Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has launched ‘V Balakrishnan Institute Chair’ to focus on research and teaching in the areas of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and theoretical foundation of Engineering.
The Chair was named in honor of professor V Balakrishnan, a former faculty of IIT Madras and a distinguished Indian theoretical physicist whose expertise spans several fields and areas, including particle physics, many-body theory, and the mechanical behavior of solids, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and quantum dynamics. The Chair was endowed by IIT Madras alumnus, Satish Ramakrishna who is currently the managing director and chief risk officer of Two Sigma Investments, a New York-based hedge venture capital firm.
“V Balakrishnan is intensely analytical and is a great communicator of a rational approach to life, which is an approach followed by intelligent and purposeful people. The occupants of the Chair have a high mark to aspire to,” Ramakrishna said.
Professor Sarit Kumar Das, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, was selected as the first occupant of the ‘V Balakrishnan Institute Chair.’ Das research varies from a wide range of heat transfer applications such as nanofluids, biological heat transfer microfluidics, and nanoparticle mediated drug delivery in cancer cells. He is also an elected fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering.
“This Chair is bound to attract some of the brightest minds to come to IIT Madras and also aspire to become an occupant of this Chair. This occasion is also the time to reminiscence the journey of IIT Madras in the last 60 years. Today for every one faculty position that the Institution advertises for, around 40 people apply for the position. This is a leading indicator of a good educational Institute,” professor Mahesh Panchagnula, dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said.