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ALUMNI DAY FUNCTION at IIT Roorkee and 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Awards

posted Nov 25, 2016, 9:27 AM by Iitraana Sysadmin

On Friday Nov 26th 2016, the Alumni Day was celebrated in the Main Building (now called James Thomason Building) Lawns which coincided with the Diamond and Golden Jubilee Alumni Function. Prof. Pradipta Banerji, who was till recently Director of IIT Roorkee, was the Chief Guest.

Mr. Mohinder Nayyar (1966 Batch Mechanical), Mr. Ashoke Kumar Mukherjee (1966 Batch Electronics), Air Marshal Pramod V. Athawale (1972 Batch Electrical), and Mr. Mangu Singh (1979 Batch Civil) were honored with the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award - 2016.

1. Mr. Mohinder Nayyar (1966 Batch Mechanical) - Based in the US, he is an internationally recognised specialist in the area of piping, valves, materials, the codes and standards developed by him and books and handbooks authored by him.
2. Mr. Ashoke Kumar Mukherjee (1966 Batch Electronics) - He started Sonodyne in 1970 which became a household name in high quality consumer audio. He continues to make a world wide presence of Sonodyne with updated technology.
3. Air Marshal Pramod V. Athawale (1972 Batch Electrical) - He made a career in Electronics stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch of Indian Air Force. In recognition of his distinguished service to the Nation, he was awarded Presidential awards of Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Sewa Medal.
4. Mr. Mangu Singh (1979 Batch Civil) - As Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, he has made many technological innovations in construction of complex Metro Rail tunnels and has won world recognition for environmental sustainability in urban rail system.

Full message from Prof S P Gupta is attached below:

Esteemed member of IITR Alumni family


Today the Alumni Day was celebrated in the Main Building (now called James Thomasan Building) Lawns which coincided with the Diamond and Golden Jubilee Alumni Function. 


Prof. Pradipta Banerji, who was till recently Director of IIT Roorkee, was the Chief Guest. Following Alumni were honoured with the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award - 2016:


1. Shri Mohinder Nayyar (1966 Batch Mechanical) - Based in the US, he is an internationally recognised specialist in the area of piping, valves, materials, the codes and standards developed by him and books and handbooks authored by him.


2. Sri Ashoke Kumar Mukherjee (1966 Batch Electronics) - He started Sonodyne in 1970 which became a household name in high quality consumer audio. He continues to make a world wide presence of Sonodyne with updated technology.


3. Air Marshal Pramod V. Athawale (1972 Batch Electrical) - He made a career in Electronics stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch of Indian Air Force. In recognition of his distinguished service to the Nation, he was awarded Presidential awards of Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Sewa Medal.


4. Sri Mangu Singh (1979 Batch Civil) - As Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, he has made many technological innovations in construction of complex Metro Rail tunnels and has won world recognition for environmental sustainability in urban rail system.


I am sharing with you some pictures of the occasion. More details with more pictures will follow. 


warm regards,


SP Gupta




Dr. SP Gupta

Emeritus Fellow

Electrical Engineering Department,

(former Deputy Director)

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

Roorkee 247 667

Phone: 01332-285597(Office), 01332-285038(Home), 09837074284(Mobile)

email: spgfee@gmail.com, spgfee@iitr.ac.in

LinkedIn Profile:  https://in.linkedin.com/in/dr-satya-p-gupta-78b0b71a

Congratulations Kartik Chandran (B.S. '95), MacArthur Fellows 2015

posted Sep 29, 2015, 7:03 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin

Dr. Kartik Chandran, an environmental engineer and associate professor at Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, is among the 24 individuals named as 2015 MacArthur Fellows.

Recognized as exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future, the Foundation Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, allowing recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

GLOBAL SINGING OF KULGEET IIT ROORKEE at Detroit AUG 1 2015. Video by Gursharan Mathur

posted Aug 24, 2015, 9:20 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin

On August 1, 2015, the first ever Global Kulgeet Teleconference was arranged. The event was highly successful. IIT Roorkee Alumni sang Kulgeet together all over the Globe. The singing was participated by Dr S. P Gupta, Rajendra Agrawal, A. K Pant, Purnima Gupta and a number of other participants from India, England and USA. A total of about 100 participants took part including about 50 from Detroit where IIT R Alumni were celebrating the annual picnic. Kulgeet singing was followed by Bhajan, songs and patriotic songs by a number of legendary singers. The planned program included singing by Mrs Prem Krishna from Bangalore, Dr Arun Srivastava from Varanasi, Mridula Srivastava from UK, Manju Aggarwal from Boston, Nitu Kohli from California, Krishan Kumar and Revati Natesan from Chicago, Anita Sharma , Abha Singh and Master Harbans Lal from Detroit. The program was hosted by Harpreet Singh.
It can be watched by all IIT Alumni at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TFJXpm5JlA

Message from Prof Prem Krishna (BE '59 Civil), Global President, IITR Alumni Association

posted Jun 19, 2014, 12:18 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated Jun 19, 2014, 12:28 PM ]

We are privileged to share our alma mater with esteemed professionals like Prof Prem Krishna. He is a BE ’59 Civil Engineering graduate of University of Roorkee. Credited with many firsts in his field, Prof Krishan was awarded the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012. (Read full bio after his message..)

