Dr. Pawan Goenka (b. 1954) is an Indian businessman and the present Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras. Dr. Goenka obtained his B.Tech. in mechanical engineering from IIT Kanpur. He obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Goenka was formerly the Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra Limited, Mumbai and the Chairman of SsangYong Motor Company, South Korea. He is also a national council member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Prof. M. M. Sharma (b. 1937) is an Indian chemical engineer who served as the twelfth Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT, now the Institute of Chemical Technology). He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University. He returned to UDCT to work as a professor at UDCT for a period of 33 years, later becoming the Director of the institute. Prof. Sharma was the first Indian engineer to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, United Kingdom, in 1990.
Dr. Rajagopala Chidambaram (b. 1936) is an Indian physicist who served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT Madras for three years, from 2008 to 2011. He completed his B.Sc. with honours in physics from Madras University in 1956. After completing his M.Sc. in physics from the same university, he went on to obtain his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1962. He is known for his significant role in India’s nuclear weapons programme. He also coordinated the test preparations for Pokhran-I (1975) and Pokhran-II (1998). He served as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India from 2002 to 2018.
Dr. A. E. Muthunayagam (b. 1939) served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras from 2005 to 2008.
Dr. Muthunayagam served as a leading space scientist at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was the chief architect of rocket propulsion in the country. He was responsible for the creation of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan (b. 1940) served as the ninth Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras from 9 February 2000 to 14 April 2005. He is an eminent Indian space scientist who headed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from 1994 to 2003. After completing his Master of Science in Physics from the University of Mumbai, he obtained his doctoral degree in experimental high-energy astronomy in 1971, working at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He also served as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He obtained three major civilian awards from the Government of India: the Padma Shri (1982), the Padma Bhushan (1992) and the Padma Vibhushan (2000).
Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras from January 1997 to February 2000. He was an Indian space scientist and a former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He was also the Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram. Known as the “Satellite Man of India,” he played a major role in the launch of India’s first satellite, Aryabhatta, in 1975.
Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, who served as the seventh Chairman of the Board of Governors (from 1991 to 1997), is an Indian geneticist and administrator known for his role in India’s Green Revolution. He played a significant role in introducing and developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India. After completing bachelor’s degrees in biology, zoology and agricultural science, he went on to complete his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1952 and undertake post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Swaminathan has received various awards from the Government of India, including the Padma Shri, in 1967, the Padma Bhushan, in 1972, and the Padma Vibhushan, in 1989.
Sri A. L. Mudaliar served as the sixth Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras, from December 1987 to January 1991. He was the son of Dr. A. L. Mudaliar, the first Chairman, and the younger brother of Dr. A. Ramachandran, the second Director of the institute.
Sri A. L. Mudaliar worked at the ICI group in several capacities before becoming its Chairman in 1976. He has also served as a non-executive director in various companies. Mr. Mudaliar also served as the Chairman of India Cements, Titan Industries and Bata India.
Sri A. Sivasailam served as the Chairman, Board of Governors, of IIT Madras from February 1981 to December 1987. Born in 1934 at Alwarkurichi, Sri A. Sivasailam was an Indian industrialist, educationist and philanthropist. He was the Chairman and Managing Director of the Chennai-based Amalgamations Group of Industries, founded by his father, Mr. S. Anantharamakrishnan. The Government of India honoured Sri A. Sivasailam for his contributions to Indian industry with the fourth highest civilian honour in the country, the Padma Shri, in 2007.
Arunachalam Murugappa Murugappa Arunachalam, also known as A. M. M.
Arunachalam, was born on 1 March 1918 at Pallathur, located in the present day Sivaganga District. He served as the Chairman, Board of Governors at IIT Madras from 1978 to 1981. He was a Managing Trustee of the AMM Foundation, which runs many schools and hospitals across India. He also served as the Executive Chairman of the Murugappa Group for a period of three years (from 2006 to 2009), after decades of working in the group in key leadership positions. Murugappa Group companies were early partners of IIT Madras in several R&D projects.
Prof. K.T. Chandy (b. 1913), served as the third Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT Madras, from 1972 to 1978. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in law from Bombay University, K. T. Chandy went on to complete his master’s degree in law from London School of Economics. He was an educationist, administrator and business executive. He was also the founder-director of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, the first IIM. K. T. Chandy also played a significant role in the formation of Hindustan Lever Limited, which was later renamed Hindustan Unilever.
