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Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy Memorial Award
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Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy Memorial Award

‘Awarded annually to a student team demonstrating exceptional
innovation and creativity in the fields of science/engineering’


The Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy Memorial Award is to honor the memory and lasting impact of Professor Ramaswamy in the lives of students he mentored. It aims to institutionalize his legacy, and promote activities that embody his spirit and enthusiasm for nurturing students.

Background and Vision

Students in BITS Pilani are the cream of India, chosen on merit by a very selective process. Once in BITS, these students express their creativity and innovation by working on projects, both as hobbies and/or as part of the curriculum. However, several students find many hurdles (especially financial constraints) that cause them to never have an opportunity to take their ideas/projects to fruition.

Prof. Ramaswamy always believed that every student, when trusted and given the right encouragement can be successful in any venture of his/her choice. A group of students who were very close to Prof.Ramaswamy realized that the best way to honor him and continue his legacy is to initiate an award that encapsulates his vision, and remove all barriers that impede the progress of student projects in BITS.

Award summary

A prize of Rs. 40,000 will be awarded every year to a team of students (max. 6 students) in order to encourage and nurture them to work on a student project. The prize will be open to any student in any department of the Goa campus (for now). The recipients of the award will be chosen by a competitive peer-review process in the previous semester to the award. Interested students should apply to the award with a sound proposal of the project. Project ideas may come from student(s) with or without inputs from faculty, other alumni and industry experts. For the year 2014-15, proposals will be restricted to science and engineering. They will be judged on their innovation and feasibility (more details below). The awardees will choose a faculty mentor who will have oversight of their project. The award money could be spent on anything (equipment, training, software, advertisement, travel etc) that directly helps in the success of their project.

Applications for SuRa Memorial Award 2015-'16 can now be submitted to until August 14, 2015

Selection process and timeline




Call for               proposals

The award details are announced and proposals are called for.

May 6, 2015

Proposal submission

Students (max team size of 6) submit proposal of their project. The project should be innovative, but more importantly technically feasible. They should also suggest the name of a faculty referee who will judge the proposal on its merit. Students should submit their applications to following address:

August 14, 2015

Referee process

The award panel sends the proposal to a faculty referee who is in the best position to judge the viability and innovation of the project. The referee could be the one suggested by the student(s), or anyone else the panel deems suitable. The referee sends back a confidential report stating his/her opinion on the merits of project.

August 14, 2015 – September 14, 2015

Selection of         awardees

Based on the referee reports, the panel selects one student team as "Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy Memorial Award” recipient, and awards the team INR 40,000.

September 15, 2015

Faculty Mentor

The awardees will choose a faculty mentor from any department. The mentor will be the overall supervisor of the project. He/she will also have financial oversight and ensure that the money is spent for the right purposes

October 1, 2015

Report due

A report for the project will be due on the last day of the semester. It will be put on the website.

May 15, 2016

Unspent award   return

To ensure the success of the project, the awardees will have upto 1 year to spend their award. After this period, any unspent money is returned to the Prof. Ramaswamy memorial fund.

Jan 1, 2017

Guidelines for spending award money

The prize money (INR 40,000) can be spent on anything that directly benefits the success of the project. These may include for example, equipment, training, software, advertisement and travel. All expenses should be reported to the faculty mentor who will have financial oversight. It is expected that the recipients of the award will by themselves act in full faith and honesty in utilizing the award money towards genuine initiatives which help take their projects forward. The faculty mentor will provide them

with sufficient guidelines and advice as appropriate to execute their endeavor. Any unspent money will be returned to the award panel after 1 year of the project inception.

Laboratory access

To ensure the success of the project, students might need to use laboratory equipment/facilities. For example, this might include oscilloscopes in the EE/Physics labs, or tools in the workshop. Traditionally, students are not permitted laboratory access after class hours, because authorities fear some equipment may be stolen/misused.

Prof. Ramaswamy believed that students should be trusted, and authorities should act in good faith. Since the awardees have sound proposals and are chosen by a competitive process, they should be given access to any BITS facility they require. The access will be in a manner that does not disrupt any normal laboratory activity, and importantly ensures that all safety norms are followed. The students should consult the respective department head for access hours, and safety norms.

Under these constraints, the fund will insure (to a maximum of INR. 40,000) against any equipment damage. Any further cost will be borne by the students.