He is the Global President of our alumni association and we thank him for taking the time for this message to our alumni family in North America.

A Message from President, IIT Roorkee Alumni Association
Addressed to the IITRAA North America

Dear Alumni Friends,

A new Executive Committee of the IITRAA for the year 2014-15 started its tenure recently. I am thankful to have been asked to write this message, and through it, to have the pleasure of sending you my greetings , and to share some of my thoughts and information.

Although we are well aware of our great alma mater, it is just as well to be reminded that the IITRAA consists of alumni of an Institution of Technical education, with the richest heritage (167 years) in India, and even universally. I believe that the education and training we received at the portals of this institution and the traditions of discipline, commitment, diligence, humanism and civility to which we were exposed, followed by our continued interaction directly or indirectly, helped to built the foundation, over which we stand so strongly today, and progress in different stages of our careers.

In the early 1960’s, a few of our alumni took the courage to leave the comfort zone of their homes and families to go ‘Global’, particularly preferring the USA. The number of alumni there built up gradually, and today it constitutes a substantial presence amongst the engineering fraternity of that country. It need not be stated how effectively the name and reputation of the alma mater and the country has been upheld by our alumni in North America.

I am sure the IITRAA has tremendous potential. We can set our goals , in a spirit of service for the betterment of our alma mater and the profession, consistent with our potential, but our efforts will have a better chance of yielding the desired results only, if these are chosen prudently, and are not too many at a time. Furthermore. we will need to work together ,wherever we may be ,and, in tandem with our alma mater, which indeed is our fountainhead.

In the first couple of months of the tenure of this EC, effort has been to enhance connectivity. The IITRAA website ,www.iitraa.in ,is being earnestly updated. Effort is also being made to resume a 3-monthly e-News Letter. As in previous years, the major event in the coming months is the celebration of the Silver, Ruby(being formally re-started this year for batches with 40 years of graduation),Golden and Diamond Jubilees .

I seek your support to make our association more vibrant and effective, while working through the system, and will welcome advice and suggestions through our mailing address iitraa@gmail.com .

With warm good wishes , 

Yours sincerely,

Prem Krishna
(1959 Alumnus in Civil Engg.)
President IITRAA 2014-15

Prof Prem Krishna

In an engineering career commencing in 1959, and, spanning approximately 55 years to date, he has had a unique opportunity of studying and teaching at Civil Engineering Departments of the highest quality and reputation, our alma mater, the University of Roorkee (Now Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee), the University of Illinois, Urbana, USA, and the Imperial College of London, UK. In addition to being a committed teacher, he has been keenly active in R&D and maintained close interaction with industry in the areas of structural engineering , wind engineering & disaster mitigation.  

Born March 1938, he obtained his early degrees from the University of Roorkee - BE(Civil) in 1959, ME(Structures) in 1961. He obtained his Doctorate from Imperial College, London in 1964. 

He joined the faculty in Civil Engineering at the University of Roorkee in 1965 and retired from there in 1998. He however maintained contact with the institution in adjunct positions till 2007. 

At Roorkee, he held positions of Head of Civil Engineering Department and the Dean. 

He is also the son of another celebrated alumni, Prof Jai Krishna, who was the Vice Chancellor from 1971 to 1977. 

Important Professional Memberships/Positions
Fellow and Vice – President (2008), Indian National Academy of Engineering
Founder President, Indian Society of Wind Engineering (1993-2000)
President, International Association for Wind Engineering (1991-95)
2010 - Chairman, Research Council, CBRI, Roorkee

Pioneering Work
Always keen to look for new vistas, Prof.Prem Krishna can be credited with many “firsts”: 
First book on Cable Suspended Roofs – McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978
Design of the first cable stayed foot bridge in India, over the canal at Roorkee, 1982
Design of the first cable stayed road bridge in India, over the canal at Haridwar, 1988
First Major Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel in India at University of Roorkee, 1982
Help in designing Large (45m dia.) Radio Wave Antenna Dishes for setting up an Array at Khodad (near Pune), replacing for the first time anywhere, ‘bluff’ tubes by cables, to reduce wind loads and reducing cost by over 10%.
First and only Indian (so far) to become President, of the International Association of Wind Engineering, 1991    

Awards / Honours 
Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2012, IIT Roorkee.
Commemorative Volume released in honor, at the National Conference on Wind Engineering, Nagpur, February 2004. 
Outstanding Engineer Award by the IIT Roorkee – Institution of Engineers Roorkee Centre, Engineer’s Day, Sept. 2004.
Arthur Cotton Memorial Gold Medal, Institution of Engineers (India), 1986.
Jai Krishna Award of the Indian Society of Earthquake Technology for the best Society publication during the period 1974-1978.

