial units competitive even in a free market economy.

After graduating from this institute in 1969 with a first class BTech degree in Chemical Engineering, Shri Shyam Sunder went to the University of Leeds where in 1978 he obtained the Master’s degree in Management Studies. In 1981 he obtained his second Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Madras.Read More

Four years later, he also obtained a Diploma in Computer Management from the University of Bombay.

Shri Shyam Sunder’s professional career began in 1970 as a Management Trainee in the Indian Oil Corporation, and rising through Operations, Management Services, Shipping, Planning and LPG departments and various ranks of the public sector oil industry in India. He has been the Chairman & Managing Director of the Madras Refineries Ltd., since last year.

A member of several national and international bodies in oil industry, some of the major successes of Shri Shyam Sunder have been the formulation of the Kandla – Bhatinda Product Pipeline within cost limits, formulation of a highly profitable marketing strategy for his company, creation of Indian Additives Ltd, a joint venture between MRL and M/s Chevron Chemical Corporation Ltd of the USA., formulation of a marketing strategy for higher growth, publication for the first time of the First Corporate Plan of the Division, and completion of the petroleum gas bottling plants at Vijayawada and Calicut, to mention but a few.

Though widely travelled world-wide, Shri Shyam Sunder has preferred Indian public sector industry to other offers. This kind of loyalty to the company and to the country is rather unusual today, but it is this patriotic fervour that has made Shri Shyam Sunder the natural leader and spokesman of oil industry in India.


Mr. Ram V Tyagarajan (1972 – BTech – Chemical Engineering)
CMD @ Thiru Arooran Sugars

Mr. Ram V. Tyagarajan has made considerable contributions to the growth of Indian Industries and in particular to the Sugar Industry. He is the current Chairman and Managing Director of Thiru Arooran Sugars Limited, Madras, India.Read More

He graduated from this Institute in 1972 in Chemical Engineering and obtained a Master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US in 1974. He has managerial experience of over twenty years, including a long stint (1974-82) with Strategic Planning Associates, a reputed management consulting firm in the US, where he was a Senior Vice President before returning to India.

Mr. Tyagarajan has served as President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association for two consecutive terms, from 1987 to 1989. He has also been the President of the Sugar Technologists’ Association of India from 1991 to 1993. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors of a number of reputed companies and is actively involved in various industrial associations.

Mr. Tyagarajan was a member of the High Power Committee on Sales Tax Reforms set up recently by the Government of Tamilnadu. He is also chairing the working group of the Sugar Industry constituted by the Govt. of Tamilnadu to formulate development plans for the Ninth Plan period. Recently he has been nominated to the Board of Governors of the School of Energy, Bharathidasan University.

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