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Venkat Ramachandran (1934-2022): ‘A teaching icon’

Electrical and Computer Engineering distinguished professor emeritus remembered for his outstanding contributions to Concordia
July 5, 2022

The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science mourns the loss of an instrumental force within the department of electrical and computer engineering.

Venkat Ramachandran joined Sir George Williams University in 1969 as associate professor, and was the first Graduate Program Director of the department for 14 years. He brought with him a passion to teach. In 1971, he was promoted to full professor.

Venkat Ramachandran at the 2015 Long Service Luncheon Ramachandran’s 45 years at Concordia were recognized at the 2015 Long Service Luncheon.

‘A teaching icon’

In 2008, his colleagues held an informal reception to celebrate his 50 years in academia. 39 of those years were spent at Concordia. He had been an instrumental force in establishing many of the graduate courses that we offer in the department of electrical and computer engineering today. But, he stood out after having received several awards that acknowledged his impact in teaching.

Venkat Ramachandran in 2008 In 2008, an informal reception was held to honour Venkat Ramachandran’s 50 years in academia, 39 of them at Concordia.

His exceptional commitment to the success of his students prompted him to offer special tutorial sessions before exams. Students were given more personalized academic support during a stressful time… on a Saturday morning. He gave his time and shared his knowledge generously.

At the event, Dean Nabil Esmail called him an icon of teaching. In his lengthy career, Ramachandran was the recipient of 8 different teaching awards spanning from 1993 to 2010.

A decorated academic

The field of expertise that ushered Ramachandran’s research into international journals was in Multidimensional signal processing and Two-dimensional analog/digital filters. His work earned him fellowships with 5 institutions in England, USA, India and Canada.

In 1989, he became an IEEE Fellow with the citation “for contributions to theory of multivariable networks with applications to two-dimensional digital filters.” This international recognition led to him being welcomed to Concordia’s Provost’s Circle Distinction.

Mary Silas, Venkat Ramachandran, and Nancy Acemian President Judith Woodsworth awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award to Venkat Ramachandran in 2010 for his dedication to student success, alongside colleagues Mary Silas and Nancy Acemian. All three recipients had taught at the Gina Cody School.

A respected colleague

Concordia celebrated Ramachandran’s 45 years of service at the 2015 Long Service Awards luncheon. He was proud of the work he had done and reflected on his time at the university fondly.

“In 2017, I nominated Venkat to be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus,” says Yousef Shayan, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering. “He was retiring in June and, as a department, we needed to acknowledge his many accomplishments and how his humble leadership shaped the way we work and teach. His influence will be deeply missed.”

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ram from childhood,” recalls Srikanta M.N. Swamy, professor and Tier I Concordia Research Chair in the department of electrical and computer engineering. “We were next door neighbors, and classmates through school and university. I take pride in bringing him to Concordia's new electrical engineering department. He contributed immensely in terms of teaching and guiding graduate students. We were family friends, and we will miss him and his wonderful wife Kamala a lot, but will always cherish his accomplishments and our long friendship.”

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