February 2014 \ Diaspora News \ KEY HONOURS
Indian-American Academicians Earn Glory

 Dr Meera Chandrasekhar

Baylor University’s 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award has gone to India-born Dr Meera Chandrasekhar. She’s a professor of physics and astronomy and a Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri. Chandrasekhar earned her BSc degree in physics and mathematics from MGM College, Udupi in 1968.

Chandrasekhar will receive the $250,000 award and an additional $25,000 for the physics department at the University of Missouri. She is expected to teach in residence at Baylor, a top Texas Christian University, during the spring 2015 semester. "Baylor University is very pleased to honour Dr. Chandrasekhar with Baylor's 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching," said Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost at Baylor, announcing the award.

"I am deeply honoured to learn that I will receive the 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award, and I am humbled to join the illustrious group of teacher scholars who received the award before me," Chandrasekhar said. She earned her master's degrees in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras in 1970 and Brown University in 1973. She earned a PhD in physics from Brown University in 1976. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Max-Planck-Institut in Germany, she joined the University of Missouri faculty in 1978.

Chandrasekhar's teaching and research has been recognized with many honours, including the 2006 President's Award for Outstanding Teaching from the University of Missouri. She was honoured in 2002 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1985 and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992.

She also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation in 1998.


Dr Subra Suresh

Dr Subra Suresh, Chennai-born Indian-American president of Carnegie Mellon University, has been elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a rare and highly coveted distinction within the academic fraternity.

The head of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based university, Suresh, 57, was chosen for his scientific contributions in materials science and engineering, including his work connecting nano-mechanical cell structure to disease states, according to the university. He was also honoured for his leadership in building the worldwide scientific and engineering research dialogue through the Global Research Council, which he helped to found while director of the US National Science Foundation. The council will have its annual meeting in May 2014 in Beijing.

Suresh is one of nine foreign members elected in 2013 to CAS, a prestigious national advisory body for the Chinese government. They will be honoured at the 17th General Assembly of the CAS in June 2014 in Beijing.

He is the only current US university president to have been named a foreign member of the CAS and a member of all three US National Academies - the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences Born in Chennai in 1956, Suresh earned his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He then came to the US and earned his master's degree from Iowa State University, and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). He did his post-doctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley, specifically the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

President Barack Obama nominated Suresh to be director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in June of 2010. He became Carnegie Mellon's ninth president on July 1 last year.