Our Alumni

JNT Alumni 1991 - 2000

Dr. Vinayak V. Deshpande (1991) completed M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami, U.S.A. and also in Operations Research from Columbia University, U.S.A. and Ph.D. in Operations Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He is presently Associate Professor of Operations at the Kenan – Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina, U.S.A.

His research interests are in the area of supply chain collaboration, service parts management and addressing security and privacy issues in supply chains in industries such as defense, aviation, airlines, computers and automobiles. He was honoured with the best contribution award by the Airline Group, the International Federation of Operational Research Societies. He has worked with the U.S. Coast Guard on a series of projects for optimising the supply chain used for aircraft service parts. He was honoured as an Edelman Award Laureate for being an outstanding example of management science and operations research practice.

Dr. Umrao R. Monani (1991) completed Ph.D. degree in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Ohio State University, U.S.A. (OSU). He stayed on at OSU to do his postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Neurology under Arthur Burghes. During his Fellowship he was awarded a Development Grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and began working on motor neuron disease. His key work included defining the critical difference between the SMN1 and SMN2 genes and using it as a basis to generate a number of mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). He briefly worked in the biotechnology sector hoping to apply protein transduction technology to treat neurodegenerative diseases. In 2004, he won an American Academy of Neurology / SMA Foundation Young Investigator Award, returning to academia to be on faculty of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University. More recently he was bestowed a Sanofi-Aventis Innovator Award. He is now associate Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology at the Columbia University Medical Centre where he conducts translational research to find better and more effective treatments for a number of pediatric neurological diseases.

Dr. Ramesh Natarajan (1992) completed Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry at the Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A. in 1997. In 2003 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, U.S.A. Presently he holds the position of the Programme Director, Tissue Injury and Repair, Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A. The awards received by him include the American Lung Association Research Fellowship Training Award in 1999; the A.D. Williams Research Awards in 2004 and 2010 and special research awards from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust in 2004, 2005 and 2011.

Dr. UmanathNayak (1992) completed a Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology Surgery from the University of California, U.S.A. After completing his Fellowship he returned to India in 1995. Dr. Nayak is now the Consultant Head and Neck Oncologist at the Apollo Cancer Hospital, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad. His area of specialisation lies in the treatment of Head and Neck Cancers, Oral Cancer, Cancer of the Throat, Thyroid and Parotid Gland Surgery, Post - Laryngectomy Voice Rehabilitation, Skull Base Surgery and Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Sundar Kumar Iyer (1992) completed aPh.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A.in 1998, and worked with IBM Microelectronics till 2004. He joined IIT Kanpur in July 2004 where he is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. His area of research is in the development of the organic solar cells and flexible electronics. He is also a part of the Samtel Centre for Display Technologies.

Dr. Rajesh Thadani (1992) completed Master's degree specialising in Forestry Sciences at the Yale University, U.S.A and a Ph.D. degree specialising in Forest Ecology and Management. Dr. Thadani returned to India in 1999. Between 1999 and 2004 he was the Executive Director of Centre for Ecology Development and Research, a grassroots NGO working towards integrated resource management in the Himalayas. Now, he is the Executive Director of CHIRAG an NGO which focuses on Himalayan Ecology and Forestry, and the Senior Advisor to the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and the NavajbaiRatan Tata Trust for their livelihoods and communities portfolio. Since 2012 he has been a Director on the Carbon Disclosure Project, India.

Dr. ShekharGarde (1992) completed a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, U.S.A. in 1997. Between 1997 and 1999 he worked as the prestigious Directoris Postdoctoral Fellow to carry out his research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.A.

He joined the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, U.S.A. as an Assistant Professor in 1999 and became the Parker Chaired Professor in 2006 and Head of Chemical and Biological Engineering Department in 2007. His research focuses broadly on understanding the role of water in biological structure function and specifically on hydration and water mediated interactions using statistical mechanical theory and molecular modeling and simulation tools. He has received several awards including the prestigious NSF (National Science Foundation) Career Award (2001), School of Engineering Research Award (2003) and the Rensselaer Early Career Award (2004). Dr. Garde is also one of the leaders of the one-of-a-kind animation movie project called Molecularium, which aims to excite the next generation about the world of atoms and molecules. He has pioneered the integration of large scale molecular dynamics simulations into the Disney – Pixar style animation world.

