The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has received an additional $500,000 from engineering alumnus Mukund Padmanabhan to establish the 2011 Guru Krupa Foundation Fellowship in Electrical Engineering. The first Guru Krupa Foundation Fellowship in Electrical Engineering was established in 2009, also for $500,000. Like the first fellowship, the second one will similarly support students who received their undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering from top Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) or the Indian Institute of Science.
“Increasing the level of endowed funding for graduate student fellowships is a major component of our Enhancing Engineering Excellence initiative,” said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of UCLA Engineering. “We are grateful to alumni like Mukund who show such generous support for our outstanding graduate students, as they enrich the academic environment through cutting edge research, and inspire, teach and challenge our undergraduate students.”
Padmanabhan received a bachelor of technology degree in electronics and communication engineering from IIT Kharagpur and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from UCLA. At UCLA, he worked in the areas of signal processing and analog integrated circuits and, subsequently, in the area of statistical speech recognition at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.
Padmanabhan’s primary area of research is in statistical financial modeling for Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund management company. He is also president of the Guru Krupa Foundation, a nonprofit private organization that supports several educational, social and religious causes.
“It is very gratifying to be able to give back to the department and school where I acquired my graduate education, and to see these Fellowships in action, providing other graduate students with the same education and opportunities from which I benefited so much,” said Padmanabhan.
The 2011 Guru Krupa Foundation Fellowship will support research that, like much of the work Padmanabhan undertook as a student in the Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab at UCLA Engineering, focuses on the areas of integrated circuits and embedded systems, or signals and systems.
Both the Guru Krupa Foundation Fellowships are part of UCLA Engineering’s Enhancing Engineering Excellence (E3) initiative, a $100 million fundraising effort aimed at generating new endowed faculty chairs, graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, as well as funds for capital projects and diversity initiatives. The school’s goal is to raise $25 million in endowed fellowship funds.