Category Archives: IITBHF

Innovative Ideas on Sustainable and Affordable Energy – from the Symposium

Innovative Ideas on Sustainable and Affordable Energy discussed at Symposium sponsored by IITBHF, IITBAA-GNY and Columbia University.

Recognizing IIT Bombay as one of the best engineering and technology universities in the world, award winning economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University asked IIT Bombay alumni to use their engineering skills and knowledge to come up with the solutions to reduce world-wide carbon emissions to make the energy transition to Climate Safety.

Prof. Sachs gave the keynote address at the May 8th symposium on “Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World” sponsored by Columbia University Sustainable Engineering Lab; IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation and IIT Bombay Alumni Association Greater New York Chapter. Nearly 100 persons attended the all day symposium on “Mother Earth Day”.

From left to right : Ruyintan Mehta, IITB HF President; Nathan Blair, World Bank; Audrey Zibelman, Chair NYS Public Service Commission; Silvia Romero, World Bank ; Prof. Deepak Divan, Georgia Tech; Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation; Prof. Vijay Modi, Columbia University; DC Agrawal, IITBAA-GNY Chapter President
From left to right : Ruyintan Mehta, IITB HF President; Nathan Blair, World Bank; Audrey Zibelman, Chair NYS Public Service Commission; Silvia Romero, World Bank ; Prof. Deepak Divan, Georgia Tech;
Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation; Prof. Vijay Modi, Columbia University; DC Agrawal, IITBAA-GNY Chapter President

In his remarks, Prof Sachs stated that now that world leaders have agreed on the lower carbon emission targets at the Paris COP 21 meeting, it is now up to the engineers to come up with the required solutions to meet the de-carbonization goals while meeting the energy needs of the poor as well as the rich in India and the world.

Dr. Vijay Modi of Columbia University’s Earth Institute & Director of Sustainable Engineering Lab with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a 1978 IIT Bombay graduate and an acknowledged expert in the field of sustainable and affordable energy presented his work on the new technologies now being developed to make renewable and affordable energy available to those who are off the energy grid in poor and emerging markets in Africa and India.

Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, Assistant Director of Engineering at US National Science Foundation and a 1977 IIT Bombay graduate gave his perspectives on the evolution of electric energy systems in both the developed and developing economies. Other speakers including Prof. Himadri Pakrasi of Washington University, Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno of MIT, and Prof. Deepak Divan of Georgia Tech talked about the latest developments in the fields of engineering bio-energy, nuclear energy, and integrating renewables into the power grid.

Ms. Audrey Zibelman, Chair of NY State Public Service Commission responsible for regulating the New York State electric utility industry talked about the potential regulatory changes required to better incorporate renewable energy in the commercial power systems.  Several speakers from the World Bank and Columbia University spoke about their ongoing work in this area.

From left to right : Dr Khargonekar, IITB ’77 Electrical Engg; Attendee at symposium;  Dr. Vijay Modi , IITB ’78 Mechanical Engg; Ron Mehta, IITB ’70 Chemical  Engg.
From left to right : Dr Khargonekar, IITB ’77 Electrical Engg; Attendee at symposium;
Dr. Vijay Modi , IITB ’78 Mechanical Engg;
Ron Mehta, IITB ’70 Chemical Engg.

In his remarks, Mr. Ruyintan Mehta, President IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation talked about this IITBHF initiative to highlight the work being done by IIT Bombay graduates and alumni in critical and important engineering, technology and policy areas.  Mr. D C Agrawal President IIT Bombay AA GNY Chapter thanked the speakers for enlightening us all on this important and potentially life changing subject and the many volunteers for making this symposium such a success.

Symposium on Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World

Symposium on Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World

Sunday May 8, 2016

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Davis Auditorium in Shapiro Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY [1]

2016 event jointly sponsored by

Department of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS, Columbia University

IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation & IITB Alumni Association of Greater New York


The last few years have brought global energy issues to the fore. At the recently concluded COP21 in 2015, the tensions arising from the contrasting high consumption and emissions of the wealthy on one hand and the need for affordable growth and access for the bottom two billion were quite apparent. Those two billion still cook on primitive wood fires and live with poor or unreliable access to electricity, while the consumption of the wealthiest two billion alone is a major contributor to climate change. This contrast has put many countries in a technologically and financially challenging position where they want to rapidly accelerate deployment of renewables while also addressing the energy access and growth imperatives.

