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Who Are Indian-American Scientists Dr Subra Suresh, Ashok Gadgil; Awarded National Medals By Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden has presented the nation's highest awards in science and technology to Indian-American scientists. Dr Subra Suresh has been awarded the National Medal of Science and Ashok Gadgil has received the National Medal for Technology and Innovation..
New Delhi: US President Joe Biden has presented United States’ highest awards for science and technology and two recipients are Indian-Americans. POTUS presented the prestigious National Medal of Science to top Indian-American scientist Dr Subra Suresh and the National Medal for Technology and Innovation to Ashok Gadgil, among others. Biden presented the prestigious science medal to nine people on Tuesday. Know more about these Indian-American recipients and what the White House has to say about these award winners..
White House Press Release For Medalists
All medalists have been congratulated by the White House, who in a press release said, “These medalists have made discoveries that enable life-saving medical treatments, help fight the opioid epidemic, improve food security, advance accessibility, protect our democracy, and much more. Their accomplishments advance American leadership in science, technology, and innovation, and their work inspired the next generation of American minds.”
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Who Is Dr Subra Suresh?
Dr Subra Suresh, the former head of the National Science Foundation, is a professor at large at Brown University’s School of Engineering. Suresh was awarded the medal for pioneering research across engineering, physical sciences and life sciences, and particularly for advancing the study of material science and its application to other disciplines. The announcement from the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation noted Suresh’s commitment to research and collaboration across international borders, which has demonstrated how science can forge understanding and cooperation among people and nations.
“It’s very satisfying”, said Suresh, who said he takes special pride in the recognition because of what the medal signifies, according to a Brown University statement. Born in India in 1956, Suresh graduated from high school at 15 and by age 25, had earned his undergraduate degree, master’s degree and Ph.D., which he earned in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in just two years. Suresh became a faculty member at Brown University in 1983 as the youngest member of the engineering faculty. After 10 years at Brown, Suresh went on to become the first Asian-born American to lead the National Science Foundation (NSF), serving as its 13th director after he was nominated by then-president, Barack Obama.
He returned to Brown’s School of Engineering in September 2023, and earlier this month, the school announced a biennial symposium in his honour focused on the frontiers of technology and society. “The more I got into engineering, the more I liked it,” Suresh said. “The more I got into science, the more I liked it. The more I went across fields, I liked it even more. The greatest thing about this is that it’s not a job to me. It’s something I really enjoy. I feel very passionate about this and the joy of finding something new,” he said.
Under his leadership, NSF launched the Global Research Council, a virtual organisation of heads of science and engineering funding agencies from more than 50 countries, aimed at fostering global collaboration and data sharing. He also oversaw the establishment of the Centre-Life Balance programme, an initiative to increase the number of doctoral-level women in the science and engineering fields from 26 per cent to 40 per cent between 2011 and 2021.
Who Is Ashok Gadgil?
Ashok Gadgil, another Indian-American Scientist who received the National Medal for Technology and Innovation was among the 12 laureates who were awarded this medal. According to Berkeley Engineering, Gadgil, distinguished professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, was recognized for “providing life-sustaining resources to communities around the world. His innovative, inexpensive technologies help meet profound needs, from drinking water to fuel-efficient cookstoves. His work is inspired by a belief in the dignity of all people and in our power to solve the great challenges of our time.” Gadgil is considered to be a ‘humanitarian inventor’ and is also a retired faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Ashok Gadgil received a physics degree from the University of Mumbai and an M.Sc in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. He earned a PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Gadgil has worked as a distinguished professor of civil and environmental enginnering at the University of California, Berkeley and was also the former director of Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
Acccording to Ashok Gadgil’s bio on the Berkeley website, his ‘research focuses on computational fluid dynamics of indoor air and pollutant flows, simulation of entry and transportof indoor radon, building energy efficiency and methods to treat drinking water to make it potable’.