Sri Haravu Venkatanarasingha Verada Raj ‘H. V. R.’ Iengar (b. 1902) served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT Madras for a period of three years, from 1969 to 1972. H. V. R. Iengar (1902-1978) was the sixth Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
H. V. R. Iengar studied at Central College, Bangalore (1919) and became a member of the Indian Civil Service. He also served as Chairman of State Bank of India and then went on to become the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (1957-1962). During his term, he facilitated a number of changes to the Indian Coinage System. For instance, during his term, India shifted to decimal coinage. The variable cash reserve ratio and selective credit control was introduced by him during his term. H. V. R. Iengar was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1962.
Dr. A. L. Mudaliar (b. 1887) assumed office as the first Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT Madras on 1st January 1959. He served as Chairman from 1959 to 1969 for a period of 10 years and made significant contributions to the Institute during his term.
Doctor, educationist and statesman, Dr. Mudaliar made significant contributions in each of his roles.
He completed his training in medicine at Madras Medical College after having graduated from Madras Christian College. Dr. Mudaliar was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras for 27 years and thus has the distinction of having been the longest serving Vice-Chancellor of the university. He was knighted in the 1945 New Year Honours and was awarded both the Padma Bhushan (1954) and the Padma Vibhushan (1963).
Kamakoti Veezhinathan received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Madras. He joined the faculty of IIT Madras in 2001 and took over as its Director in January 2022.
He specializes in the area of Computer Architecture, Information Security and VLSI Design. He heads the Microprocessor Development Program and the Information Security Education and Awareness Program at IIT Madras funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. He is member of the National Security Advisory Board. He was also the Chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Task Force constituted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. At IIT Madras he has served as the Chairman, JEE and as Associate Dean, Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research.
Dr. Kamakoti is the recipient of DRDO Academic Excellence Award, Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association Techno Visionary Award, 'Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship', ACCS Life-time Achievement Award, IBM Faculty Award and VASVIK Industrial Research award.
As of October 2021, Prof. Ramamurthi is the tenth and current Director of IIT Madras. Prof. Ramamurthi was born on 17 April 1959, in Chennai. He completed his five year course in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from IIT Madras in 1980, and his MS and PhD. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1982 and 1985 respectively. Prof. Ramamurthi worked with AT&T Bell Labs as Post-Doctoral Member of Technical Staff where some of his early work along with his colleagues led to the development of Wi-Fi. He joined IIT Madras in 1986 as a faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Prof. Ramamurthi was one of the founders of the Telecommunications and Computer Networking Group (TeNeT) group in IIT Madras and also an architect of corDECT wireless local loop system and Broadband corDECT Wireless DSL System. Prof. Ramamurthi is married to Vijayalakshmi Gourishankar, the daughter of eminent photographer C. Gourishankar. They have two children, Balakrishnan and Santhanakrishnan.
Prof. Ananth was the ninth Director of IIT Madras. Madaboosi Santanam Ananth, better known as Prof. M. S. Ananth was born in 1945. He was brought up in Chennai. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Alagappa College of Technology in Chennai. Following this, he went to the University of Florida, where he worked on molecular theory. In 1972, he was offered a position as assistant professor at IIT Madras. He was also one of the pioneers responsible for the founding of the Research Park, which is India's first university-based research park. Prof. Ananth is widely appreciated and acknowledged for his determined efforts to advance opportunities and mechanisms for research and higher education in the country.
Prof. Ramamurthy Natarajan took over as eighth Director of IIT Madras in the 1995. In 2001 he completed his tenure in this post and subsequently retired from the Institute. During his directorship, he did a lot for the Institute’s ranking in the global list of high quality education institutions. He was a stickler for quality and benchmarking and even formed a committee to look into the reasons as to why IIT Madras wasn’t no.1 in the global rankings. He introduced the ‘ISO 9000’, a set of international standards of quality management and quality assurance development, in the Institution and saw to it that it was adhered to. He also conceived a strategic plan for the Institution with the involvement of the faculty members and ensured that it was implemented.
