Raghunath K. Shevgaonkar, one of the most admired professors at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, for his innovative and inspirational teaching of electromagnetics, is being honored by IEEE with the 2011 IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional association.
The award, sponsored by the IEEE Education Society, recognizes Shevgaonkar for contributions to inspirational classroom teaching and development of outstanding text books and e-learning material for electromagnetic waves and transmission lines. The award will be presented on 7-9 November 2011 at the IEEE International Conference on Microwaves, Communications, Antennas and Electronic Systems in Tel Aviv, Israel.
A professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, since 1987, Shevgaonkar’s goal is to make electromagnetics the most enjoyable subject for electrical engineering students. Electromagnetism is at the core of today’s technological wonders such as wireless transmission of voice and photos, microwave ovens and satellite communications. However, its presentation at the undergraduate level can appear to consist mainly of extremely challenging mathematical models and complex theory that many students dread. Shevgaonkar’s approach has been to present field phenomenon as a natural extension of circuit theory and to put physical understanding ahead of mathematical steps. Add in concept-oriented practical problems and you have a course that students enjoy and rate as one of their best experiences as undergraduates at IIT, Bombay.
According to former students, Shevgaonkar’s lectures are always filled with enthusiasm and energy, and an insistence on obtaining the “Aha” moment before moving on to the next concept. If some students have difficulty in getting to that moment, he patiently explains the concepts until they gain an understanding. His lectures are never just about the course syllabus but learning the phenomena surrounding the powerful, invisible electromagnetic waves.
Shevgaonkar has been a pioneer of distance education in India. He established the Centre for Distance Engineering Education Program at IIT, Bombay, and is the school’s leader for the National Program for Technology-Enhanced Learning. He has developed four Web-based video courses covering electromagnetic waves, transmission lines and fiber optics that have been viewed by colleges throughout India. Shevgaonkar’s textbook titled “Electromagnetic Waves” (McGraw Hill Education India, 2005), has become one of the most widely used undergraduate textbooks on electromagnetics in India and other countries.
An IEEE Senior Member, Shevgaonkar is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian National Academy of Science and the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India. His honors include an Excellence in Teaching Award from IIT, Bombay. He received his bachelor of engineering degree from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, India; his master of technology degree from IIT, Kanpur; and his doctorate from IIT, Bombay, all in electrical engineering. Prior to joining IIT, Bombay, Shevgaonkar worked for the Indian Institute of Astrophysics and the University of Maryland, College Park. Shevgaonkar is currently a professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT, Bombay and the Vice Chancellor of University of Pune, India.