Former Principal Advisor, MNRE
Professor, Dept of EE, IIT Madras
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.