9 Indian Americans to be honored at the American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin’s national convention

To be held at the University of California, Irvine, on September 27th.

By The American Bazaar Staff

NEW YORK: Nine Indian Americans will be honored at the American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin’s (ASEI) 29th National Convention, to be held at the campus of University of California, Irvine, on September 27th.

The theme of the convention is ‘STEM: Ideas for the 21st Century’ with presentations in four tracks on Biomedical Devices and Life Sciences, Disruptive Technologies focusing on Big Data and Internet of Things, Emerging Trends in Engineering and Growth of STEM. Over 500 professionals including scientists, engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders are expected to attend this convention, according to a press release.

“The conference tracks will cover all new emerging technologies and look at the growth of engineering sciences,” said ASEI Chairman Subba Gopavarapu, in a statement.

According to the convention chairman Kupp Sridhar, 50 experts will serve as panelists and technical presenters drawn from different spectrum of industries. Of these, six are keynote speakers, including Prime Healthcare CEO Dr. Prem Reddy, Southern California Gas Company Senior VP Patrick Lee, Microsoft General Manager Eugene Chi, Boeing Research and Technology VP & GM Dr. Greg Hyslop and Abbott Medical Optics President Murthy V. Simhabhatia.

The convention will end with a finale awards banquet where nine outstanding achievers and those who contributed to ASEI growth and the society at large will be honored. In addition, four students will be presented with scholarships.

“We have selected the best from a pool of nominations received,” said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the ASEI Awards committee.

This year’s Award recipients are:

Vishwa Prasad – ASEI Entrepreneur of the Year: Prasad is CEO and Founder of People Tech Group (Bellevue, WA). Trained as an engineer in information technology, Vishwa started his career in ING Vysya before moving to Wipro, where he mooted their PeopleSoft Practice initiative. Vishwa led Wipro’s PeopleSoft Practice in US and held different positions at Wipro before he set off on his own to establish People Tech Inc. which is a group of companies. As the founder and CEO of People Tech Group, he has taken IT consulting to a new level by transforming services from the traditional delivery oriented services to a sharp customer focus. People Tech Group has grown to an 800 size employee company.

Dr. Gabriel D. Roy – ASEI Exceptional Merit Award: Dr. Roy served as a faculty member in mechanical engineering in India and the U.S. and also managed sponsored research and IR&D in industry. He held positions of Associate Director at the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global Singapore, Program Manager for Advanced Propulsion for the U.S. Navy at the Office of Naval Research, and for Pulse Power at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and published over 20 books and 100 papers. He received the US Secretary of Navy Medal for Meritorious Civil Service. Roy is the recipient of the ASME Jean F. Lewis Energy Systems Award, JANNAF Combustion Award, AIAA Energy Systems Award and TRW Roll of Honor Award, and was selected for the Hind Rattan Award in India.

Dr. G. K. Surya Prakash – ASEI Engineer/ Scientist of Year in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering: Dr. Prakash is professor, director and the holder of the George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California. His primary research interests are in superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic and organofluorine chemistry, with particular emphasis in the areas of energy and catalysis. Prakash is a prolific author (~ 700 peer-reviewed scientific papers, ~ 40 patents and 11 books) and has received many awards and accolades including the inaugural 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation by the State of Israel for his work on the Methanol Economy (co-shared with Nobel Laureate, George A. Olah). He is a fellow of the American Association of Advancement of Science, a Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Foreign Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and an American Chemical Society Fellow.

Abraham Pannikottu – ASEI Engineer/ Scientist of Year in Mechanical and Materials Engineering: Pannikottu is the principal of an Ohio based engineering firm which developed a unique carbon fiber hoop design zero pressure tire for the US military that could keep military vehicles running faster and longer after an attack. Akron, Ohio based American Engineering Group (AEG) has received a $1 million Phase II manufacturing grant from the US defense department to develop a tire that will continue running even after being shredded by roadside bombs or gunfire. Abraham has a mechanical engineering degree from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology in Surat, Gujarat. He later completed graduate studies in polymer science at the University of Akron. In 2006 Pentagon honored Pannikottu and his engineering group for exceptional performance that exemplifies the goal of bringing innovative technologies to the soldier for designing an airless tire for the Stryker armored vehicle. His group is also working on new innovative products such as US national football league helmet and implantable cost-effective titanium hip and knee.

Shailesh Naik – ASEI Engineer/ Scientist of Year in Civil and Water & Waste Water Management: Naik is an outstanding civil engineer, who is based in New York.  He is the Principal of the multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy firm Charles A. Manganaro Consulting Engineers, P.C. Although having a Structural Engineering background, Shailesh has extensive experience in the design of numerous water and wastewater facilities and rehabilitation of water and sewer infrastructure. Manganaro Engineers are currently working on rehabilitation of very large bore sewers in one of the busiest highway corridors in the State of New Jersey.  Naik is on the board of the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects and has served as the president of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – Connecticut Chapter.  Shailesh was recently awarded “Outstanding Engineer in Private Practice” by the Westchester/ Putnam Chapter of New York State Society of Professional Engineers. A Civil Engineering graduate form University of Bombay, he completed a Master’s degree from Clemson University.

Dr. Raman Menon Unnikrishnan – ASEI Service Excellence: Unnikrishnan (Fellow, IEEE) is the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Fullerton since 2001. Prior to joining CSUF in 2001 as dean, he was the Head of the Electrical Engineering Department RIT in Rochester, NY. As a past Commissioner of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET he serves as a mentor to the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) of India and helped India in its successful quest to acquire membership in the Washington Accord. He is a Life member of ASEI and a past member of the Board of Directors of ASEISoCal.

Sharanpal (Paul) Singh Sikand – ASEI Lifetime Achievement: Paul is one of the founders of ASEI So Cal Chapter. He has served as the President of the So Cal Chapter and as the Chairman of ASEI National. During the ASEI National Conventions, he has presented technical papers, chaired technical sessions and chaired award committee. He has Chaired ASEI Election committees. Professionally, he is a Boeing Technical Fellow and a Designated Engineering Representative of the FAA. His technical expertise includes airplane propulsion, fuel, and fire protection systems. Sikand has a MS degree in mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He has two patents and is recipient of the Boeing Special Invention Award. He has been awarded the SAE Marvin Whitlock Award and the Franklin Kolk Award in recognition of his contributions to the aerospace industry. He has authored over 20 papers and won best paper and presentation awards at international conferences.

Ganapati S Sridhar – ASEI Founder’s Award: Sridhar has been associated with ASEI since last 12 years and was a president for National Capital Chapter during 2006-2007. He was also national board member until last year. He has received numerous reorganization from ASEI including Entrepreneur year award in 2011. Sridhar is currently works for PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC) Health Care Practice. Being influenced by his LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified wife, he recently introduced new portable BioGas plant in USA. Few of them are successfully deployed in Pennsylvania.

Deeksha Seth – Student of the Year: Seth is a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University and received her Bachelors of Sciences in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Cal Poly Pomona. Her doctoral research focuses on understanding the distributed 2D mechanical properties of a swimming fish for which she executes perturbation studies on live fish and uses engineering principles like dynamics, fluid-structure interaction and system identification. Her secondary research focus is on understanding successful strategies to enhance engineering education for college and K-12 kids. She has been an ASEI member since 2005 and this year she was the track chair for track-4 called Growth in STEM.


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