Indian-origin Jayathi scales heights in US academia

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 24, 2015

Jayathi Y Murthy   -  UCLA

To take charge as Dean of UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in California

Come January 1, 2016, Jayathi Y Murthy, an Indian-origin technologist will take charge as the Dean of the prestigious UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in California, US.

If Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Padmasree Warrier, ex Chief Technology Officer of Cisco Systems & Uma Choudhury, former global Chief of R&D at DuPont are top climbers in the US corporate sector among women of Indian origin, Jayathi Murthy would surely be the latest in the engineering technology world.

Jayathi hails from Hyderabad, India and did her schooling in Saint Anns Convent school. She graduated in B Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, at a time when very few girls opted for engineering. She went on to obtain her doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an M S from Washington State University.

“She has always been a focussed person right from her school days and IIT. With the strong backing from parents and dint of hardwork, Jayathi is able to realise her potential”, recalled Mahathi Singh her sister who lives in Hyderabad.

Their father, a civil engineer who worked on important infrastructure projects in tough and sometimes remote regions, had an important influence on Jayathi taking to the engineering field, she told BusinessLine here.

In January 2012, she became the first woman dean at the Mechanical Engineering department, University of Texas, holding the Ernst Cockrell Jr. Department Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to that, she held faculty positions at both Purdue University and Carnegie Mellon University along with some industry positions.

Interestingly, she will be succeeding Vijay K Dhir, another person of Indian-origin, who has been leading the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) school since 2002. Jayathi is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the author of more than 280 technical publications.

“The early third of my career was spent in a startup called Fluent Inc., today a world leader in commercial fluid dynamics software. I was one of the earliest employees of Fluent, and my algorithmic work undergirds many of their software products today. My work is used the world over, and this is a source of great pride and satisfaction for me”, she told the UCLA Engineer magazine in an interview.

Published on November 24, 2015
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