Chennai: IIT Madras, today, launched an “Institute Chair” in the institute’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Chair is established in the name of Mr Venkataratnam Balaraman. Balaraman, who is also the Chairman of Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), is a manager par excellence with a long and distinguished career as MD of Pond’s India Limited and thereafter as Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited. The most notable of his achievements is the large number of protégés who worked under him, absorbed his value systems, and went on to occupy positions of high leadership in India and abroad. The Chair is endowed by one such protégé, an ‘81 alumnus of IIT Madras, in recognition of the signature contributions made by both IITM and by Balaraman to society.
Prof R Nagarajan, Dean of International & Alumni Relations at IIT Madras, welcomed the establishment of the Chair and stated, “This is another sign of the continuing support that IIT Madras enjoys from our alumni. They contribute time, talent and treasure, and we value them all equally. By recognizing a management guru, IIT Madras is also indicating that it is always ready to honour achievers beyond pure academicians” according to an official release.
Mr. V Balaraman, expressed his pleasure at the association and said, “I am proud of this new association with IIT Madras from where both my sons have graduated, where some of my friends and relatives have been teachers /students and where I have worked as part of the team to set new curriculum in the past. IIT Madras is a global exemplar in the fields of education, research, technology and engineering!”
Prof. N. Ramesh Babu, a faculty member from the department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, will be the occupant of this chair. He has been involved in research & development work in the manufacturing domain with a specific focus on the development of advanced and precision machine tools. His interaction with industries, both national and international, made it possible to carry out translational research from laboratory level to floor level. This chair professorship will encourage him to pursue his translational research more vigorously.
The Board of Governors of IIT Madras have created “Institute Chair Professorships”, to be occupied by IIT Madras professors who have distinguished themselves and have been recognized by their peers for their research and/or technology development, and who have excelled in teaching and service to the Institute/ nation/ profession. The Chair has a term of 5 years, and is renewable, provided performance level has been maintained. Institute Chairs are expected to play a lead role in enabling IIT Madras to meet its strategic objectives, as documented in “Strategic Plan 2020”.
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