Electrical and Computer Engineering Bicentennial Alumni Awards

Rajeswari Chatterjee

Rajeswari Chatterjee (1922 – 2010)

MSE EE 1949, PhD EE 1953

Dr. Rajeswari Chatterjee was the first woman scientist to pioneer the field of microwave engineering in India. She was also the first woman engineer from Karnataka, a state in the southwest region of India.

She traveled to study electrical engineering at the University of Michigan on a scholarship, traveling by sea out of Singapore for 30 days to reach the U.S.A.

She underwent practical training for eight months in the Division of Radio Frequency Measurements at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., before studying with Prof. William Gould Dow for her PhD.

After graduating, she returned to India as a professor in the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). There, she began teaching and research in the area of Microwave Engineering, a first for India. With total dedication and the limited resources available at that time, they built up a Microwave Laboratory for experimental research in the area. Eventually, she went on to chair the department.

Chatterjee was just granted a posthumous honor, named one of the ‘first women achievers of India’ by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Prof. K.V.S. Hari, recent Chair at IISs, comments: "The Electrical Communication Engineering Department is honoured to be part of Prof. Rajeshwari Chatterjee’s journey in pursuit of excellence in engineering. Her stellar contributions to the department will be remembered with a lot of pride."