Naveen Jain on Life, the Universe and Everything (with apologies to Douglas Adams) (PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014)

posted May 29, 2014, 12:33 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated May 29, 2014, 12:35 PM ]

[Article 3 of 3 from PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014 - Highlight on IIT Roorkee / Contributed by Sanjiv Sinha BE '98 EC]
As published in PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014
Featured IIT Roorkee Alumni
This month we focus on IIT-Roorkee. We highlight two alumni - Roopa Gir and Naveen Jain. Roopa, as a woman IIT alum has experienced first hand, the changing role of women in Technical Institutes and the workforce. She was one of the first women to enter the Geophysics department at IIT Roorkee in the 1970s. She had Naveen needs little introduction. He is a tech entrepreneur based in Seattle who blazed the trail for countless others that have since followed.

- IIT-R BE '79 alumni, MBA from XLRI
- Started two highly successful companies (Infospace and Inome)
- Ventured into Space Exploration (Moon Express)
- Co-Chairman at the X Prize Foundation
- Trustee of the board of Singularity University
- Philanthropic activities.
- Blogs at forbes.com
- Personal website is naveenjain.com.
Naveen Jain is a busy man. An IIT-R '79 alumni, he got his MBA from XLRI . So far, he has started two highly successful companies (Infospace and Inome) and ventured into Space Exploration (Moon Express). If that wasn't enough, he is also the Co-Chairman of "Education and Global Development" at the X Prize Foundation where he is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions to address the global challenges in education, poverty, agriculture, health, and clean water. In addition, Mr. Jain is a trustee of the board of Singularity University an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to educate and inspire leaders to address humanity's grand challenges through innovative technologies. And when he is done doing all that, he also finds time for his philanthropic activities.

His love of entrepreneurship thrives in his three children (23, 19, 16) all of who are engaged in their own entrepreneurial pursuits. He regularly blogs at forbes.com and his personal website is naveenjain.com.

He took time with us to talk about some of the topics that are important to him.

On Education
Our education system is not broken, it has just become obsolete.

When I think of all the tremendous, seemingly impossible feats made possible by entrepreneurs, I am amazed that more has not been done to reinvent our education system. I want all entrepreneurs to take note that this is a multi-hundred billion dollar opportunity that's ripe for disruption. We conveniently place the blame on problems that stem from budget cuts, teacher layoffs, inadequate technology in our schools and our education policies. We need to recognize the fact that our education system continues to address needs of a bygone era. It simply does not cater to the present or future needs. 

Our education system was developed for an industrial era where we could teach certain skills to our children and they were able to use these skills for the rest of their lives working productively in an industry. We are now living in a fast paced technological era where every skill that we teach our children becomes obsolete in the 10 to 15 years due to exponentially growing technological advances. We need a new way of thinking about equipping our kids with the tools to succeed in this new age.

On Success
How do we measure success? Success, of course, is very personal; there is no universal way of measuring success. What do successful people like Bill Gates and Mother Teresa have in common? On the surface it's hard to find anything they share-and yet both are successful. I personally believe the real metric of success isn't the size of your bank account. It's the number of lives where you might be able to make a positive difference. This is the measure of success we need to apply while we are on our journey to success.

On Innovation
The 10,000 hour hypothesis doesn't work for innovation any more.

I believe that people who will come up with creative solutions to solve the world's biggest problems - ecological devastation, global warming, the global debt crisis and distribution of dwindling natural resources, to name a few - will NOT be experts in their fields. The real disruptorswill be those individuals who are not steeped in one industry of choice, with those coveted 10,000 hours of experience, but instead, individuals who approach challenges with a clean lens, bringing together diverse experiences, knowledge and opportunities.

On Children
Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

Children are like sponges. They absorb everything that they see around them. Like it or not, they mimic the good and bad things about you. One of the biggest challenges for many of us in the Pan IIT community is how to instill good work ethics and values in our children, who are by any objective metric, privileged. 

The only way in my opinion that works is to be as good a model as you can. If working hard is an important value to you, then you need to constantly work hard and make sure your kids see that. If creating opportunities for others is important to you, then you need to be creating opportunities for others. 

Editor's Note: Entrepreneurship is a passion of Naveen. A passion that he seems to have passed on to his children. But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in eating it. You can see the validation of his approach with fatherhood in a blog post by his daughter Priyanka on The Huffington Post (you can read it here). With four entrepreneurs in his family, clearly something in Naveen's approach to fatherhood seems to be working.

Roopa Gir - breaking molds and blazing trails (PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014)

posted May 29, 2014, 12:15 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated May 29, 2014, 12:18 PM ]

[Article 2 of 3 from PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014 - Highlight on IIT Roorkee / Contributed by Sanjiv Sinha BE '98 EC]
As published in PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014
Featured IIT Roorkee Alumni
This month we focus on IIT-Roorkee. We highlight two alumni - Roopa Gir and Naveen Jain. Roopa, as a woman IIT alum has experienced first hand, the changing role of women in Technical Institutes and the workforce. She was one of the first women to enter the Geophysics department at IIT Roorkee in the 1970s. She had Naveen needs little introduction. He is a tech entrepreneur based in Seattle who blazed the trail for countless others that have since followed.

