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Technovators TR-iumph

We kick off a series on successful Indians overseas with Indo-Americans featured in MIT Technology Review?s TR35 list.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2006 05:07 IST

An electronic imprint

Ashok J Maliakal | 31
Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs

India-connect: Born to Keralite parents settled in the US.
Patents and papers: Has five patents awarded or pending. Published more than 16 papers.
TR-iumph factor: As a TR35, Maliakal continues the trend of at least one Bell Labs scientist being named annually in the list. He has made significant contributions to a technology that allows the mass production of low-cost electronics using technologies similar to those used to print newspapers. The technology has applications in the production of flexible electronic displays and even homeland security.
Market mantra: Maliakal won’t divulge much for now, but says “talks are on”.

‘People of Indian descent focus on academic rigour. This enables them to compete effectively’

 

Virus immobiliser

Anand Raghunathan | 34
NEC Laboratories

India-connect: Schooling in Hyderabad, Pune, Visakhapatnam. B Tech at IIT Madras.
Patents: Holds or has filed 20 US patents. Recipient of NEC’s Technology Commercialisation Award.
TR-iumph factor: Raghunathan aims to make make mobile appliances secure. He has designed a security processor which, as he puts it, “separates the sensitive from the untrusted”. What this means is that even if your phone is attacked by a virus, the most sensitive code and associated data will be safe.
Market mantra: The technology has been transferred to NEC’s business units and implemented in multiple generations of NEC products.

‘The knowledge I acquired at IIT Madras and competing with so many smart people there played a major role in shaping my career’


New gene-ration health care

Jay Shendure | 31
Harvard Medical School

India-connect: Born in Ohio to a Maharashtrian couple settled in the US. Shendure has also worked in India as a Fulbright scholar.
Patents and publications: Three provisional patents, 17 publications.
TR-iumph factor: Shendure has developed a method of DNA sequencing substantially cheaper than the conventional method. Says Shendure, “We aim to bring down the cost to $1000. ” He hopes genome sequencing becomes a routine component of health care.
Market mantra: The technology is being licensed to Agencourt Personal Genomics, with plans to roll out an  instrument by 2007.

‘I would love to be a part of making research partnerships happen between US and Indian-based research groups’


New age networker

Prithwish Basu | 31
BBN Technologies

India-connect: B Tech at IIT Delhi.
TR-iumph factor: Basu works on mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) and wireless sensor networks. His first innovation was a group of robots that can form a MANET/sensor network.  Another was a wireless parking meter application. Recently, he developed techniques that let ultra low energy wireless network nodes communicate with each other when their clocks may be drifting apart.
Market mantra: Basu’s techniques are being tested in US Department of Defense projects. Boston University students are working on his parking meter application.

‘I will definitely go back and work in India. Meanwhile, I intend to soak up the ‘culture of innovation’ in the US as much as I can’


Patents, PCs and performance

Ram K Krishnamurthy | 33
Intel

India-connect: Grew up in Chennai and Hyderabad. BE at Trichy.
Patents and papers: 53 issued patents. Published over 75 papers.
TR-iumph factor: Krishnamurthy works on novel, high-speed arithmetic designs — key ingredients within a microprocessor’s integer and floating-point execution units. Prototypes consume 4-5 times lower power than those in today’s PCs and deliver a performance five times higher .
Market mantra: Krishnamurthy’s work is being incorporated by Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM in advanced circuits. 

‘My hat’s off to Indian education. The maths-science orientation provides a strong launch-pad in the US’


Netting the worms

Sumeet Singh | 31
Cisco

India-connect: Hails from New Delhi. Schooling at Mayo College, Ajmer.
TR-iumph factor: Singh’s technology
identifies a malicious code when it enters a network and generates ‘vaccines’ to combat its spread.
Market mantra: NetSift, the company, Singh co-founded with his his PhD advisor, George Varghese in June 2004, was bought over by Cisco in 2005 . Work is on to integrate his technology with more and more networking gear.

‘Mayo’s cosmopolitan and motivational atmosphere laid the foundations for me to further my career in the US’