Professor Komerath has directed the John J. Harper Wind Tunnel and the Experimental Aerodynamics and Concepts Group at Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering since 1990. He is a 2002 Fellow of the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts, Sam Nunn Senior Security Fellow, and 2004 Boeing Welliver Fellow. He holds 3 US Patents, and has published 8 books including one on Micro Renewable Energy Systems, 2016) and over 420 papers. He has served as a founding panel member of the NASA-funded Eighth Continent Chamber of Commerce project to develop a Space Economy. He was recognized with the `Bharat Gaurav’ (Pride of India) by the Friends of India Society International in 2013.
Dr Narayanan visited IIT Madras to mentor many CZC finalist teams in early December 2017. He also conducted a seminar on Rural Energy Self- Reliance – A Roadmap.
Mr Rajan Srikanth is the Singapore/Chennai Co-President of Keiretsu Forum and works between Silicon Valley, Singapore and Chennai. Rajan brings over 20 years of experience in management consulting. A recognized thought leader in strategy, leadership and human capital, he has published and been quoted in the business media.
Rajan is Managing Director of SmartKapital, a venture advisory firm designed to facilitate rapid revenue and profit growth for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India and South-East Asia and maximize value to their Investors. Srikanth has been actively investing in and mentoring startups for the last 10 years, and is currently involved with a US-based healthcare compliance startup, and an India-based predictive analytics startup. Srikanth leads the Golden Jubilee Alumni Fund activities of IIT Madras. He is a Founding Member of the United Way India board, and also serves on the board of United Way, Chennai.
Srikanth holds a PhD from the Stern School of Business, New York University and a Bachelors degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India.
Mr Rajan Srikanth advises and mentors CZC Organizing Committee extensively to make the competition, a grand success.
Mr. Raghuttama Rao brings more than 20 years of management consulting and financial advisory experience serving corporate, infrastructure, multilateral, and banking clients across a wide variety of engagements. He worked as Chairman, IMaCS Virtus Global Partners Inc. after serving as Director of ICRA Management Consulting Services (IMaCS). He has spearheaded several engagements for World Bank, ADB, and other multilateral agencies in the areas of regulatory reform and development strategy and has implemented risk management systems for banks and financial institutions in several countries in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa. Mr. Rao’s educational qualifications are: Fulbright Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA; Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Cost & Management Accounting from Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India; and Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering) from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Mr Raghuttama Rao was the key person to devise parameters for judging and headed the CZC Judging Committee. His inputs were vital in the process of Judging the shortlisted 54 teams on July 18, 2017 interview. Mr Rao acts as an active mentor and advisor to the CZC Organizing Team.
Dr Aravind is Asst Professor in the Dept of Chemical Engg, IIT Madras. His specializations include Solar cells, Solar water splitting, Carbon dioxide reduction, Photoconductivity, Oxide semiconductors. Dr Aravind holds a PhD from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Master of Science from France and Poland and a Bachelor’s degree from Anna University, Chennai.
Vignesh is an energy professional with extensive experience in starting, sustaining and building new businesses and leading diverse, high performing teams in different global markets. He is passionate to work with people to solve problems, and create new opportunities. Leader with cross-functional stake holder management, internal and external, across equity partners, lending partners, execution and legal partners.
During his previous stint at Sunedison as Vice President, he was responsible for M&A and project development of solar PV projects in India, Thailand and South Africa, generating over $450 M in revenue, over $130 M in margins, and additional 450 + MWs of contracted cashflow for future pipeline.
Mr Achuthan is an Electrical Engineer by profession with MS (by research) from IIT Madras with a combined experience of 40 years in research, consultancy, education, engineering, skill development, entrepreneurial practices, mechatronics based product design considering Reliability, FTA, FMECA, MTBF, MTRR, Availability etc. He has expertise in sensor development, embedded controllers, power electronics, technical documentation, manufacturing procedures etc.
Mr Krishnamurti Rao is a senior IT Professional, with over 30 years’ work experience in India’s largest Software Companies, spread over multiple geographies and technologies. His expertise in business include customer and vendor Management, Systems’ Performance and Value creation for Business, Strategy, Process and Productivity.
Mr Rao holds an MBA from IIM Calcutta and a B.Tech in Electronics Engineering from IIT Madras.
Dr Qadeer Khan has more than 15 years of Design, Development and Research experience in the field of Analog/Mixed Signal ICs/Systems with specialization in Power Management and User Interface which include DC-DC Converters (Buck, Boost, Buck-Boost), Charge-pumps, Motor Drivers, Haptics Drivers (ERM and LRA), LED Drivers, Smart Battery Interface and LCD/AMOLED display power supplies for Mobile Phones and Automotive Industry.
Dr Qadeer holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with 16 U.S. Patents and 20 IEEE publications
Mr Mukundan Narasimhan is presently the CEO of PlaySolar – A solar energy startup. Previously, General Manager, Strategic Technology at Tata Power Solar has over 19 years of Leadership in Product Management, Product Development, Sales, Marketing, and Technology Development, innovated and delivered a variety of solutions in Solar, Semiconductor fields in the US and India.