- First woman student in M Tech Geophysics, Gold Medal 1974
- President iEducateUSA
- First female Scientific Adviser within Schlumberger
- United Nations' Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues
- Board - AICAPD, TiE Houston, IAPAC, UNA, Samscriti and iEducateUSA
- Past President of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH)
- Past Vice President and Secretary of PanIIT USA
Roopa Gir is the president of iEducateUSA, a non-profit organization that is revolutionizing math and science education in underserved and underperforming schools. iEducateUSA was showcased at the recent IIT 2013 conference, where she served as the conference advisor, and was instrumental in bringing the conference to Houston. In her professional career she has served over31 years in the Oil & Gas Industry, with roles ranging from engineering, to marketing, to corporate& business development. Almost 16 of those years were spent overseas across Southeast Asia and Europe. As Director of Corporate Technology Watch and Scientific Advisor to Schlumberger, her last 5 years were focused on evaluating technologies relating to shale gas extraction. She continues her involvement in the industry as advisor to various existing and early-stage oilfield companies.

Roopa grew up in a family where education and arts were both given importance. In addition to her studies, she learned two classical forms of dancing (Bharatnatyam and Odissi), and continued to give performances until the late 1970s. Her passion for the arts remains today, with her serving as Vice President of Samscriti, an organization that promotes Indian art and culture in Houston.

Pioneers and explorers have always paved the way for those who follow, and their experience is a roadmap of success or failure to be followed or discarded. Roopa was the first female to seek admission in geophysics at IIT Roorkee. She was initially refused admission because of "concern for her safety"on long geological field trips. Not giving up, she overcame the university's concerns and became the first woman student in geophysics, continuing on to graduate with a gold medal in 1974 for standing first amongst all students in her year.

After a brief stint as assistant professor at Delhi University, Roopa was awarded the French government scholarship in 1974 (only one awarded per year in Geophysics) to pursue a PhD degree in Applied Geophysics. She obtained her PhD from L'Institut de Physique du Globe, Université Louis Pasteur, France with "mention très honoree." She subsequently began her career in Schlumberger as a Senior Development Engineer in Houston, Texas.

Roopa eventually became the first female Scientific Adviser within Schlumberger. She has also been recognized with the "Performed by Schlumberger" awards and a special "Never Give Up" award. The chairman Andrew Gould quoted her example as one of the successful women in science and technology in his keynote speech at a conference in Berlin, Germany. Among other honors, she was one of only 15 women from around the world to be invited by the United Nations' Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, to give a speech, at a UN Expert Group Meeting. She presented a joint paper with Andrew Gould as a key note address at a joint SEG/SPE conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on "Maximizing the Economic Performance of Oil and Gas Fields through Technology and Teamwork: Key elements for Creating Growth." She was recently invited to give a commencement speech at the University of Strasbourg.

There were many challenges along the way, especially working in the oilfield where women were extremely rare. Balancing work and family life was another challenge. At one point, she chose the technical ladder instead of the executive ladder which allowed more time with her son during his early years. Roopa believes that certain qualities drive success, including strong communication, tenacious zeal, an affinity for taking risks, and above all being a dreamer.

Roopa has always believed that the greatest satisfaction in life comes from giving back to the community. As a result, Roopa is on the board of several charitable & mentoring organizations, including AICAPD, TiE Houston, IAPAC, UNA, Samscriti and iEducateUSA. AICAPD is a unique pilot of 3 schools for children of migrant laborers in Bhonsi village, Gurgaon, where the school moves with the kids, hence the name "Innovation mobile School". Seed is another project in Haridwar district that was initiated by Roopa and supported by Pan IIT India and IIT Roorkee. She is also actively involved with the IIT alumni, having served as president of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH), and Vice President and Secretary of PanIIT USA. During her tenure, the PanIIT chapter development was launched. She chaired the first large scale national meet for IITR in Las Vegas. Finally, she is actively involved as an editor of PiTech Magazine, the Pan IIT flagship publication showcasing technologies of the IITs and people of Indian origin.