Prof. N. V. Chandrasekhara Swamy was from the Department of Applied Mechanics. Prof. Swamy was the seventh Director of IIT Madras. He was deeply involved in the various activities on campus, including acting in a play during the 1964 Inter-IIT Sports Meet. It appears that this theatrical affiliation was evident in Prof. Swamy’s classes where students describe him as an energetic person with a great sense of humour. He strove to implement the German method of efficiency and hard work, which he had experienced first hand on his visit to Germany in 1968. Prof. Swamy served as Dean at S-VYASA University (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana) in Bangalore following his tenure at IIT Madras.
Prof. Laxmipuram Srinivasachar Srinath (1927-2012) was a celebrated teacher and an educationist par excellence. On 27-07-1984, Prof. L. S. Srinath became the sixth Director of IIT Madras. Over the course of his career, Prof. L. S. Srinath made a number of significant contributions to science and technology. He is a veteran in the areas of Experimental Mechanics, Photoelasticity, Photothermoelasticity, Stress Wave Propogation in Solids etc. The methods he developed in the areas of photo elasticity, Holographic Stress Analysis and Scattered Light Photoelasticity, laid the foundation for non-destructive analysis of stresses in solid that are carried out at present. His tenure at IIT Madras ended on 10-08-1989.
Pavaguda Venkata Indiresan (1928–2013) was an Indian engineer, educationist and administrator. His intellectual landscape comes from the fact that he encompasses so many different disciplines and has produced top-tier work in most of them. He is simultaneously an inventor, scientist, social scientist and lot’s more. On 16th April, 1979, Prof. P. V. Indiresan was appointed as Director of IIT Madras. He served as Director for a total of five years, until 24th July, 1984 and contributed quite extensively to the Institute during this period. One of his major contributions to the Institution was the introduction of a credit system which aimed at helping the students academically by allowing them the freedom of choice of subjects. The system also focused on the consistency of grades. He also introduced a system of having Deans in the Institute for the first time.
Prof. R. G. Narayanamurthi joined IIT Madras on 2 May 1960 as a Professor in Mechanical Engineering. Prof. Narayanamurthi was the fourth Director of IIT Madras and the first Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He contributed to the planning and establishment of various departments of the institute and also the establishment of the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination). He served as Dean of the Industrial Consultancy Cell (ICC) and was closely associated with industries, in both private and joint sectors in the field of continuing education. Apart from this, on a department level, Prof. Narayanamurthi contributed immensely to the growth and stature of the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was also instrumental in the growth of the Industrial Engineering Wing of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Krishnan Aditya Varman Pandalai was born in 1928 in Jamshedpur. His father, Shankunni Pandalai, was Chief Engineer at the Tata Steel Plant at Jamshedpur. Prof. Pandalai was the third Director of IIT Madras. Prof. Pandalai did his early education in Kerala, after which he got a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Physics from Loyola College, Madras University in 1947. He obtained his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering in 1950, and his doctorate in the same field in 1955, from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York. In 1967, he was invited to set up the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at IIT Madras. During his tenure as the Director, six Research Centres were established in the Institute including the Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre (RISC), Centre for Energy Research, Composite Structures (FRP) Research Centre, Materials Science Research Centre, Design Engineering Centre and Industrial Consultancy Centre. Prof. Pandalai is remembered as someone who taught former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, at Madras Institute of Technology.
Prof. A. Ramachandran was appointed as the second Director of IIT Madras in the year 1967, at the age of 44, and took over from the first Director of the Institute, Prof. B. Sengupto on 11th December that year. During his tenure, 1967-1973, he made immense contributions to the Institute. The current day research focus of the Institute can be rightly attributed to his vision at the time. He met the education aspects and the managerial aspects of his duties with utmost efficiency. In terms of academics, his personal interest in science & technology research was evident as he found and brought some of the best professors to teach at the Institute from all across the world.
Prof. Bibhutibhushan Sengupto (1905 – 1983) was the founding Director of IIT Madras and joined the Institute in 1959. He played a pivotal role in the rapid growth that took place during the initial years of the Institute. He was the force within the establishment that spurred the development of infrastructure, administration and education, thereby laying the foundation of what the Institute is today. Prof. Sengupto’s active leadership and involvement in every aspect of the institute, led to IIT Madras rapidly becoming one of the best technical academic institutes. Prof. Sengupto retired from IIT Madras in 1967.