Volume 3 No.4                                                                                                                     July 2000

Distinguished Alumnus Awards-2000


Mr Jeet S Bindra (BT/ChE/69), President, Chevron Pipe Line Co. Houston, TX, USA

- for his outstanding contributions in technological innovations and demonstrating managerial skills of exceptional order.

Dr Sartaj Sahni (BT/EE/70), Professor, Deparetment of Computer & Information Science, University of Florida

- for his outstanding contributions in the area of Computers and Information Science.

Mr Deepak Bhagat (BT/EE/73) Senior Director of Engineering, Sun Microsystems, USA

- for his outstanding managerial skills and his role in building Institute-alumni relationship of a very high order.

Dr Pradeep Sindhu (BT/EE/74), Vice President and CTO of Junipers Networks, Mountainview, California, USA

- for his outstanding contributions in developing path breaking architecture design and internet backbone router technologies and using them to set up and manage world class internet company.

Dr Rajendra Singh (BT/EE/75), Chairman, Board of Directors at LCC International and Telecom Ventures, USA

- for his outstanding contributions in developing path-breaking wireless mobile radio communication technologies and using them to set up and manage world class telecommunication companies.

Mr Arvind Kumar Gupta (BT/EE/75) Free lance Social Worker, New Delhi

- for his outstanding contributions in developing science-based education teaching aids and toys for children.


Profile of Awardees

Jeet S Bindra

Jagjeet S Bindra is the President of Chevron Pipe Line Company, where he is responsible for both domestic pipeline operations and international pipeline projects. He is the first and only Indian to hold the chief executive's position in the US Oil Industry. Jagjeet S Bindra received his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 1969. He came to US as a Research Assistant and obtained his Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1970. He received his MBA (with honours) from Saint Mary's College of California in 1979.

Jagjeet S Bindra joined Chevron Research Company as a Research Engineer in 1977. In 1980, he was transferred to the Corporation Engineering Department. For the next six years he managed several US and non-US refining, chemical and upstream projects for Chevron. In 1986 he went to Los Angeles as the Chief Engineer for Chevrons' EI Segundo Refinery. He later managed Operations at EI Segundo. In December 1991, he was appointed Group Manager, Projects, with responsibilities for $2.5 billion. He played a key role in development and implementation of Chevron's project Development and Execution process (CPDEP), which resulted in major improvements in Chevron's project management system performance and savings of several hundred million dollors. In September 1994, he was appointed as Manager, Strategic Planning, for Chevron Corporation where he worked with the Corporate Officers in developing strategic directions for the company, including opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. In August 1995, he was assigned to lead an effort on behalf of Chevron and several other major international oil companies to negotiate with Russia, Kazakhistan, and Oman the design and construction of a 1500 kilometer pipeline from western Kazakhistan to the Black Sea. On January 1, 1997 he was appointed President, Chevron Pipeline Company.

Jagjeet S Bindra is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Conference, Northern California Region. He is also member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Management Association, the University of Washington-College of Engineering Visiting Committee and the Board of Directors of Center for Prevention of Abuse. He has also been awarded the "Distinguished Alumnus 1997" by the University of Washington, Department of Chemical Engineering.

Sartaj Sahani

Sartaj Sahni graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur with an outstanding academic record receiving the President Gold Medal. He completed his graduate studies at Cornell. His texts in the areas of data structures, written at a relatively young age, established his credentials as an academician. Dr Sahni has also received recognition for his pioneering research in different areas of computer science from societies like IEEE, ACM, etc. Dr Sahni has contributed significantly in the areas of data structure, computational complexity,automation algorithms for VLSI design, parallel, distributed and pipeline computing. Dr Sahni has published over 150 technical papers and supervised over 30 doctoral candidates. Old timers at IITK know Sartaj as part of Sahani-Goel duo who developed FORGO IV, the world's first implementation of FORTRAN IV on the IBM 1620. Successive generations of software students have cut their teeth on his book (co-authored with Horowitz) on Data Structures.

Deepak Bhagat

Deepak Bhagat (BT/EE/73) is currently a Senior Director of Engineering at Sun Microsystems. After completing B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT/K, Deepak Bhagat obtained his MS in EE from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Deepak Bhagat's areas of interests are Computer Systems Product Strategy, Operating Systems, Distributed Computing, Computer Architectures and Internet Systems Solutions. Prior to joining Sun, Bhagat worked at Hewlett-Packard for 14 years where he was the key contributor to HP's transition to new 32 bit Precision Architecture based commercial computer systems (HP 9000 Series). Additionally, he led HP's engineering development programs with Microsoft and Novell, and contributed to HP's Personal Computer Products Strategy. At Sun Microsystems he leads the Systems Software Strategy and Software Development of Sun's leading Workstation and low-end server product line. He is also the founding member of Sun's Engineering Center in Bangalore, India.

Bhagat has founded the West-Coast chapter of IITK Alumni Association in Silicon Valley, USA. He takes an active interest in mentoring and helping young alumni as well as students of IIT/K. His latest passion is to uplift the city of Kanpur, his home-town, and has founded a `Resurgent Kanpur Group' of IIT/K alumni settled in Kanpur so as to help the city in becoming a leading IT center. This group has taken several initiatives in the recent past. Deepak Bhagat is also active in funding programs for the handicapped children.

Pradeep Sindhu

Dr. Sindhu is presently the Vice-Chairman and CTO of Juniper Networks. He founded the company in 1997 and ran it for first seven months. The company went public in 1999. It is now a leading internet infrastructure company with market capitalization of about sixty billion US dollars. The company is only second to Cisco in the market share of Inetnet backbone routers. Dr. Sindhu played a central role in the architecture, design, and development of the M160/M40/M20 routers — Juniper's flagship Internet router family. He is currently responsible for the company's technical road map and also plays an active role in day-to-day design and development of future products. His contribution to router technology for the Internet will remain a legacy for the next several decades.