Award Panel

An awards panel will be responsible for administering this award and facilitating the selection procedure. The panel may consist of 3-6 members including at least one member of the faculty who was a close colleague of Prof. Ramaswamy, and if possible one prominent external member. However, the panel chair may use his / her discretion to make sure that a smooth, easy and efficient working arrangement.

The responsibilities of the panel will be five-fold:

  1. Do a quick initial scrutiny of the submitted proposals and reject outright any incomplete submissions.
  2. The panel can then refer the shortlisted proposals to experts (referees) in the field of the proposals (the names of the experts need not be disclosed to the participants and can be anyone within or outside the campus at the discretion of the panel), with a request to get back to them with a short summary of their evaluation of the level of innovation and practicality of implementation. The experts may be given sufficient time (suggested time: 2 months) to get back with their feedback.
  3. Collect the comments from the various experts and evaluate the proposals in order to decide the proposal which conforms most closely to the award guidelines. To reach an informed decision, the panel might seek to consult any other faculty member for further technical opinion. However, the panel must have full independence in choosing the awardees.
  4. Finalize the faculty mentor in consultation with the students and work out an arrangement with the mentor to access the funds.
  5. In case of unused funds, take responsibility for the remaining funds. The panel chair, in consultation with some other panel members, may decide to utilize these funds to promote other activities which in his / her opinion would help keep the memory of Prof. Ramaswamy alive (eg. guest lectures, musical events, purchasing common lab equipment) or he/she may return the money to the Prof Ramaswamy Memorial Fund.


If you have any questions or suggestions, please send an email to

Thanks and Regards

Rohit Koul
BITSAA International

Aastha Mehta
Director, Scholarships & Awards Team
BITSAA International


Winners : 2014-'15

Project Name 
Mudra- A Braille Dicta

Team Members 
Sanskriti Dawle (ID No. 2012A7PS083G)
Aman Karan Srivastava (ID No. 2012A7PS126G)
Shaikh Saif Ali (ID No. 2013A4PS183G)

"We are deeply honoured to receive the SuRa award. It will really help us in our next step i.e. testing our prototypes in a school for the blind. Apart from the financial support, the award will also enable us to use the Institute's 3D printer - which is a major part of our prototyping. We feel very grateful for receiving recognition and support from our own college - it will 'kickstart' the next phase of Project Mudra. " - Sanskriti, Aman and Saif

Aman is an undergraduate student of Computer Science at the Goa Campus. He is an aspiring innovator and entreprenuer. He is enthusiastic about Human Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing and Inclusive Design. He has previously worked on projects involving Sentiment Analysis and Social Media. He is currently working on non visual interfaces and assistive technologies (Project Mudra). He has interned under Hicham Zmarrou who is a R&D Engineer at The Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR). He has been working on Project Mudra for almost a year now, and has been selected for poster presentation at PyCon 2014 in Canada and the BITSAA GBM in Hyderabad. He has also been a speaker on TEDx.

Sanskriti is a 3rd year Computer Science student at BITS Pilani Goa Campus. She is interested in Human-Computer Interaction with particular focus on assistive technology, inclusive design and usability. She has been working on Project Mudra since the beginning of her 2nd year, and is presently doing a remote internship on usability testing with GNOME (the desktop environment) under the Outreach Program for Women. She has been a KVPY awardee, TEDx speaker as well as poster presenter at BITSAA Global Meet 2014 in Hyderabad, India and PyCon 2014 in Montreal, Canada. Sanskriti is also an avid foodie, and loves to travel.
Saif is a undergraduate student, currently studying Mechanical Engineering at BITS Pilani, K K Birla Goa Campus. He is an enthusiastic Mechanical Engineer aspiring to work in RnD sector of MNCs. He his profoundly interested in Structural Mechanics, Machine Design, Product design and Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD). He his fluent in working with CAD softwares like Solidworks, Pro-E, CATIA and also analysis tools like ANSYS. Apart from Project Mudra, he is also working with Team Grease Monkeys - Baja, wherein a group of 23 mechanical engineering students design and fabricate a single passenger All Terrain Vehicle(ATV). He is responsible for the design and fabrication of chassis (frame) of the vehicle. Team Grease Monkeys - Baja are among the top 115 out of 330 teams to successfully the design round BAJA SAE India 2015. He is also the Secretary of Mechanical Engineering Students Association, BITS Goa.


