Dinesh Rajan has been named the Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. He is the first faculty member to be named to the recently established professorship, made possible by the growth of an endowment provided by Cecil and Ida Green in 1979.
Rajan came to SMU in 2002 with experience in both academia and industry, having held positions at both Rice University and Nokia. Since arriving at the University, he has served as professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, providing leadership to the faculty while pursuing greater departmental productivity in research.
“Dinesh is an award-winning teacher and innovative researcher. He has made definitive contributions to his research field and continues to build upon that reputation,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Outside the classroom, Dinesh utilizes his intellect and energy to motivate young engineers through undergraduate research and senior design. He is consistently striving to stretch his boundaries, and I look forward to what he will achieve in the future.”
Rajan has published more than 100 peer-reviewed technical articles in leading journals and at conferences. He also has co-edited two books. He has been awarded research grants totaling more than $7 million supported by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and companies including Toyota and Nokia. He was technical program chair for the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference in 2009 and has served on other conference executive and technical committees.
Rajan’s broad research interests are focused on the sensing/extraction, transmission and dissemination of information. His work is interdisciplinary in nature and spans the traditional areas of information theory, wireless communications, signal processing and operations research. Most recently, he has focused on improving wireless data rates and reducing battery consumption. Another ongoing project develops cognitive methods to overcome challenge of scarce wireless spectrum and improve wireless connectivity and data rates.
His honors for teaching and research include the NSF CAREER Award in 2006 for his work on applying information theory to the design of mobile networks, a Ford Research Fellowship in 2012, SMU’s Golden Mustang Award in 2008, IEEE Outstanding Young Engineer in 2009, and multiple outstanding EE faculty teaching awards.
Rajan earned his B.Tech degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. He also was awarded M.S and Ph.D degrees from Rice University in Houston, both in the areas of electrical and computer engineering.
Cecil and Ida Green provided endowments for two faculty chairs in what is now the Lyle School of Engineering, both of which multiplied over time to provide funds for an additional professorship. Their gift of approximately $1.5 million in 1979 established the Cecil and Ida Green Chair currently held by Milton Gosney, and has grown over time to provide funding for the professorship held by Rajan. Their gift of $891,558 in 1969 endowed the Cecil H. Green Chair of Engineering held by Stephen Szygenda and now also supports Sila Cetinkaya as the Cecil H. Green Professor of Engineering. The couple’s gift of approximately $500,000 in 1979 also endowed the Cecil and Ida Green Fund for Excellence in Engineering and Applied Science Education to strengthen and enrich programs in the school.
Ida Green ’46 was a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, and was honored by the University in 1977 as a distinguished alumna. She died in 1986. Cecil Green, a British-born, naturalized American geophysicist and alumnus of MIT, was one of the four co-founders of Texas Instruments. He was made an honorary alumnus of SMU in 1962 and received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University in 1967. Cecil Green died in 2003 at the age of 102.