Prior to founding Juniper, Dr. Sindhu had worked at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC, where he designed tools for VLSI and high-speed interconnects for shared-memory multiprocessors. This work led to the commercial development of Sun Microsystem's first high-performance multiprocessor system family, which included the SS1000 and SS2000. Dr. Sindhu played key roles in the architecture, design, and development of these machines. Dr. Sindhu holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Rajendra Singh

Born in the village of Kairoo, Rajasthan, Rajendra Singh finished his pre-university from Maharaja College, Jaipur in 1970 and subsequently came to IIT/K where he obtained B.Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He received MS from the University of Maine at Orono, Maine in 1977 and Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University at Dallas, Texas in 1979. Till 1982 he worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Kansas State University and City College of New York. Dr. Singh has received a number of laurels for his academic achievements, beginning with his doctoral dissertation on "Spectrum Efficient Schemes for Mobile Radio Communications" which was published in 1980. Dr. Rajendra Singh organized and participated in the CTIA scientific panel which investigated time dispersion for TDMA and FDMA. As a former faculty member of both Kansas State University and City College of New York, and a member of numerous electrical engineering societies, Dr. Singh has actively contributed to the academic and professional development of the wireless telecommunications industry.

Dr. Rajendra Singh and his wife Neera Tandon who is also an IIT-K alumnus co-founded LCC International in 1983. LCCI has emerged as one of world's leading wireless telecommunications consultant companies. It has been actively involved in the design, development and optimization of various cellular, PCS, paging, trunked radio and other two-way mobile systems throughout the world. It has provided technical services to wireless operators in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Ranked as 66th in the top 100 American companies, today it is a NASDAQ listed company with more than 800 employees and does business in over 40 countries. In addition, Dr. Singh is also a co-founders of Teligent Inc., a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). He has also established, developed and directed APPEX Incorporated, a billing services firm that was sold to Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in October 1990.

In 1986 Rajendra Singh co-founded APEX System Corporation, an IT Service company that merged with EDS in 1989. In 1990 he co-founded PORTATEL del Sureste, a cellular wireless services company in Mexico. In 1991 he invested in Portugal GSM System and Service. In 1992 Rajendra Singh invested in BPL Cellular for GSM Cellular System in Mumbai. In 1993, he co-founded TRICOM, a digital SMR System in Mexico. In 1994 he created a holding company for personal investments, Telcom Ventures, L.L.C. In 1994 he founded SMR Services Companies in Brazil and Argentina. In 1995 he invested in Aether Systems, a wireless ASP Company. In 1999 he founded Chamber Biz a B-2-B internet company. Dr. Singh currently acts as Chairman of the Members Committee of Telcom Ventures, whose primary business is making investments in wireless system operations and emerging wireless technologies. During the period 1996_2000, Dr Rajendra Singh has invested in several telecommunications companies and has joined their boards including LCCI, Teligent, XM Satellite Radio, Aether System through Telcom Ventures holding companies in which he takes an active interest.

Arvind Kumar Gupta

Arvind Kumar Gupta (BT/EE/75), after graduating from IIT/ Kanpur, joined TELCO, Pune and successfully worked there for about five years. However he was searching a different role for himself so that he could do something more fundamental and more meaningful in uplifting the illiterate and poor masses of the society rather than continue working in an engineering company, Arvind took one year's leave in 1978 from his organization and served in the tribal area of Hoshangabad, MP. While working for an NGO in Hoshangabad, Arvind developed many useful, path-breaking, low-cost science training experiments for children which were aimed at inculcating scientific and analytical temper in young minds. Arvind's contribution in developing these teaching aids was widely recognised throughout the country at that time and the so-called teaching "toys" developed by him were reported in many newspapers and magazines. Enthused with this success Arvind quit TELCO permanently and started working full-time on an Environmental Plan for Shahdol district of MP, under a DST funded project. Since then Arvind has not looked back and has been constantly striving for educating not only young children but also their teachers through holding national and international workshops on the theme. Arvind is very closely associated with organizations like Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Conservation Society of Delhi (CSD), Spastic Society of North India (SCNI), Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) and NBT Advisory Panel on popular Science books.

The outstanding contribution of Arvind in designing teaching aids for young children has been recognized by several international organizations such as UNESCO, International Toy Research Association (ITRA), Halmstad University Sweden, Boston Science Center (BSC) and the Children's Museum at Boston USA, Authof Rehabilitation Center (ARC), Hilpolstein Germany, the International Play Association (IPA) at Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Arvind has also conducted UNESCO coordinated science-teaching workshops in Bangkok and the Republic of Maldives, Male. He has presented over 70 TV programmes on science-based fun activities, innovative toys and teaching aids on the national television. These films have been made by the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), the television wing of the NCERT and the UGC. Arvind was also featured as the Green Guru for making educational toys with trash in the popular TV programme called Living on the Edge made by Niret Alva. Explaining various fundamental aspects of science and engineering through demonstration toys, Arvind has written, translated and edited about 45 popular science books for children. He has also received several awards including Eklavya Award (1982), National Award for Science Popularisation among Children by DST (1988), Hari Bhau Mote Award of Marathi Vigyan Parishad (1988), a special award given by National Association for the Blind (NAB) for designing appropriate teaching aids for pre-school blind children (1991), Grantahli award for his book Khel (1992), Ruchi Ram Sahni Award for science popularization (1993) and Hari Om Ashram Award of the UGC (1995).

Inputs from

Sanjeev Bhargava and Sanjay Gupta