Dr. UpendraHegde (1992) pursued cancer research in the Molecular Biologic and Cellular levels at the Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Centre in Chicago, U.S.A. which he completed in 1995 under the mentorship of Harvey D. Priesler, M.D. Dr. Hedid a fellowship training programme in hematology and oncology in the medicine branch of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Presently Dr. Hegde is Co-director of the Head and Neck/Oral Oncology Program, University of Connecticut Health Centre, U.S.A. He is keen to understanding tumour biology at the cellular and molecular biologic level, and is researching the aging immune systems and its clinical relevance in older patients with cancer in general and melanoma in particular. He is committed to the development of new treatment strategies for a variety of cancers targeting molecular pathways and implementing immunology principles. He is particularly interested in the use of monoclonal antibodies and tumour peptides as vaccine, and also interested in biological therapies and biochemotherapies for treatment of head and neck cancers.

Dr. Sharad Ramanathan (1992) completed Ph.D. degree in Chemical Physics at the Harvard University, U.S.A. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and presently is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, U.S.A. He has simultaneously served as a technical staff member at the Bell Laboratories at Alvatel – Lucent.

He has established the Ramanathan Laboratory which studies how cells and organisms make decisions - how cells and organisms interpret their environment, how this interpretation depends on prior experience, as well as spatial and temporal modulation and the statistics of environmental cues. Since the goal is to uncover general design principles of the circuits which underlie decision making, the laboratory works on several model systems and is also developing several new optical and micro – fluidic techniques to interrogate the dynamics of signaling and transcriptional networks in single cells.

Dr. Rajiv Y. Chandavarkar (1993) completed M.S. degree from the University of Bombay in India and post graduate training in surgery and oncology in India and Japan. He was awarded the J.N. Tata Loan Scholarship to undergo specialised training in head and neck cancer at the Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, U.S.A. He then acquired specialised training in cancer reconstruction and microsurgery in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas.He is widely published in scholarly journals, holds 17 primary patents and was recently appointed to serve on the Owen Wangensteen Forum for tissue repair for the American College of Surgeons. He is presently Associate Professor Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Centre, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Mr. Manu P. Sobti (1993) completed a Master of Science in Architecture Studies degree at the Aga Khan Programme for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A, and a Ph.D. from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A, on “Urban Metamorphosis and Change in Central Asian Cities after the Arab Invasions.” He is an Islamic architecture and urban historian, currently teaching urban design and architectural history at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee U.S.A.

In recognition for his work on urbanism and urban history, he has received several prestigious awards, including UWM’s Global Research Fellowship Award from Global Studies and CIE (2010-11), the Virginia Commonwealth University and Qatar Foundation’s Hamid Bin Khalifa Research and Travel Fellowship for Islamic Architecture and Culture (2009), UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies Fellowship (2009-10), the Aga Khan Program Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (1993-95) and multiple grants from the National Council for East European Research in Seattle (2009), the Graham Foundation of the Arts in Chicago (2008), the French Institute for Central Asian Studies in Tashkent (2003), the Architectural Association in London (2001).

He has published widely in journals, books and monographs and presented his research at more than 50 national and international venues. He is currently completing a manuscript entitled The Silver of the Oxus Borderland: Medieval Cultural Encounters between the Arabs and Persians (Brill Publications 2011). Sobti also directs an intensive overseas India Study Abroad Program, joining students from UWM, CEPT Ahmedabad INDIA, CCA Chandigarh INDIA and recently the Chinese University in Hong Kong in an urban – mapping exercise that documents cities in the Indian subcontinent.