India is a classic case, with a goal to deploy 160 GW of solar and wind by 2020, when last year’s average power consumption was 120GW. At the same time 20% of Indians have no electricity access. Similar conditions exist in many other developing economies.

This one-day symposium will address issues of integrating high fractions of variable power into the grid. Are there novel ideas on edge of the grid infrastructure, demand side measures, prepaid smart metering, and new ways to manage variable sources on the grid, that can take advantage of a growing economy that is willing to tolerate less than perfect reliability and lack of legacy players? Perhaps affordability can be achieved through disruptive innovation that can emerge in lower income countries through scale and new business models. We will also try to understand the potential of synthesizing fuels from sunlight and CO2, a tantalizing addition to climate management toolkit if it can be made to work.

The symposium will allow speakers to share their views with an engineering audience both at the depth and breadth that the subject demands.

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided and is included in the ticket price


Morning Session


9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast Lobby
9:30 Columbia University and IITBHF Opening Remarks and Welcome
9:45 Prof. Himadri Pakrasi Sustainability and Bioenergy: Challenges and Opportunities
10:15 Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno Nuclear Energy: Growth Opportunities/Challenges from Fuel Cycles and Small Modular Reactors.
10:45 Prof. Vijay Modi Pathways to Full Electrification in Emerging Markets
11:15 Prof. Deepak Divan Energy Needs for the Emerging Markets

Lunch 11:45 to 12:30 pm

Afternoon Session

Integrating Renewables into the Grid

12:30 Pramod Khargonekar, National Science Foundation, Director for Engineering Perspectives on Evolution of Electric Energy Systems – Developed and Developing Economies
1:00 Mike Waite and Vijay Modi, Columbia University Background Results: NY State Grid and Deep Renewable Penetration
1:30 Audrey Zibelman, Chair, NYS Public Service Commission Electricity: Regulation and markets. NYS Perspective
2:00 Nathan Blair and Silvia Romero (NREL/World Bank) System Integration and Utility Regulation for Variable Resources
2:30 Panel: Divan, Zibelman, Modi, Blair

Moderated by Khargonekar

Integrating Renewables into the Grid
3:30 D.C.Agrawal, President, IITBAAGNY Closing Remarks

[1] Enter at 116th street on Amsterdam Avenue or Broadway and walk to Shapiro Hall.

Holiday greetings! A message from your GNY Chapter president

Dear GNY Chapter friends:

It gives me great pleasure to send you this Holiday greeting as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas next month followed by a Happy 2016 New Year.

Personally, I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Just like the Pilgrims, all of us came to the US, bright eyed and bushy tailed after graduating from our beloved Alma Mater – IIT Bombay in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and now in the 10’s. The GNY Chapter IITB Diaspora comprises of senior citizens like me and younger alumni and alumna who just graduated in 2015. Our several thousands of alums in the New York area residing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are at the top of their game contributing not only to the country of our choice, but also giving back to India. We have a lot to be thankful to our country of choice – US, our country of birth – India, and to our alma mater – IIT Bombay.

Next week, our Annual donation campaign – GO IITB 2015 will start in full swing. I urge you to donate generously and in larger amounts as much as you can. The top two contenders for your generosity remain Need based Student Scholarships for many students who find the cost of studying at IITB too onerous and Young Faculty Awards to attract world class faculty to IIT Bombay.  Recently, some of our creative and innovative alums in the GNY area like Deepak Agarwal, (’70 ChE, H-2) have spent a considerable amount of their personal time working closely with the IITB General Secretary Hostel Affairs and Dean of Student Affairs in coming up with another very interesting area for us to donate our funds. The students at IITB have expressed a keen desire to have alums donate towards building an A/C equipped 50 person computer/study hall – each equipped with 8 to 10 computers, a shared printer, decent furniture and book shelves in each hostel. This would allow the students to study comfortably in a properly conducive environment instead of spending all their time in cramped hostel rooms with 2 students per room. It is estimated that each such unit would cost between Rs. 8.5 to 10 lakhs and IITBHF would ensure that this project is handled directly between alums in the US, HF and students without excessive interference from administration. A total of $200,000 would provide for such computer/study halls in all hostels.

