When ECE Professor V. Chandrasekar (Chandra) visited India in August to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the prominent Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), he was not planning to meet with the country's president. But that's what happened when President APJ Abdul Kalam discovered his work and invited him for a meeting at his official residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi.
"I was surprised and pleased to receive the call," said Chandra. "Months ago we mailed a signed copy of our book at the request of the President of India, but I never expected an invitation for a personal meeting."
Chandra, who is the deputy director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere and a co-principal investigator of the CSU-CHILL radar facility, met with President Kalam for 20 minutes in his office. He said Kalam was particularly interested in his book and research, and wanted to learn about the societal implications of his work on radar systems for flood mitigation.
"I presented an overview of our programs and he really wanted to hear about the societal impact of our research," said Chandra. "It is obvious that President Kalam is passionately committed to scientific exploration and discovery."
President Kalam is considered one of the most distinguished visionaries of India, with the unique honor of receiving honorary doctorates from many universities and institutions. The 11th President of India, Kalam is focused on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.
Following the meeting, Chandra said the president expressed an interest in further conversations to learn more about the cutting-edge research at Colorado State University.