Indian-Origin Professor Ashok Veeraraghavan Honored with Prestigious Engineering Award in Texas

Featured & Cover Indian Origin Professor Ashok Veeraraghavan Honored with Prestigious Engineering Award in Texas

Ashok Veeraraghavan, an innovative computer engineer and professor of Indian descent, has been honored with the prestigious Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in engineering, a highly esteemed academic accolade in Texas. The Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology (TAMEST), which bestows this award to promising researchers in the state, highlighted Veeraraghavan’s groundbreaking imaging technology aimed at rendering the imperceptible visible.

This annual award is conferred upon exceptional researchers in various fields including medicine, engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, and technological innovation. Veeraraghavan, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering, was selected for his group’s “revolutionary imaging technology that seeks to make the invisible visible,” as stated by TAMEST.

Expressing his delight, Veeraraghavan, originally from Chennai, acknowledged the collective efforts of his team at Rice University, stating, “I am delighted to receive this award. It is the recognition of the wonderful and innovative research that many students, postdocs and research scientists, in the computational imaging lab at Rice University have done over the last decade.”

Veeraraghavan’s research endeavors encompass a holistic approach to imaging processes, spanning from optics and sensor design to machine learning processing algorithms. This comprehensive strategy enables his team to tackle imaging challenges that were previously beyond the capabilities of existing technologies. Veeraraghavan emphasized the significance of co-design in imaging systems, stating, “Most imaging systems today are designed in a way that does not take all these three things into account together; they are designed separately.”

His research primarily aims to address imaging scenarios where the target visualization is impeded by the scattering of light in participating media. He elucidated, “There are many examples of this. One familiar example is when you’re driving a car and it’s foggy, so you can’t see too far out.”

Luay Nakhleh, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering and professor of computer science and biosciences at Rice, lauded Veeraraghavan’s accomplishment, asserting that he “richly deserves this special recognition.”

Furthermore, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Rice’s executive vice president for research and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering, physics and astronomy, extolled Veeraraghavan’s contributions and the wide-ranging impact of his research, stating, “Ashok has used math and technology to solve some of the most difficult problems in imaging.”

Ramesh expressed his satisfaction at seeing Veeraraghavan honored with the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award, highlighting the broader applications of his work in fields such as human health, microscopy, national security, autonomous vehicles, and photography. He also noted the significance of Veeraraghavan’s achievement for Rice University, particularly as it marks the second consecutive year that a faculty member from the institution has received the O’Donnell Award, with Jamie Padgett being the recipient in the previous year.

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