EDUCATION : MBA from Santa Clara University, MS in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University, and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai, India.
Mr Rajendran is an industry veteran with over 32 + years of solid work experience. In his last assignment he was the CMO at Acer India helping vault the company from a Top 10 player in 1999 to a consistent Top 3 in many verticals in the span of a decade. The leadership was in both user segments and product categories.
The broad industry experience covers the gamut of Consultancy, Sales, Distribution, Retailing, Strategy formulation, Business Collaboration, JVs, Partner relationship, Profit Centre head, Alliances, Product Management, Marketing, Event management, Press conferences, International marketing and Government affairs among other things.
Given this broad experience Mr Rajendran is currently playing a meaningful role in Mentoring & Business Strategy consulting.
Dr Hiran Vedam is the MD of nH2 Ltd., and a Startup advisor. Before joining nH2, Hiran was Senior Manager, Industry Liaison at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where she was involved in spinning-off companies, licensing technologies to commercial companies and in business development activities to promote collaboration between NUS and industry.
Dr. Hiran has more than 10 years experience transitioning technologies from research to market in the context of large multi-national corporations, SMEs and in academic settings.
Hiran has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, an MBA from INSEAD and a B.Tech from IIT Madras.
Dr Gowri Kowtha is an expert in environmental engineering and consulting. He is the Principal Engineer and Owner of Stratus Environmental Inc, Sacramento, California. Dr Gowri, as part of Stratus provide comprehensive environmental consulting and project management services to major oil companies, independent retail gasoline retailers, and government agencies (cities, counties, State of California, water and sewer districts, etc.). Services Stratus provides include Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessment, soil sampling, and closure permitting, Oversight of source removal via excavation, soil sampling, and dewatering, Remedial investigation and designing assessment programs, Soil gas surveys and indoor air intrusion modeling, Subsurface exploratory investigations, Installation of groundwater monitoring etc.
Dr Gowri mentors some of the CZC Finalist teams that are working under the waste and water management domain.
Dr. Anand Krishnasamy received his PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India in 2010. He worked as Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Engine Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA for three years from 2010 to 2013 before joining IIT Madras.
His research interests includes experimental and numerical investigations on low temperature combustion engines, automotive fuel surrogate modeling and developing high efficiency, clean combustion engines through fuel modifications.
Dr Vinu is an Asst Professor in Chemical Engg Dept, IIT Madras and a Chemical Engineer researching in the frontier areas of:
Lignocellulosic biomass conversion to valuable liquid intermediates via thermochemical conversion techniques
Liquid fuels from renewable feedstocks such as waste plastics, algae and MSW
Coal conversion using thermochemical techniques
Renewable materials/composites from lignin
Novel strategies for deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass
Dr Vinu holds a B.Tech in Chemical Engg from AC College of technology, Guindy and a PhD from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam is a faculty in the Building Technology and Construction Management division of the Civil engineering department at IIT-Madras. Ashwin received his B.Tech in Civil engineering from IIT-Madras and then proceeded to Stanford University for a Masters in Construction Engineering and Management. He then helped start up an internet based company in the USA called All Star Fleet, aimed at providing asset management services for construction companies. Following this he returned to Stanford University to pursue a PhD in the area of Infrastructure Project Management. Ashwin’s current research interests are in the areas of Infrastructure planning and management, risk assessment and allocation, mechanisms for shaping successful infrastructure projects and Cross-cultural issues on global infrastructure projects; He also does a lot of work in the areas of sustainability and social entrepreneurship.
Dr Lelitha Devi is an Associate Professor in the Transportation Engineering Division at IIT Madras. Prior to this, she worked with the Texas Transportation Institute and was a Research Assistant at Translink Research Group. Her research interests include Traffic flow modeling, intelligent transportation systems and Traffic Operations and Management.
Dr Lelitha holds a PhD from Texas A&M University, Texas, USA.
Dr Srinivasa Reddy is a Professor at Dept of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras. He focuses on the fundamental and applied studies on renewable energy technologies – solar energy, energy and environment analyses, fossil & renewable power plant engineering and thermal property characterization of two-phase aterials.
Dr Swarup is a renowned expert in the field of electrical engineering and power systems. His expertise include following research areas:
Jagannath brings with him extensive experience in project finance and corporate banking gained through his 11 year stint with ICICI Bank as the zonal head of corporate banking business for the southern region. This gave him an opportunity to work with leading companies in the region for structuring financial solutions to their requirements.
Jagannath holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, in Lucknow, India. A self-confessed book worm who loves to explore a wide variety of books, he is also passionate about his weekend club that assists young adults to polish up their communication skills.
Dr Ravi Krishna’s expertise fall under the scope of Environmental Sciences and Engineering with specific focus on fate and transport of pollutants in the environment.
Dr. Lalit Chordia, Ph.D., founded Thar Technologies, Inc. in 1990 and serves as its President. Dr. Chordia co-founded Suprex Corp. in 1981. He also founded Thar Technologies (formerly Thar Designs). He has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, researcher and engineer in the pharmaceutical and food markets. He has been the Chairman of Thar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2010 and has been its Director since 2007.
