Sudarsanam Babu, former IIT alumni, was appointed to the US National Science Board | Twitter (@BabuSureshS)
Sudarsanam Babu, former IIT alumni, was appointed to the US National Science Board | Twitter (@BabuSureshS)
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New Delhi: US President Donald Trump Monday appointed Indian-American Sudarsanam Babu, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, to the country’s top science body — National Science Board (NSB).

Babu, who currently works at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has been appointed as a member of the NSB for a six-year term, the White House said in a statement Monday as it announced several other key administrative appointments.

One of the major roles of the NSB is to serve as a body of advisers to both the President and the US Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering. The board consists of 25 members appointed by the President.

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3 Indian-Americans and IIT alumni part of NSB now

With the entry of Babu, three Indian-Americans are now part of the prestigious board. The other two are Sethuraman Panchanathan from Arizona State University and Suresh V Garimella from the University of Vermont. All three, according to IIT Madras, are its alumni.

The latest entrant, Babu, completed his Master of Technology from IIT Madras in 1988 and a Bachelor of Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, in 1986. He completed his PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge.

According to reports, Babu has 21 years of experience in advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, physical metallurgy and computational materials modelling.

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‘Great pillar of support to their alma mater’

IIT Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthy expressed happiness over the fact that three of the institute’s alumni are part of the US’ top science board.

“IIT Madras is delighted that all three Indian Americans currently on the National Science Board of the USA are alumni of our Institute. Our alumni have done us proud in India and abroad, and have been a great pillar of support to their alma mater,” he said in a statement.

Panchanathan, the other Indian American on the board earned his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1986, after a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Madras in 1981 and Electronics and Communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1984, the IIT Madras statement said.

Panchanathan also has a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He was appointed to the board in 2019.

Another IIT alumnus, Suresh V Garimella is a B.Tech from IIT Madras who did his MS from Ohio State University and PhD from the University of California Berkeley. He is also the current president of University of Vermont — from July 1, 2019. He was appointed to the NSB in 2018.

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