Dr. Rajiv Khosla (1993) completed MS in Crop and Environmental Sciences from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S.A. He is now Professor of Precision Agriculture at Colorado State University, U.S.A. He was appointed by National Academy of Sciences the Jefferson Science Fellow 2012, Office of Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, US Department of State, Washington, D.C. In 2011, he was appointed by NASA to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Positioning, Navigation and Timing to work on the US space based PNT policy. In 2009, he was named the Colorado State University Distinguished Monfort Professor. He is also an “Adjunct Scientist/Visiting Professor” at the National Engineering Research Centre for Information Technology in Agriculture in Beijing, China.Recently, the American Society of Agronomy called him “a recognised authority in the field of Precision Agriculture”. He is the fellow of American Society of Agronomy; Fellow of Soil Science of America; and Fellow of Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Dr. Khosla has established a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, extramurally funded, nationally and internationally recognised, comprehensive research, teaching and extension program in the area of Precision Agriculture at CSU. His main focus has been on “Management of in-field soil and crop spatial variability using innovative technologies such as GPSor GIS, and Remote-sensing, for variable rate precision nutrient management. He has generated many discoveries in precision agriculture, most widely recognised among them is the innovative technique of quantifying variability of spatially, diverse soils using satellite based remote-sensing to create management zones, which is currently being used by farmers in Colorado, across U.S.A. and in other countries around the world. He currently has projects in China, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the US, and is championing efforts to enhance crop input use efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of large and small scale agricultural production systems. Dr. Khosla teaches three courses at CSU; has developed and is the director of a unique undergraduate program called "Applied Information Technology in Agriculture".

Dr. Khosla has co-authored over 300 publications (book chapters, refereed journal articles, extension articles, proceedings, bulletins, reports, popular press articles, digital media and others). He has been invited to several countries around the world.

Mr. Yusuf A. Mehta (1993) completed his M.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, U.S.A. in 1995 and Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A. in 1999. He joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University, New Jersey, U.S.A. in 2001 where he is presently Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator since 2006.

His research project on "High Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement in Hot mix Asphalt" funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation received the New Jersey DOT Research Implementation Award in 2012.His research study identifying the key parameters affecting load transfer efficiency received the Aviation Research Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2012.

Dr. Vikram Deshpande (1994) completed M.Phil. degree in Engineering at the Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and Ph.D. degree from the Pembroke College, Cambridge in November 1997. He was elected the Maudslay Research Fellow at Pembroke College and later as the Lindemann Research Fellow at Brown University, U.S.A. In 2003 he has received the Philip Leverhulme Prize, awarded in recognition of the “outstanding research achievements of young Scholars of distinction and promise based in U.K. institutions”. He was appointed Reader in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Cambridge in October 2008, and was made, at the age of 38, Professor in the Faculty of Engineering.

Dr. Deshpande has made outstanding contributions in the general area of micromechanics of materials. He has developed a simple way of describing the complex elastic-plastic behaviour of industrially important metal foams, and is an international authority on the new class of “lattice materials”. He has also made major contributions in predicting the growth of fatigue cracks, and in understanding the macroscopic behaviour of metals on account of the generation and motion of individual dislocations.His research interests include: mechanics of foams and lattice materials, dynamic behaviour of structures, plasticity at the micron length scale, micro-mechanics of asphalt and mechanic – biology of cells and tissues. He has published over 100 international journal articles in the field of experimental and theoretical Solid Mechanics.

Mr. Rajarshi Banerjee (1994) completed M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the Ohio State University, U.S.A, and a Ph.D. degree in 1997. He was a Fellow in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) from 1999 – 2000. In 2000, he was made Senior Research Scientist in the newly formed Centre for the Accelerated Maturation of Materials at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In August 2004, he joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas, U.S.A. and was promoted with the rank of Full Professor with tenure in September 2011. He is also the Director of the Centre for Advanced Research and Technology at the University of North Texas, U.S.A.

Dr. (Ms.) Rashneh Pardiwala (1996) completed a M.Sc. in Environmental Protection and Management from the Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, U.K, with a first class with distinction in November 1997. In 2001, she completed Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, having specialised in the field of climate change. The topic of her dissertation was "The effects of atmospheric nitrogen pollutants on heathland ecosystems."

In 2002, she established the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE), a Mumbai-based non-profit organization. CERE has since advocated and helped several large corporations to adopt green practices, successfully completed many rural and urban, national-level research and development projects, and been consultants to different government departments and helped to integrate environmental education into the mainstream curriculum. It has published 27 titles and produced a children’s animated short film entitled The Climate Change Mystery with Al Gore’s organisation The Climate Change Project and also worked with the National Geographic Society on a documentary titled Cutting Carbon Footprints.

In 2005, Dr. Pardiwala was recognised as one of the youngest 'Social Entrepreneur for Change' and was awarded the ASHOKA Fellowship. In 2009 in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Pardiwala was selected as one of Asia’s 21 Young Leaders and conferred the Asia Society Fellowship. In May, she was selected as a participant at the Swedish Institute of Management Programme.