Some facts about IIT-R that you probably didn't know (PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014)

posted May 29, 2014, 11:40 AM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated May 29, 2014, 11:59 AM ]

[Article 1 of 3 from PAN IIT Newsletter Feb 2014 - Highlight on IIT Roorkee / Contributed by Sanjiv Sinha BE '98 EC]
Some facts about IIT-R that you probably didn't know / Compiled by Sanjay Keswani (IITR -'87)
  1. IIT Roorkee is the oldest engineering college in India; it started in 1847 and was named Thomason College of College of Civil Engineering in 1853 after the founder Sir James Thomason(College of Engineering, Guindy is older but it did not become a college till 1859).
  2. The institute has a history of being a family affair with many generations having attended it. In fact, having the grandfather, father and the son(daughter) celebrating their 75th, 50th and 25th graduation anniversary is not unheard of.
  3. The India Army Corps of Engineers received training at Roorkee between 1934 and 1943 before relocating to its current location as School of Military Engineering in Dapodi near Pune.
  4. Student dining messes had butlers till the early 1990s - they were referred to as "Butlet-Ji".
  5. As part of student initiation a.k.a ragging, proper dining etiquette was imparted including the ability to put the bowl into a plate with a fork!!
  6. Roorkee students were familiar with Lattes and Cappuccinos much before it was the fad - coffee paste (Nescafe with Sugar) with milk was served in every breakfast.
  7. The Beatles have stayed off-campus twice (at Motel Polaris - 1970 and 1972) on their way to Hardwar.
  8. The Convocation Hall was a Second World War Hangar.
  9. The Main Building has been in at least two Bollywood movies - Satyakam - where it was supposedly the Medical College Dharmendra's character went to, and more recently Paan Singh Tomar, where it was supposed to be the Army command of the contingent Paan Singh was a part of.
  10. On clear days you can see the snow-capped Himalayas from the campus.
  11. Only campus that offers rowing (in the Ganga canal) as an extra-curricular activity.
  12. It has over 13 Billiards tables on campus (part of the British heritage).
  13. A copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays printed in 1623 of which there were only 250 copies made, was discovered in the IITR library by its chief librarian M.S. Rana.
  14. Vinita Gupta, a 1974 University of Roorkee alum, is one of the woman Distinguished Alumni (DS) among all IITs.

Remembering Dr Sushil Chandra (BE '57 Civil)

posted Dec 30, 2013, 10:05 AM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated Dec 31, 2013, 10:28 AM ]

Dr. Sushil Chandra (BE '57 Civil) passed away in the morning of Dec 10th 2013 at 5:30 am at his residence in Fremont, California. He is survived by his wife Mithlesh and 

Dr Sushil Chandra (B.E. '57 Civil)

Thanks to Mr Aditya Gupta (B.E. '74 Mech)
three children Raju, Dolly and Robin.

A successful engineer, he taught at University of Roorkee, and then at the Agriculture University, Ludhiana. He worked at international firms of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago and Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco.

The son of a Thomasonian himself, Dr. Sushil Chandra was a 1957 graduate of Civil Engineering. A committed alumni, he was IIT Roorkee President of Alumni Association of North America (then University of Roorkee Alumni Association) during the 1980s.

His wife, Mithlesh Chandra, initiated University of Rookree Alumni gathering in Bay area in early 80s with only 8 families participating and continued for 6-7 years. This gathering has increased to more than 200 families now.

He will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues and alumni. 

Dr. Anand Prakash (BE '57 Civil), who was Dr. Chandra's batch mate in Roorkee remembers him as "a good colleague and enthusiastic Thomasonian". (Full Text below)

Dr. Shailendra Hajela (BE '57), his batchmate, recalls, "There was no indication at all that he would be going to leave us soon for ever." He remembered how Dr. Chandra was an "endearing friend". People like him, who are "so intensely caring,concerned, and loving are difficult to find". Part of the batch of 1957 living with "the Thomasonian spirit of Roorkee", Dr Chandra was "a real Thomasonian, till he breathed his last".(Full Text below)

Dr. Surendra Goel (BE '58 Civil), a long time associate and friend, recalls him as "one of the most sincere, caring and loving person one could ever find". (Full Text below)

Dr. Gyan Agarwal (BE '60 EE), a friend of over 40 years, shared their pictures together, that are included in this article.

Ms. Purnima Gupta (BArch '68), one of his cousins, remembers him as "a caring cousin", who always remained "supportive' of her. (Full Text below)

Mr. Anoop Verma (BE '87 EE)* said, "I did not have the privilege of knowing Dr Sushil Chandra personally but I am inspired by his Thomasonian spirit and his practice of self less caring for others. I urge everyone to read what his batchmates, friends and fellow alumni say about him and follow his example. We all pray for peace to his soul."

For condolences, please feel free to donate to any of the following charities:
  • American Red Cross
  • American Assoc of Retired People
May God bring peace to his soul.

* Anoop Verma is the current President of IIT Roorkee Alumni Association of North America (IIT RAANA)

Dr. Anand Prakash (BE '57 Civil) 

It is really sad for all of us to have lost a good colleague and enthusiastic Thomasonian in Dr. Sushil Chandra. I have known him since 1954, at the commencement of our three-year degree program in civil engineering at the University of Roorkee. He was a very likable, sincere friend. After graduation in 1957, he, along with his room partner at Roorkee (the late Prof. K.P. Sharma), joined the faculty there. Both room partners were interested in photography. Subsequently, Sushil came to America, finished his doctorate at the University of Colorado, Boulder and returned back to India to join as a faculty member at the Agriculture University, Ludhiana. Around 1974-75, he returned back to Chicago and started his career in the engineering industry in 

