Prof. Ratnam Varada RajaKumar has taken over IIT Bhubaneswar (IITBBS) as Director. Prof. Rajakumar is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur. He did his M.Tech., in Microwave & Radar Engineering and Ph.D. in Digital Signal Processing in 1982 and 1987 from the Institute.Prior to this he served as the Vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Hyderabad.
He has been serving as a professor of Electronics and Communications engineering at IIT Kharagpur, starting his career as a member of the faculty in 1984. He also served as the Dean of Academic Affairs of IIT, Kharagpur from 2003 to 2006, as the Chairman of the G S Sanyal School of Telecommunications, a school of excellence for research in Telecommunications till 2005 and headed the Vodafone Essar - IIT Center of Excellence in Telecommunications from 2007 to 2010 besides other assignments. He served as a member of several national level committees of MHRD, DRDO, MIT and DoD. He was also instrumental in the initiation of the INDEST Consortium. He made the perspective plan for the growth of IIT, Kharagpur and also was responsible in bringing some important academic reforms in the Undergraduate education at IIT, Kharagpur.
His research areas include Digital Signal Processing, Wireless Communications, Detection and Estimation theory and VLSI systems for Communications. He has several research papers in reputed international journals and conferences and has supervised the theses of over 130 students at different levels including PhD, MS, M.Tech, and B.Tech. He authored three video courses, which were also telecasted nationwide, for undergraduate and Masters programmes in Engineering. He is presently engaged in active research on Green radio, Cognitive radio and GLRT based detection systems. Quality of technical education in India is of his concern and he made significant contributions through a number of articles on the same. Also, he served on the boards of studies of several sister institutions and contributed in the curricular design exercises of several institutions.
Dr. RajaKumar made significant contributions to technology development through numerous industrial consultancy and sponsored research projects. Designing a sonar homing system for the first ever torpedo developed by India, designing a CDMA communication system and drawing the R&D plan for the development of Cognitive Radio for DRDO are a few of the many similar contributions made by him. The BOYS-CAST research grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India in 1987, the Baroda Chapter national award of ISTE in 2007 and the best student paper award in the 1984 IEEE Region 10 Graduate Paper Contest are a few of the numerous awards and distinctions held by him. He is a senior member of the IEEE and served as a member, general chair, TPC chair and other Committees of several National and International Conferences.
Outlining his priorities, RajaKumar said there exists a perception that teaching-learning has somewhat taken a beating and contribution of elite institutes such as IITs is being questioned. "I will evolve a strategy to improve the standard of education. The institute will actively contribute to nation building," he said.