IISc’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards announced for 2020

Four outstanding scientists and engineers have been selected to receive the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for the year 2020.

These annual awards recognise exceptional contributions made by IISc alumni/ae to their profession, society and the Institute. The nominations received are evaluated by a committee appointed by the Director, IISc.

This year’s awardees are Dr K Rajalakshmi Menon, Prof BS Murty, Prof Sethuraman Panchanathan and Dr Keshab Panda.

“The awardees are highly accomplished individuals who have made exceptional contributions to their fields and to society,” says Prof Govindan Rangarajan, Director, IISc. “We are honoured to confer this award upon them in recognition of their achievements.”

Dr Rajalakshmi Menon is currently an Outstanding Scientist and Program Director of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). She has made pioneering contributions to the design, development, testing, deployment and operationalisation of the indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control system inducted into the Indian Air Force, as well as several other flagship programmes at DRDO. She graduated from IISc with MSc (Engg) and PhD degrees in Aerospace Engineering in 1994 and 2002 respectively.

Prof BS Murty is currently the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. Prof Murty has been recognised for his exemplary contributions to the fields of high entropy alloys, non-equilibrium processing of materials by mechanical alloying, and bulk metallic glasses. He has also established several key facilities, collaborations and conferences in metallurgy. Prof Murty graduated from IISc with ME and PhD degrees in Metallurgy in 1988 and 1992 respectively.

Prof Sethuraman Panchanathan is currently the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), USA. He has made pioneering contributions to research on human-centred computing solutions benefiting individuals with disabilities. He is also an innovator, entrepreneur and institution builder, and has been appointed earlier to the US National Science Board and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Prof Panchanathan graduated from IISc with a BE degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering in 1984.

Dr Keshab Panda is currently the CEO & MD of L&T Technology Services Limited. He has been recognised for his exemplary contributions to engineering R&D, in particular for steering the growth of engineering services businesses such as Satyam and L&T. He has also been closely associated with leading industry bodies such as NASSCOM, CII and the Indo American Chamber of Commerce. Dr Panda graduated from IISc with an ME degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1985.

IISc’s legacy has been the successful training of generation after generation of bright young scientists and engineers, who have gone on to make their mark across the world. Since its inception in 1909, the Institute has produced more than 20,000 graduates in various disciplines.