Sushil was a very active member of the Roorkee alumni community and formerly served as its president. He contributed generous donations for the institution 
and steered 

Dr. Sushil Chandra and wife Mithlesh in Hawaii in 2002

Thanks to Dr Gyan Agarwal (BE '60 EE)
others to follow suit. His passion and love for the alma mater and for his classmates of the 1957 batch was so intense that, once he flew all the way from San Francisco to Chicago, along with his dear wife, (Mithilesh ji), to meet another 1957 graduate (Mr. Bisaria) and his family. They (Mr. Bisaria and his family) were visiting Chicago and could not fly to his place (Freemont, Ca.). Sushil and I worked together to prepare a speech (a suggested challenge and path forward for IIT Roorkee), which he 

He had the distinction of being the only one of the 1957 batch, who maintained a network of regular, daily e-mail communications with most of us. These e-mail communications included unique pictures, unique quotes, Hindi and English poems, political and religious views and news, suggestions for social, professional, and academic improvements, hilarious and emotional short stories, cartoons, and so many varied topics. Every one of the recipients appreciated his effort to keep us in touch with one another and entertained at the same time.    
delivered at the 50th anniversary of 1957 graduates. We worked together to develop a draft proposal for establishing an IIT Roorkee Center for Research on Sustainable use of Natural Resources in Noida, India.  I do not know if there had been any follow-up activity on that proposal.USA, moving on from the international firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago to another international firm, Bechtel Corporation, in San Francisco. I had the privilege of knowing his father, Mr. Trilok Chand, as well, from whom I took over as Executive Engineer at the University of Roorkee in 1967. Like father, like son; both were thorough gentlemen.

Each morning, my wife would be excited to open our e-mails and announce to me that there were two, three or four interesting e-mails from Sushil Chandra. We used to fondly enjoy them and communicate our responses by way of appreciation to him. Alas, when I opened the e-mails on Dec. 10, 2013, there was none from him and there has been none ever since. It is gloomy and shocking and hard to digest that he is no more and that there would be no such communications any more.

In one of his e-mails, some time back, Sushil sent us the following message, which used to be one of the most common themes of his communications:

जिंदगी का सबसे बड़ा सच यही है,
जो अक्सर कबरिस्तान के बाहर,
बोर्ड पर लिखा होता है |
मंजिल तो यही थी,
बस जिंदगी गुज़र गयी मेरी,
यहाँ आते आते |”
ज़िंदगी का लम्हा बहुत छोटा सा है,
कल की कोई बुनियाद नहीं है,
और आने वाला कल सिर्फ सपने में ही है |
अब बच गए इस पल में,
कुछ रफ़्तार धीमी करो,
मेरे दोस्त,और इस ज़िंदगी को जियो |
खूब जियो मेरे दोस्त,
और, औरों को भी जीने दो |

Well said, Dear Sushil. Such is life.

How painful it is to recognize that, within the passage of a few tense and sorrowful moments, preceding 5:30 AM on December 10, 2013, Providence has forced us to address him in past tense.

Farewell, Dear Sushil! May heavenly eternal peace be with you!

Dr. Shailendra Hajela (BE '57)

There was no indication at all that he would be going to leave us soon for ever. He was fond of Talat's songs and sang 

Dr. Sushil Chandra and wife Mithlesh in Yosemite National Park in 2007

Thanks to Dr. Surendra Goel (BE '58 Mech)
one of them: "Tasbeer teri, Dil mera behla no sakegi" for all of us at the Lunch he hosted at Swagat Restaurant in Milpitas. Ironically, this is precisely the state he has left all of us in. He used to sing very well and you talked about his and Ram Kumar's singing, as you may recall.

His wife, Mithilesh ji, told my wife, Aruna, that on that fateful day, he woke up early in the morning as usual and after going to the Toilet, was resting on the bed, when he experienced breathing problem, coughed twice and was no more. She called 911. The Emergency van with paramedics came in 5 minutes. The paramedics tried to revive him but he was gone. The end came all too sudden.

He was a very endearing friend, always volunteering and willing to help. During my visits to California since 2003 to meet two of my three children and their families, almost every 4 weeks or earlier, he used to visit me. On several occasions, we were his weekend house guests too. He was a generous host and a very large hearted person. In order for me to be able to drive while in California, he gave me his Toyota Camary car as Gift. It was in very good shape and could run (and will run) without any major maintenance for another 120,000 miles. Such persons, so intensely caring,concerned, and loving are difficult to find. But when I look at the bond that our batch of 1957 has naturally fostered for each other, I consider myself very lucky to belong to it. May be, the affinity and mutual respect we developed for each other is a result of the way our lives got regulated by the discipline, culture and tradition, above all the Thomasonian spirit of Roorkee during the three years we spent together there. Sushil, of course, has been the torch bearer of our batch in California USA, a real Thomasonian, till he breathed his last. He will always be remembered by us.

