Governing Board Members

Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula

Dean - Alumni and Corporate Relations
Chairperson of the governing board, Energy Consortium

Dr.Mahesh Panchagnula is the Dean, ‘Alumni and Corporate Relations’ at IIT Madras. His energy, entrepreneurial bent and persuasive skills have meld together to build a robust alumni and corporate CSR connect with IIT Madras, raising a national record-breaking high funding to the tune of INR.300+ Cr in just the last three years. After obtaining a B.Tech. from India’s #1 Institution, IIT Madras and both an M.S and a Ph.D from the world-renowned Purdue University, Dr. Mahesh is currently a professor at IIT Madras’ Department of Applied Mechanics. His research interests are in multiphase fluid mechanics applied to pulmonological flows. With an illustrious 20+ years’ career of teaching and research and numerous publications to his credit, Prof.Mahesh has undertaken several global teaching and consulting assignments and is a seasoned, sought-after speaker addressing packed audiences on a wide range of topics, including alumni relations to applied mechanics, entrepreneurship to education, impact to innovation, to name a few. A man of many hats, Prof. Mahesh ideated and launched a pan-India Science and Technology Magazine, IIT Madras Shaastra, the first of its kind in the country, to feature the best of Indian Science and Tech. The magazine has been well-received in India, receiving appreciation from the Vice President of India. He also leads India’s first Centre of Excellence on Sports Science and Analytics, which is leading the revolution to bring Indian technology into the world of sports. Prof. Mahesh has also pioneered the growth of ‘IIT Madras Incubation Cell’ as the Professor-in-charge and Board member, this Cell has now become the best tech incubator in the country with 400+ startups. Some of his career highlights include working with DRDO to design mission-critical elements of Kaveri Gas Turbine engine, explaining the role of asymmetry in the lung and the creation of India’s first model to understand the onset of stampedes in dense crowds.

Dr Marwa Al-Ansary

Global General Manager - Next Generation Breakthrough Research

Marwa works in Shell’s technology organization where she serves as the General Manager for Next Generation Breakthrough Research Shell. She leads a global team of scientists and engineers dedicated to developing transformative and competitive technologies to meet the demand for more and cleaner energy solutions. During the last 23+ years, she has assumed a wide range of technical and leadership roles in project/construction management, university lecturing, HSSE and technology development and commercialization. Her work experience spans many countries such as Egypt, the UK, the Netherlands, Qatar, India, and Australia. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has publications and patents in the field of carbon management, circularity, innovative materials, waste treatment/conversion, and construction management. She supported different energy businesses such as GTL, coal seam gas upstream, conventional gas, petrochemicals development, new energies, and LNG.

Marwa is a civil/environmental engineer with a PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University and MSc in Environmental Science from Strathclyde University. She also holds a BSc and an MSc in Construction Engineering from the American University in Cairo.

Marwa’s areas of expertise: sustainability and circularity, decarbonization (carbon accounting, management, policy, and advocacy), and technology commercialization.

Prof Preeti Aghalayam

Dean of School of Engg. & Science;
Director-in-charge, Zanzibar

Preeti Aghalayam is Dean of School of Engg. & Science; Director-in-charge, Zanzibar

Preeti Aghalayam was formerly a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and also Advisor Global Academics Activities at the Office of Global Engagement, IIT Madras.

She was formerly an associate for eight years at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. She completed a post doctoratal stint from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, after an MS & Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA.

Shloka Nath

Acting CEO – India Climate Collaborative

Shloka Nath is the Acting CEO of the India Climate Collaborative, a first-of-its kind, India-focused collaborative that seeks to direct funding and visibility towards climate action in India. Shloka Nath also heads Sustainability + Policy & Advocacy at the Tata Trusts, one of India’s leading philanthropic foundations. As head of Sustainability, she is focused on the organization’s work on climate, energy and environment, implementing and funding sustainable and scalable solutions that help both people and nature thrive through India.

Her deep passionate work in Sustainability and her work with and for communities most impacted by climate change would help shape the Energy Consortium and provide impetus in strengthening our industry-academia-government collaborative effort for enabling the energy transition towards a low carbon future.

Shloka holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Science from the London School of Economics & Political Science.

Anirban Ghosh

Head – Center for Sustainability, Mahindra University

Anirban Ghosh has been with the Mahindra Group since 1999, where he now heads the Center for Sustainability at Mahindra University and most recently was the Chief Sustainability Officer. He has held various responsibilities at the Group in Sales, Marketing and Sustainability and has also been President of Mahindra US.

He has been involved with the creation of a pioneering solid waste management project to make Mahindra World City Chennai landfill free, has led national award winning watershed development projects in public private partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Government, has enabled Mahindra to become a founding member of the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, as well as contributed in a number of sustainability leadership committees of GRI, CII, FICCI, BCCI and IMC.
He has been an invited speaker at a number of international conferences including COP21 at Paris, The Climate Week at New York, World Circular Economy Forum WCEF at Helsinki, Enabling Private Sector Clean Energy Investment at Bangkok, GRI Global Conference at Amsterdam, Innovate4Climate at Barcelona, World Sustainability Development Summit at Delhi, and UN India Business Forum at Mumbai

Dr Nikhil Tambe


Nikhil Tambe is the Chief Executive Officer for the Energy Consortium at IIT Madras. He oversees development of industry-academia-government collaborations with a core focus on technologies that will enable the energy transition towards a low carbon future.

