Prestigious Lecture Series named after NTU President by IIT Madras

Chennai: Prof Subra Suresh, a Distinguished University Professor and President of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, was today honoured by his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, which launched the Prof Subra Suresh Institute Lecture Series.

Launched at Bengaluru today, the new lecture series has been made possible by a generous gift from another illustrious alumnus of IIT Madras, Mr. Senapathy ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures, Bengaluru, and co-founder of Infosys.

Prof Subra Suresh is a former Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, a former Dean of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has been the President of NTU Singapore since 1 January 2018.

Earlier yesterday, Prof Suresh was one of the leading speakers at the 107th Indian Science Congress along with Nobel Laureates Prof Stefan Hell, a physicist from Max Planck Institute, Germany and Prof Ada Yonath, a crystallographer from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.

The Congress, India’s largest annual gathering of global scientific luminaries, was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the University of Agricultural Sciences’ GKVK Campus in Bangalore.

On the Prof Subra Suresh Institute Lecture Series, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director of IIT Madras, said, “What can give us greater delight than having one Distinguished Alumnus endow a lecture series in honour of another! Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan has IIT Madras always on his mind and his generosity towards his alma mater knows no limits. Prof Subra Suresh has maintained strong ties with IIT Madras from the time he graduated and all through his illustrious career. He continues to contribute to IIT Madras through his acumen and rich experience. This lecture series will place the spotlight on academic excellence and creativity – two hallmarks of any great academic institution”.

The Prof Subra Suresh Institute Lecture Series will bring leading international scholars, engineers and scientists to IIT Madras on a periodic basis, up to twice every year, to discuss key advances in scientific discoveries and technological innovation. The inaugural lecture in this semi-annual lecture series is planned for October 2020 at the IIT Madras campus.

Prof Subra Suresh said, “IIT Madras has been instrumental in shaping my professional and personal lives since I enrolled there as a 16-year-old undergraduate student. I am delighted, honoured and humbled to have this opportunity to deepen my connections to IITM through this newly established Institute Lecture Series. I am profoundly grateful to my fellow IITM-alumnus Kris Gopalakrishnan, whom I have long admired, for his thoughtfulness and extraordinary generosity in establishing this lecture series.”

Prof Suresh’s research has focused on the properties of engineered and biological materials and their implications for human diseases. He has authored more than 300 research articles and 30 patent applications and co-founded a technology startup.

An elected member of all three branches of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, of Engineering, and of Medicine as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors, Prof Suresh is also elected to all the major science and engineering academies in India.

In announcing the gift to establish this Institute Lecture Series, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan said: “Prof Subra Suresh continues to inspire students and researchers around the world with his contributions to the fields of education and research. He is also a great leader and administrator, having held leadership positions in academia and government. Since he is an alumnus of IIT Madras, it is only appropriate that we create this lecture series to celebrate his contributions as well as strengthen his bonds with his alma mater.”

Prof Subra Suresh has also been elected a foreign member of science and/or engineering academies in China, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and Sweden, and awarded 18 honorary doctorate degrees from institutions in China, Greece, India, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. His honours include the Padma Shri from the President of India; the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute; the European Materials Medal from the Federation of European Materials Societies; and the Timoshenko and Nadai Medals of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Prof Subra Suresh Institute Lecture Series will also serve as an institute-wide forum for connecting global thought leaders with students, faculty and staff at IIT Madras to discuss topics of industrial importance and societal significance.