CHENNAI: Kamakoti Veezhinathan, a professor from the computer science and engineering department, was appointed the new director of IIT Madras.
Veezhinathan led the research team that designed India’s first indigenously-developed microprocessor ‘Shakti’, which can help reduce reliance on imported microprocessors in communications and defence sectors.
An alumnus of IIT Madras and an expert in artificial intelligence, Veezhinathan was appointed head of the AI task force by the Union commerce ministry and is also a member of the National Security Advisory Council. At present, he is associate dean of Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR) at IIT Madras.
Congratulating Veezhinathan on his appointment, outgoing director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “With Kamakoti at the helm, IIT Madras is poised to scale new heights in the coming years. He is an excellent teacher and researcher and an able administrator. He has played key roles in many national projects, bringing to bear his deep expertise in computing and cybersecurity.”
In a statement, Veezhinathan said, “Our immediate priority would be on augmenting the skill-set for indigenous technology development addressing local and global requirements aligning with the objectives of the National Education Policy.”
A native of Vishnupuram in Thiruvarur district, Veezhinathan completed his undergraduate studies in computer science and engineering at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, University of Madras, in 1989 and his Master of Science (by research) and PhD from department of computer science and engineering, IIT Madras in 1992 and 1995. He joined IIT Madras as an assistant professor in 2001. His many awards include Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship in 2020, IESA Techno Visionary Award in 2018, IBM Faculty Award in 2016 and DRDO Academy Excellence Award in 2013.
His predecessor, Ramamurthi, has completed 10 years or two terms as director of IIT-M. During his tenure, the institute got the top rank among engineering institutions for six consecutive years in NIRF rankings, overall top institute for the last three years and top innovative institution for the last three years in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA). He also oversaw a rapid expansion of campus infrastructure including a 1,000-crore satellite campus near Chennai.