With love and best wishes to all of you,

Shailendra Hajela

Dr Surendra Goel (BE '58 Civil)

Dr. Sushil Chandra was one of the most sincere, caring and loving person one could ever find. He freely showered his ample love and generosities not only on his family but all friends, and the society as a whole.

My association with Sushil started at Roorkee where he was one year senior to me. We got to know each other well when we were both working on the faculty of the university. As luck would have it, we both came to the USA as doctorate scholars at about the same time frame. He had enrolled at the University of Colorado at Bolder but he had relocated to the University of Illinois at Chicago for his research work. I was located at the 

Dr. Sushil Chandra and wife Mithlesh with Dr Gyan Agarwal and Sadhna Agarwal in Hawaii in 2002

Thanks to Dr Gyan Agarwal (BE '60 EE)
University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, only some 120 miles away. We visited each other with families. Naturally, a beautiful family relationship blossomed that we treasure until today.

Sushil was a very successful engineer. His research on fiber reinforced concrete was a far reaching break-through. But he was always most proud of his loving and most successful family. His devotion to his family that included his wife Mithlesh, and children Raju, Dolly and Robin was complete and it was and is an ideal family in all respects. Whenever we talked on the telephone, I remember the most time fondly talking about the exploits of the family. Sushil's association with Roorkee was a inherited as his father was also a Roorkee alumnus who had also served on the campus' administration.

Sushil's love of Roorkee led him to assume the president ship of the Alumni Association of the North American Chapter during the 1980s which was a very trying and formative period for the association. He loved India and returned to a faculty position in Punjab soon after completing his doctorate where he spent about five years. On his return, he plunged full fledged into consulting engineering where he continued until his retirement.

Sushil has left a legacy of love and affection for all of us. We rejoice for having him in our lives and will remember him forever.

Ms Purnima Gupta (BArch '68), Past President IIT Roorkee Alumni Association of North America

Dr. Sushil Chandra was my cousin. My Dadiji and his Naniji were sisters. We were both raised mostly in Roorkee and were visiting each other often. The oldest among 7 brothers and one sister, he was a caring cousin. I remember his visits to our home when he was a student. Some times he would take me to his home on a bicycle. I remember when he got married. Bhabhiji was always pleasant, hard working and a supportive addition to his family. I remember seeing her in the kitchen most of the time like a nice bahu in a joint family. I celebrated many Teej festivals at his parental home, with Buaji and Bhabhiji as our hosts.

After a few years, he was in Chicago, when I arrived to join my ex and do Master's in Architecture at Urbana-Champagne. He was our contact person to locate each other. A couple of years later, we moved to Chicago. As the time went, he moved to California and we moved to Raleigh, NC. We visited each other frequently. We were invited by them for dinner during our visit to California, when one of our worst husband/wife arguments broke out. We canceled their invitation. They were very accommodating and invited us the next day and the next day, but it was not to work out. We subsequently divorced. Since then my contact with Chandra family got dislocated, like with most other Indian families. I will always remember Sushil Bhaisaheb for his loving and caring attitude. He always remained supportive.

I know that he will be missed by his survivors, three talented sons and daughters and many other relatives and friends for a long time."

Purnima Gupta

One of Sushil Bhaisaheb's favorite cousins

IIT Roorkee at Global PAN IIT 2013 Conference Houston, PAN IIT 2014 to be hosted by IIT Roorkee

posted Dec 13, 2013, 11:17 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated Dec 17, 2013, 7:36 PM ]

Global PAN IIT 2013 Conference Houston was held from Friday, Dec 6th to Sunday, Dec 8th.  All attendees enjoyed this conference for its excellent execution, good fun, inspirational speakers, and fantastic content like the insightful and thought provoking keynotes by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen (noted economist), President Vicente Fox (ex-President Mexico), Blake Irving (GoDaddy CEO), Gene Kranz (Flight Director, Apollo 13) and other stars.

The conference concluded with the baton being passed for PAN IIT 2014. IIT Roorkee will be the host of next conference in 2014 to be held in Delhi. Mr. Himangshu Vaish, Chairman PAN IIT India, accepted the baton on behalf of IIT Roorkee.
Prof S C Sharma addressing the alumni
During the conference, Prof. S. C. Sharma (BE '80 Mech), Dean of Alumni Affairs joined the IIT Roorkee alumni from U.S.A. and India. He addressed the alumni on Friday with the following update on the key developments at IIT Roorkee:
  • Centre of excellence in (a) Packaging at Sahatranpur Campus (b) Urban Planning and Development, and (c) Healthcare Engineering. These centres currently operating in virtual mode in their initial stageand are making steady progress.
  • A RailTel IITR Centre of Excellence in Telecom (RICET) has been recently established at IIT Roorkee under sponsorship from Department of Telecommunication, Govt. of India and RailTel Corporation of India Ltd.
  • A futuristic Master plan of IIT Roorkee Campus has recently been completed by a San Francisco based architectural company EHDD, the first phase of new Construction is now being undertaken. It includes - New Hostels, Lecture Hall Complex, Students Activity Centre etc.
  • Read more on IIT Roorkee's Task Force..
This conference was special with IIT Roorkee's Pratish Kanani (BE '87 Mech) leading the charge as the co-chair. Hats off to him, it was an awesome event. All the attendees had great things to say about it and it set the standard for all subsequent events. Read More..


