Sam Pitroda gets Lifetime Achievement Award at ASEI’s 31st annual convention in California

B V Jagadeesh awarded too.

L-R: Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII; Dr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation and Kris Gopalakrishnan, President, CII and Co-founder & Executive Vice Chairman, Infosys Ltd.

American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin (ASEI) held its 31st annual convention focusing on the theme of ‘Technology Driven Future’, at the California Polytechnic, Pomona, California, earlier this month.

The objective of the convention was to promote and share advancements related to new generation technologies in various engineering disciplines, according to a press release. In addition to ASEI members from various chapters, the convention was attended by over 400 professionals, including scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders across the US. This convention featured multiple interactive sessions with prominent business owners, technologists, media personalities, educators, and policy makers. It was a unique opportunity to celebrate success from positive contribution of engineers of Indian-origin residing in the US.

Hosted by ASEI’s Southern California chapter, on December 3, this event brought together who’s who of technology and engineering world, sharing latest innovations and popular topics in four tracks to tackle the theme of Technology Driven Future.

While the morning keynote by ICANN Senior VP Ashwin Rangan stood out with thought provoking technologies, talks like Dr. Ravi Tilak’s speech on ‘Ancient Eastern Philosophy and Engineering’ provided insight with new information. The day-long sessions kept the audience stimulated with the latest in learning along four tracks, viz. Life Sciences and Health Technologies, Emergent Information Technologies, Smart Infrastructure and Utilities and Emerging trends in small Businesses.

ASEI presented Lifetime Achievement Award to the architect of India’s telecom revolution – Sam Pitroda, who supercharged the audience with his life story and journey. Holder of nearly 100 patents and 20 honorary Ph.D., Pitroda emphasized to focus on solving problems of the poor rather than rich people’s problems and to “dream big”.

ASEI Engineering Entrepreneurship award went to B.V Jagadeesh – an engineer-turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur and now an active venture capitalist and prolific mentor to start-ups for co-leading the “Billion Dollar Babies” initiative under the TiE umbrella.  There were several other awards, including a special award for long time engineer turned entrepreneur and “Marble King” Manu Shah.

ASEI also recognized Shrikant Agarwal with AS#EI Service Excellence award for his service to the organization over the past 10 years while Jwalant Lakhia was given ASEI Founder’s award for the services rendered last year.

Corporate Engineering Recognition Programme (CERP) awards were given to engineers on behalf of sponsors Siemens (Hiren Dedhia), GSR Technologies (Vamsi Krishna), Southern California Gas company (Vijai Atavane) and Smart Utilities Systems (Harman Sandhu, Manoj Singh and Rajiv Gupta).

The highlight of the evening celebratory gala dinner was the ASEI award ceremony and keynote speeches, book ended by engineer-turned comedian Dan Ninan’s emceeing and dance performances by Karmagraphy.

Earlier in the day, three students – Sandhya Selvaraj, Raja Kalavacherla and Srinivas Gavini – were awarded for leadership and service to ASEI. Six engineering students (two undergraduates -Mohith Buxani and Shreya Malik and four graduates – Himani Agrawal, Rajthilak Ganesan, Sandeep Gade and Prakruthi Hareesh) won ASEI Scholarship awards.

Since its inception, over the past 30 years, ASEI has given out $200,000 worth of merit based scholarships to deserving graduate and undergraduate engineering students.

Started 33 years ago in 1983 in Michigan, ASEI has established eight chapters across the nation. After launching the Silicon Valley chapter in 2015 under leadership of Piyush Malik with a focus on STEM enrichment and preparing youth for the technology driven jobs of tomorrow, an announcement of Seattle chapter to be led by Aaron Ghumman was recently made, as also the formation of a 501 c (3) Global ASEI Foundation under chairmanship of Subba Gopavarapu to scale these programs.


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