He also serves as Chair for the Energy Committee at the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SICCI) as part of which he has advised TN state government agencies on aspects related to the E of ESG.

He has prior industry experience with Eaton and GE, driving technology & innovation in wind turbine drivetrains, Tier 4 compliant locomotive engines, gas turbine lubrication systems, hydraulic systems and holds 12 issued US and world patents.

He completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University. He has certifications in DFSS Six Sigma Green Belt from both GE & Eaton, in Innovation Strategy from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, in Policy Design & Delivery from Harvard Kennedy School and is certified as Independent Director by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs.


Prof Satyanarayanan Seshadri

Head & Faculty in Charge

Prof Satyanarayanan Seshadri is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics, the head of the Energy Centre of Excellence at IITM and the faculty-in-charge of the Energy Consortium. He works in the area of energy efficiency enhancement through development of heat pumps, thermal energy storage systems, pressure to power recovery through expanders and long term grid scale energy storage. He is also the national coordinator of the Industrial Energy Assessment Cell (IEAC) with its hub at IITM and 6 more spokes at different IITs across the country. He obtained his PhD from Texas A&M in Mechanical Engineering in 2007 and spent about 8 years in the industry working for companies like General Electric and Forbes Marshall before his current academic role. He has over 30 publications, 6 granted patents and 5 patents filed to his credit.

Prof Satya is also in-charge of establishing multi-lateral centres of excellence in the domain of energy and sustainability at IITM such as the recently established Australia-India Centre for Energy

17 Chandu Head Shot - Cropped - Copy (1)

Dr Chandu Visweswariah

Co-founder and Vice President of CURE100 and Croton100

Chandu Visweswariah is a co-founder and Vice President of both CURE100 and Croton100 which are community-based environmental non-profits. He was the Founding President and CEO of Utopus Insights, a global renewable energy software company, from 2017 to 2021. Prior to co-founding Utopus Insights, Chandu led a worldwide Smarter Energy and Environmental Science team at IBM Research. Earlier in his career, he was credited with seminal work in semiconductor chip design automation including statistical timing analysis and automated circuit tuning. He was named an IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor conferred by IBM.

Chandu holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He is an IEEE Fellow with a book, over 100 publications and 120 granted patents to his name. He has won numerous Best Paper awards, Innovator of the Year award, two Corporate Awards, the A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award, IBM Master Inventor award, IBM 25 th Invention Plateau Award, IIT Distinguished Alumnus Award and St. Joseph’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

He lives a low-carbon lifestyle in a zero-carbon house that he and his wife built in Croton on Hudson, New York.


Prof Rajnish Kumar

Professor,Chemical Engineering

Dr. Rajnish Kumar, FRSC is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also an associate head for the School of Sustainability at IIT Madras. Prior to that he has served six years as senior scientist at CSIR-NCL, and two years as research associate at National Research Council, Canada. His PhD is from The University of British Columbia, Canada and has research interests in gas hydrates, carbon dioxide capture, process development and scale-up. Rajnish is the most recent awardee of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for his contribution to Engineering Science. Rajnish is also a recipient of NASI – Scopus Young Scientist Award in Chemistry for the year 2016. He has been identified as top 0.1% scientists around the world by web of science, he is one among the handful of Highly Cited Researchers in India (HCR in the year 2018, Engineering). In 2021, ACS Energy & Fuels identified him as top 50 scientists working in the field of Energy. More recently in 2020, Rajnish received Dr. YBG Verma Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Teaching, at IIT Madras. Rajnish sits in the editorial boards of many journals including, Energy & Fuels, ACS Engineering Au & Scientific Reports. In addition, he has been a guest editor for many special issues in Energy and Fuels, ACS Engineering Au and Applied Energy.

Rajnish’s research addresses three grand challenges – energy, water and the environment. His research straddles both the fundamental science and applied research pertaining to gas hydrates, unconventional energy, and CO2 capture & sequestration. Rajnish has built a globally visible research programme in these field. Additionally, his contribution in the field has resulted in several novel applications where the formation and dissociation of clathrate hydrates at industrial scale have been proposed and demonstrated for carbon capture & sequestration, water purification etc. Work from his research group are well cited, and so far, they have published more than 125 research articles, in some of the top journals like PNAS, JACS, Energy & Environmental Science. Rajnish and his research group are known to do translational research. They have delivered many industrial know-how and processes ranging from process for methane recovery from marine gas hydrates, process know-how for CO2 sequestration below the seabed, direct air capture (of CO2), to industries like GAIL, L&T, Saint-Gobain etc. Some of their products are currently being implemented by industries on shop floor, or in field.

Previous board members