In a recent announcement, two renowned individuals from the Indian engineering field, Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Dr Mylavarapu Ramamoorty, have been chosen as Foreign Members to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE is a US-based private, independent, and non-profit institution, which is a part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and provides engineering leadership in service to the nation.
The honour is one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has received this “for development of affordable biopharmaceuticals and the biotechnology industry in India”, and Dr Ramamoorty was considered “for technical leadership of power engineering research, development, education, and establishing national laboratories in the country”.
Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the Founder, Chairperson & Managing Director of Biocon Limited, a biopharmaceutical company based in Bengaluru. Biocon is working towards affordable healthcare through innovative products and research services and contributing towards reducing the therapy costs of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. It is one of the largest producers of insulin in the world.
Dr Mazumdar-Shaw is a recipient of many national and international recognition and holds many key positions in industry, academia and government bodies. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1989 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005. She is also among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, Forbes magazine’s ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’, Fortune’s ‘Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Asia-Pacific’ and ‘World's 25 Most Influential People in Biopharma’ by FierceBiotech. She was also conferred with the highest French distinction - Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) in 2016.
Reacting to the announcement, Dr Mazumdar-Shaw noted that she is humbled to receive this recognition.
Just learnt of my induction to the National Academy of Engineering NAE - a huge honour - I am humbled to be elected to this prestigious body @rameshmashelkar
— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) February 7, 2019
Dr Ramamoorty, a renowned engineer in the area of Power System and Power Electronics, is a Former Chancellor of K L University, Andhra Pradesh. He served as a faculty at the Electrical Engineering Department of IIT Kanpur, where he established the first graduate program in Power Electronics in India in 1968. During his stint at IIT Kanpur, he was a part of various research projects with industries like Hindustan Steel Limited and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
In 1977, Dr Ramamoorty joined the Hindustan Brown Boveri Limited as the Chief of Research and led the development of several prototypes of switchgear, relays, and instrumentation. He also served at the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) as its first Director General and the Director of Electrical Research and Development Association (ERDA), Vadodara. Dr Ramamoorty has published seven books on thyristors, power systems, electric machines, and hydropower generation, more than 200 technical papers, and holds many patents to his credit.
This year, the National Academy of Engineering has elected 86 new members and 18 foreign members, taking the count to 2297 U.S. members and 272 foreign members. The new members would be formally inducted in a ceremony at the Academy’s annual meeting in Washington D.C., on the 6th October 2019.