Thanks to all of you, our Chapter had a good year organizing many events starting with the Financial Planning seminar, followed by our popular summer picnic, a lecture seminar given by IIT Gandhinagar Director Sudhir Jain, our hugely successful Annual Reunion attended by over 120+ alums and friends, Youth Achievement Award for our children, publication of another stellar GnYPoint 2015 magazine edition and last but not the least our first ever Diwali Dhamaka attended by 140 of us with our families and friends. As we speak, three of our Chapter alumnae – Shweta Bhandari, Suhani Shorewala and Anshu Agrawal are hard at work planning a first ever  IITB Women’s Forum or Mixer in the GNY area  for early next year. Many of our active volunteers are also planning to have more family style events like Holi for 2016.

It is well said that Squeaky wheel gets the grease! A direct and affirmative intervention by a few of our Chapter members has resulted in a positive change in the cumbersome procedure related to securing IITB transcripts that need to be sent directly to professional societies like various State Boards of Professional Engineers, or to academic institutions. Going forward, instead of sending a $100 money order to IITB, you can now contact IITBHF and make an easy credit card payment to HF using their payment gateway for your transcript request. On your behalf, IITBHF will transfer the funds to IITB. You will still be required to communicate with IITB and fill out their online form. Please contact Subha at IITBHF for more details.

In 2016, we are planning to throw our hat in the ring to try and steer the Faculty Alumni Networking (FAN) event to be held in New York. We are quite hopeful that we will succeed in bringing the 2016 FAN meeting to New York.

We also want to start alumni networking activities in the format of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). For these SIGs only those who are genuinely interested in the specific subject matter would participate. Let me highlight two of them:

Contract Bridge Group: One of our alumni spouses – Rita Kinkhabwala (wife of Minesh Kinkhabwala) recently became a Life Master with American Contract Bridge League. She earned this designation in recognition of her outstanding achievement in Bridge Competitions. She has volunteered to start a Bridge Group and has offered to coach and mentor those of us and any of our family members to either learn or to improve their Bridge skills. This requires a commitment of 3 hours, 1 weekend a month. There will be a nominal charge of $5/person/meeting for snacks, etc. Teams need to be formed in multiples of 4. Please email me personally by no later than January 1, 2016, if you are interested: ruyintan [at] aol [dot] com. Please include in your email your level of competence in Bridge as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. Depending on your response, if we have a minimum of 8 persons, our first meeting to discuss and possibly have a brief session will be on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 11AM. Venue: Mehta Residence -8 Glenview Drive, Warren, NJ 07059.

Investors Club Group: Three of our alums – Gagan Singh, Raj Singh and Kumar Shah have expressed their desire to start an Investors Club to allow alums interested in financial markets to meet once every two months and review and discuss investment and market trends and other relevant information on a specific topic for that meeting. Please be advised that no solicitation or plugging for a specific product will be allowed or tolerated. Again, please email Raj Singh directly by January 1, 2016 of your interest to join the Investors Club: singh_rajindra [at] yahoo [dot] com. We would like to cap this group to no more than 20 to 25 persons. Our 1st meeting would be on either the 2nd weekend in February 2016 or on a Friday evening in February. Meeting Place TBD.

Many thanks to all of you and especially our hard working volunteers – both alums and their families for making this year a success. Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays.

Yours in service,

Ron E. Mehta – President IITBAAGNY

Merger with IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation


Dear IITBAAGNY Member,

The Executive Committee of IITBAAGNY recommends to its general membership that we become a Chapter of the IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation instead of continuing as an independent organization. All other IIT Bombay Alumni Association chapters in the United States operate as a chapter of the Heritage Foundation. The merger provides a number of benefits without affecting our activities in any way.

Attached questions and answers provide some background material on this subject.  Also attached is a letter from HF confirming the discussions on this subject.

HF Merger Q&A

Merger – Letter from HF

Consistent with IITBAAGNY by-laws it is important that all members vote on this.

Please cast your vote below. The Executive Committee recommends that you vote Yes.

You are required to provide some identifying details for this poll. These will only be used to verify the authenticity of your response, and only our election officer for this poll, Jude Netto, will be able to access the responses. Jude Netto is independent of the current Executive Committee.

This online poll will end at 11:59PM Eastern Time on Sunday, July 19. Please cast your vote before then.

The poll is now closed. Thank you for voting!