  • Amit Singhal (BE '89 CST), SVP and Google fellow, received the PAN IIT Leadership award for his achievements in technology - isn't that something !! Read More..
    PAN IIT 2013 Houston - IIT Roorkee Attendees
    Some Roorkee Attendees at the Pre-conference Social
    (Click on Picture for larger picture)
    Roorkee attendees at Hersh's Post Conference Tea
    Pratish Kanani (BE '87), Conference Co-chair with 1987 batchmates
  • Prof Sudhir Jain (B.E. 79 Civil), Director IIT Gandhinagar, was among the alumni attendees.
  • Hersh Kumar’s (B.E. '78 IE) talk on ‘How to Succeed in Business’ was a huge success. He also supported the next generation entrepreneurs with sponsorship and venture funds for Business Case Competition. Read More..
  • Ms Purnima Gupta (B.Arch. '68) received the PAN IIT Service award - a well deserved recognition for her invaluable contributions to the PAN IIT movement. Read More..
  • Sanjiv Sinha (BE '89 CST)and Kush Tandon (M.Tech. '87) led the informal events, enjoyed by all with quizzes, singing and whole lot of fun.
  • Soapbox presentation on iEducateUSA , a non-profit headed by Roopa Gir (MTech '74)
  • Gyan Saxena (BE '87 Mech) joined the the PAN IIT Executive Committee leading Chapter Liaison for the new term
  • Roopa Gir (MTech '74) was instrumental in getting this conference to Houston by preparing the bid and winning it eventually. She was a conference advisor.
And.. thumping rocking evening with "Dum Maro Dum" and "Hari Om Hari" - Usha Uthup.

Last but not the least.. Excellent food. For full coverage visit iit2013.org and https://www.facebook.com/iitGlobalConference.

Thanks to Hersh for the post conference tea and Roopa for post dinner tea - It was fun!!

We were privileged to have some of our senior alumni, some of the senior most alumni being Mr Gyan Agarwal (BE '60 EE) with Mrs Sadhna Agarwal, Mr Shailendra Endley (BE '63 Civil), Mr Ashok Nagrath (BE '64 EE) and Mr Haku Israni (BE '66 Civil) as the attendees. We thank all the attendees for their time during the campus meeting at the conference for the updates from Prof S C Sharma (Dean Alumni Affairs) and IIT R Heritage Foundation (Manoj Goel, Harish Goyal, Prady Misra and Aditya Gupta).

For the newsletter and updates, please sign up at http://www.iitraana.net/ or contact via email iitraanasa@iitroorkeealumni.org.

Amit Singhal (B.E. '89 CST) receives PAN IIT Leadership Award

posted Dec 13, 2013, 10:45 PM by Iitraana Sysadmin   [ updated Dec 13, 2013, 10:47 PM ]

Amit Singhal (B.E. '89 CST), SVP and Google Fellow, was among the recipients of the PAN IIT USA American Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements and accomplishments of IIT alumni who have made significant contributions to American society and throughout the world. The winners will be honored at a ceremony during Global PAN IIT 2013 Conference held in Houston from Friday, Dec 6th to Sunday, Dec 9th 2013.

More than 500 nominees were considered for these prestigious awards, which represent specific categories of achievement - Academic, Entreprenur, Corporate, Lifetime, Technology and Social Entrepreneur. “The American Leadership Award winners represent the best of IIT alumni in the U.S. with their diverse accomplishments and contributions to American job creation, education, and philanthropy,” said Gunjan Bagla, Founder and Managing Director of Amritt, Inc., Past President of PAN IIT USA and one of the driving forces behind these awards. "These alumni embody the spirit of our upcoming conference by truly bringing solutions for a better world through their thought leadership, business acumen and sense of social responsibility. We are humbled and awed by their accomplishments.”

Amit received this awards for Technology Leadership, jointly with Sunder Pichai, another SVP and Google Fellow and graduate of IIT Kharagpur.

Amit Singhal is a senior vice president and Google Fellow who is responsible for the development of Google search. Amit has worked in the field of search for more than 20 years, first as an academic researcher and now as a Google engineer. His research interests include information retrieval, its application to web search, web graph analysis and user interfaces for search. Amit Singhal has overseen Google's search engine ranking algorithms since 2000. The team tests thousands of changes to search in a given year, and launches more than 500. 

Prior to joining Google in 2000, Amit was a senior member of technical staff at AT&T Labs. He has an undergraduate degree in India from IIT, Roorkee, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, all in computer science. At Cornell, he studied information retrieval with the late Gerard Salton, one of the founders of the field. Amit has co-authored more than 30 scientific papers and numerous patents.

Coming soon: Amit's acceptance speech

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