He earned his PhD at Carnegie-Mellon University. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1980 and his doctorate in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985.
Dr Lalit is one of our proud mentors of CZC teams. His expert mentorship has helped more than 10 CZC teams to pivot their prototype building from the technology aspect to a product that clearly satisfies market’s needs.
Dr Abdus Samad is an Associate Professor at the Department of Ocean Engineering – IIT Madras, and teaches Ocean and Petroleum engineering subjects and works on several projects from different national and international bodies. Dr Samad holds several patents in the US and Indian patent offices and have contributed to more than 150 journal and conference articles. Dr Samad is a chartered engineer (CEng-MIMechE) and also an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Fluid Machinery and Systems. Dr Samad was recently awarded the Young Scientist Award.
Dr Abdus Samad holds a bachelor’s (2001) and master’s (2004) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University (India) and a PhD degree (2008) from Inha University (Republic of Korea).
Dr Ranga Rao is a professor at Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras. His expertise include:
Dr MP Maiya is a Professor at Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras. He also heads the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Laboratory since 1999. His research interests include:
Pradip is the CEO of Growtech Innovations which is an Innovative Start-Up that focuses on providing End to End Products and Solutions in the Idea to Market domain (I2M) by the right mix of Technology and Marketing Insights. He has an Industry experience of about 23 years. In his previous roles, Mr. Pradip was Director-Innovation and development (Philips India), VP at Global Value Innovation Centre (PepsiCo), Program lead (GE-Global research), Head R&D (L.G), Manager-Development(Hitachi), Manager Design (ABC Bearings Ltd) and Design Engineer (HMT Ltd).
He has numerous Publications and Patents in the field of Refrigeration under his name. Mr. Pradip has completed his Master’s degree in Applied systems engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from L.D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad.
Total 33 years of experience – Industry and Teaching
Dr Sriram brings with him an excellent experience of project management from world’s top companies like McKinsey. His passion for the cleantech industry and the strong belief on student based competitions like CZC – drives him to contribute significantly for the contest. He actively participates in CZC review meetings held every Saturday to monitor the project and provide guidelines at appropriate times.
Dr Sriram has held various roles in top notch companies like Mc Kinsey, SunEdison. He currently holds the position of senior analyst, Director of Relationships and Research at PHOTON Consulting, Boston Area, USA. Dr Sriram holds a B.Tech from IIT Madras, M.S. and Ph.D., from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.
Sarath is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ventureast, one of India’s longest-standing venture capital institutions investing in pioneering sectors since the mid-90s. Ventureast manages over $300 million having made close to 100 investments. In the past, Sarath worked at Procter & Gamble USA, and worked in British American Tobacco subsidiary (VST Industries, Hyderabad). As an entrepreneur, he has built a trading business between India and the USA, covering engineering & fashion goods, and printing related services.
Sarath has a B.Tech from IIT, Madras and an MBA from Booth, University of Chicago. He has been associated at Board level positions with the IVCA, ABLE, IITM Research Park, ICRISAT, PanIIT Association, Ascent Capital, Equitas Micro-Housing, Annapurna Microfinance, among others.
Mr Sarath advises and mentors CZC Organizing Committee from time to time to make the competition, a grand success.
Dr Ashok Jhunjhunwala is Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras at Chennai, India. After his B.Tech from IITK, he got his MS and PhD from the University of Maine. From 1979 to 1981, he was with Washington State University as faculty. Since 1981, he has been teaching at IIT, Madras.
Dr. Jhunjhunwala is considered the pioneer in nurturing Industry -Academia interaction in India towards R&D, Innovation and Product Development. He conceived and built the first Research Park (IIT Madras Research Park) in India which houses over 100 R&D companies in its 1.2 million square feet built-up area. TIE conferred him the title of Dronacharya for his contributions to the cause of entrepreneurship, as he incubated and nurtured over 100 companies at IIT Madras. He heads the IITM Incubation Cell and Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). He founded and had been leading the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group (TeNeT), which has worked closely with industry in the development of a number of products for Indian telecom, banking and power industries.
Dr Ashok Jhunjhunwala has been one of the foremost mentors for Carbon Zero Challenge since the start of the contest. He encouraged student innovations and welcomed the idea behind the contest – innovation in the area of renewable energy.
The original scope of the contest when started in Sep 2016, was only to identify innovative ideas to solve India’s unique energy problems using renewable energy. Dr Jhunjhunwala was the visionary who suggested that the innovation must not stop just in the ideation phase but has to be materialized for all practical purposes and hence developing prototypes should be a key part of the contest.
As per his advice and guidance, the scope of CZC contest was expanded to development of prototypes. This was a key milestone in the whole CZC journey.
Keynote address by Padma Bhushan Dr T Ramasami – a distinguished scientist, inventor and innovator Experience sharing from cleantech entrepreneurs like Ms. Ami Shah, Mr. Mukundan ‘Mux’ Narasimhan and Mr. Narasimhan Santhanam
2-day Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at IIT Madras with best professionals covering modules on customer validation, go-to-market strategy, product development, cost structure, revenue models and pricing, designing business model and pitching the business.