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Company : IIT Kharagpur  
Friday, August 18, 2006 12:00PM IST (6:30AM GMT)
IIT Kharagpur Announces ‘Nina Saxena Excellence in Technology Award'
A first of its kind, India-wide award to encourage and promote technical innovation , Entries open to all Indian Technologists
New Delhi, Delhi, India

In a bid to encourage and promote technical innovation, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, today announced the Nina Saxena Excellence in Technology Award. The award commemorates the spirit and memory of its illustrious alumna Dr. Nina Saxena, B.Tech (Hons.), ECE 1992 who passed away tragically in 2005. Open to all Technologists who are Indian citizens, the award was announced at the IIT Kharagpur Foundation Day on August 18th, 2006. The award will be conferred every year on the same day to an individual who embodies the drive for technical excellence that Dr. Nina Saxena personified.

The award will be funded through an endowment of the Nina Saxena Memorial fund that has been collected through IIT Foundation (a non-profit organization and a US 501(c) organization). The intent of the fund is to perpetuate excellence despite all odds. The charter of the Fund is to provide facilities, mechanisms and opportunities to enable individuals to rise above expectations and better serve society.

A distinguished committee has been formed by IIT Kharagpur to confer upon this award. The award committee will be chaired by Director of IIT Kharagpur and will be comprised of Deans and selected faculty members of IIT Kharagpur and well known alumnus, based in India and the US.

Sharing details of this award, Professor Chakraborty, Dean, Alumni Affairs, IIT Kharagpur said, "Nina was a truly brilliant person. Her stellar intellectual achievements and technological excellence will always be remembered. Words are not enough to describe the void she has left behind. The award has been set up to keep the spirit of Nina alive and encourage the brightest technical minds in India to come ahead and innovate for India."

Nominations for best application of technological practices or a technological breakthrough will be decided on the basis of the following dimensions and in the following order of importance:

-- Innovation above and beyond well known results
-- Novel Application of a well known result
-- Societal improvement
-- Benefit to India
-- Application of Technology to underdeveloped areas and causes

Added Professor Chakraborty, "We believe that this will be the first of its kind award in Technology Excellence in India. Nina was a firm believer of the need to identify and recognize breakthrough technical excellence and innovations that benefit India and we want to make this as number 1 technology excellence award in India, year after year."

For further details on the award, please visit:

More details about the Nina Saxena Memorial fund are available at:
The Nina Saxena Memorial Fund web-site

Notes to the Editor:

Bio-graphical note on Dr. Nina Saxena:

An unassuming and down-to-earth person, Nina's signs of genius were there from the beginning. Her scientifically detailed handwritten note on "transferring sense of smell" when she was in class VIII and her gold medal for All India CBSE (Class XII) in physics, gave ample proof of things to come. Although she was selected for three All India Engineering and two All India Medical Competitions, she chose to graduate from IIT Kharagpur in the discipline of Electronics and Communications Engineering. Again going against the tide, and in spite of best job offers, she joined a research project at IIT Kharagpur, undertaking work in the area of producing medical instrumentation at cheap and competitive rates in India. She devoted two years to working on the project after her graduation.

Nina did her M.S. in Computer Science from USF Tampa. She graduated with perfect GPA (4.0/4.0) and was adjudged topper of the class. On account of her brilliance, she was awarded the much coveted graduate fellowship (along with the usual scholarship and tuition waiver). She was also honoured by multiple societies, like Epsilon Pi Epsilon and Phi Kappa Phi. She thereafter undertook her PhD in Computer Engineering at University of Texas, Austin in the area of Formal Verification. Where again she came out with flying colours, completing her PhD in three years with perfect grades (4.0/4.0). She was again adjudged topper. During the entire period she had to financially support her ageing parents. She undertook tuition to support herself financially during these periods.

After graduation, she was offered jobs in prestigious US companies. Her desire to be on the leading edge of innovation and technology led her to Intel. She led cutting edge research and development in the area of next generation architecture design and formal verification and was awarded numerous distinguished awards and plaques for leading path-breaking R&D efforts at Intel. Well respected and widely quoted, she was recognized as an authority in her area and was invited to be in the program committee and to be session chair in multiple top-tier conferences.

Nina was always interested in alleviating poverty in India. She initiated contacts with Govt. departments and agencies to assist her in an effort to use sustainable and renewable energy for projects meant for rural and tribal development. In parallel, she also was trying to raise money through venture capital firms to achieve her goal. Nina passed away tragically in 2005 and her dreams remain unfulfilled.

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Media Contact Details
Akhil Sahai, akhil_sahai@yahoo.com
Prof. Madhusudan Chakraborty, IIT Kharagpur, + 91 3222 282034, deanaa@hijli.iitkgp.ernet.in
Saugat Chatterjee, Text 100 Public Relations, +91 9818389236, saugatc@text100.co.in
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