Project Brief

Project Mudra aims to tackle the abysmal rates of Braille literacy. A working prototype using a single celled refreshable display and a non visual application has been developed. In the future we plan to build smarter and more intelligent systems in order to impart customised and tailored knowledge to the user. More can be found about the Project here :

Award Committee 2014-'15

  • Prof. Gaurav Dar, HOD Physics Dept., Goa (Chair) 
  • Prof. P. Nandakumar , Physics Dept, Goa (Chair)
  • Prof. Toby Joseph, Physics Dept., Goa
  • Dr. P.N Deepak , Goa
  • Dr. Veeky Baths, Faculty in Charge, Alumni Affairs Division, Goa
The committee selected a panel of 7 faculty members, drawn from CS, EEE, Mechanical, Chemical, Biology, Physics to judge the proposals
  • Prof Ponnani - Chair
  • Mr. Amalin Prince
  • Mr. Trushar Bhikhubhai Gohil
  • Mr. Rajaram Lakkaraju
  • Mr. Ramprasad Joshi 
  • Mr. Raviprasad Aduri
  • Mr. E.S.Kannan 

Winners : 2012-'13

Project Name
Furniture-Integrated Workspace Cooling System

Team Members
Geetansh Gupta (ID No. 2010A1PS022G)
Aaditya Shah (ID No. 2010A1PS200G)

"We strongly believe that this recognition is the first step towards the success of our project. This award and the funding will help us skip the hurdles to build the first prototype of the proposed design and conduct thorough analysis under various circumstances of our prototype. With this we can incorporate the required modifications to the prototype, thus rendering us closer to our goal of a commercial pitch. " - Geetansh & Aaditya

 Geetansh Gupta is a Chemical Engineering student from the Goa campus. He has worked on projects in heat  exchangers, LDPE pyrolysis and Stretford Process, using simulation software like COMSOL & ChemCAD. He has  done internships with IFFCO Kandla and Rourkela Steel Plant, SAIL. He was an exchange student to Raffles  Institution, Singapore. He was a StartingBloc fellow in 2012. He has worked as the Business Development  Manager at, a BITSian startup. At the college level, he was a core-member in Center for  Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), Goa chapter, and has worked as Social Media & Logistics Co-ordinator for  CEL events.With his interest and admiration for entrepreneurship, he aims to work at the intersection of  chemical engineering and entrepreneurship.

 Aaditya Shah is a student of Chemical Engineering from the Goa campus. He has worked on projects like  LDPE pyrolysis, industrial sedimentation tanks, compact heat exchangers, rural water desalination and IS 7310  welding standards. He is interested in aircraft cooling systems and seawater purification. He worked as an intern  at Wagon Repair Workshop, Jhansi.He served as the Secretary and Co-ordinator of chemical engineering  students association, Alchemista. He is also a member of Kala, the fine arts club. His hobbies are automotive  concept sketching, modern architecture and reading.

Project Brief
The project aims to develop a compact heat exchanger for front-end, furniture integrated desktop cooling system for workstations. The current cooling solutions involve centralized cooling with complex air-ducts, incurring major energy losses. Further, a lot of energy is wasted in cooling miscellaneous office fixtures. A desktop cooling system at a low cost of operation would provide the user with personalized-comfort cooling which centralized systems do not. As is the human psychology, a cooler torso gives a better feeling of comfort. This cooling system can be efficiently used in cyber cafes, laptop stations at airports etc.

Another application for this cooling system is possible in the field of electronic devices. Successful development of this heat exchanger at an even more compact scale can have far reaching impact in the IT sector from the standpoint of solving the ‘Thermal Brick Wall’ problem (which currently limits CPU clocks to ~ 3 GHz), an increasing concern about the electrical power consumption of IT infrastructure.

Award Panel 2012-'13

  • Prof. P. Nandakumar , HOD, Physics Dept, Goa (Chair)
  • Prof. Raghunath Ratabole, Physics Dept, Goa
  • Prof. Gaurav Dar, Physics Dept, Goa
  • Prof. Toby Joseph, Physics Dept, Goa
  • Prof. Saby John, Faculty In Charge, Alumni Affairs Division, Goa



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