American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin Hosts 33rd Annual National Convention

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ASEI Youth Enterprise finalists with judges. Top row: YTE Judges (l. to r.) Muthu Sivanantham, Amrish Chopra, and Piyush Malik. Finalist Students: Second Row (l. to r.) Divya Venkataraman, Jyoti Rani, Manan Patel, and Third Row (l. to r.) Isha Jagadish, Ojas Karnavat, Nidhi Mathihali. Photo:
Courtesy – ASEI

American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin (ASEI) hosted its 33rd Annual National Convention focusing on Global Engineering & Technologies (GET-2020). This virtual convention was held on Dec. 5-6, 2020.

Livestreamed worldwide through YouTube, the event was attended by scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders across the United States.

The two-day event featured several keynote speakers and multiple interactive sessions with prominent business and technology leaders, scientists and engineering entrepreneurs.

At the final session on the second day, ASEI recognized four engineering achievers and four service excellence and contributors to ASEI.

According to a press release, the convention started with a welcome by ASEI President Jwalant Lakhia. It was emceed by Anu Gopalakrishnan. The first keynote speaker Deval Desai, VP Magna Int., spoke about Contributions of Indian Technologists, weaving the storyline from mythology to history to modern era.

The first technical session Quantum computing by Dancing with Qubits had a  keynote by Dr. Robert Sutor, VP Quantum, IBM Research. Quantum computing aims to solve complex problems the world’s most powerful supercomputers cannot solve, according to Dr. Sutor, who emphasized that Quantum promises to tackle classically challenging problems across a variety of industries, from optimizing traffic control to refining supply chain logistics, discovering new drugs to detecting fraud more rapidly.

Prof Solomon Darwin, also known as the ‘Father of Smart Village Movement,’ spoke on Agritech innovations for a Smarter Village and shared how University of Califoria, Berkeley Haas School defines the concept.

In the session on User Experience Design (UXD), which is a design process whose sole objective is to design a system that offers a great experience to its users, Urmila Kashyap, senior user experience designer with VMware, talked about UX design systems for enterprise products.

Surbhi Kaul, general manager and Head of Product at Juniper Networks, shared from her own experience of building and launching products over two decades at Netflix, Cisco, YouTube, Google and Juniper Networks covering why UXD is critical to a product’s success and highlighting design systems using examples of AIML products she has helped launch.

An IBM Fellow and Master Inventor Rama Akkiraju, CTO AIOps with over 45 patents to her name, addressed the challenge of merging research, engineering and business perspectives to develop best practices ,in her session on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise.

Jeff Hannah, director, NA SBD Automotive, and Akshay Desai, Associate Partner, McKinsey presented their opinions on Autonomous Vehicles and Future Transportation and tried separating fact from fiction about autonomous cars. Desai focussed on the future for autonomous vehicle adoption and the changing AV mobility market. Convention Co-Chair Bhavesh Joshi moderated the session.

MC, Moderator and Panelists at the session User Experience Design, from top left clockwise, Anu Gopalakrishnan, Surbhi Kaul, Urmila Kashyap, and Mamta Narain. Photo: ASEI

The first day conference session ended with some Youth Technology Exposition (YTE) finalist students, from high school to undergrad, showcasing their work. Nidhi Mathihali, Jyoti Rani and Isha Jagadish were declared winners after a grueling question session.

The second day started with ASEI President Jwalant Lakhia welcoming the audience back and laying out the plan for the day.

Opening keynote on Leadership in turbulent times was delivered by Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy, chief data scientist & technology fellow, Haliburton. Dr. Priyadarshy is a globally recognized leader for his expertise in leveraging disruptive technologies, strategies and talent transformation to increase business value. He applied ancient Indian wisdom from Hanuman Chalisa to talk about a framework to face disruption in tumultuous times

Several other speakers addressed sessions on Career Management in a Disrupted Economy, Exponential Technologies for Humanity’s Grand Challenges, Cybersecurity: Opportunity of Threat?, Innovation in the Enterprise, and Robotics and Space.

The last session of the convention were the ASEI Awards, which were anchored by ASEI Board Member Thomas Abraham, Chair Awards Committee with chief guest Ambassador Amit Kumar, Consul General India in Chicago.

Consul General Kumar emphasized the importance of Indian American engineers and scientists pooling their talents to help India. The awardees are as follows:

ASEI Lifetime Achievement -Naveen Jain

ASEI Entrepreneur of The Year – Jyoti Bansal

ASEI Engineer of The Year (Mech/Solar) – Dr Yogi Goswami

ASEI Engineer pf The Year (Industrial Operations and Product Management) – Deval Desai

ASEI Service Excellence Award – Rakesh Patel

Hari Bindal ASEI Founders Award – Vatsala Upadhyay

Leadership and Contribution to ASEI – Rakesh Guliani and Sunita Dublish

The convention was put together by ASEI President Jwalant Lakhia along with Convention co-chairs Rakesh Patel and Bhavesh Joshi. The Program chair was ASEI Michigan Chapter President Vatsala Upadhyay. ASEI Silicon Valley Chapter President Piyush Malik served as Convention Content Chair.

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