Graduate named senior member of engineering institute

By Abrar Al-Heeti

Recent University graduate Vishnu Kamalnath was elevated in mid-July to senior member for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE — a rank that only 8 percent of IEEE members receive.

IEEE, which has approximately 400,000 members, is one of the most prestigious organizations for electrical, electronic and computer engineers in the world.

To become a senior member, a candidate must have at least 10 years of professional experience and five years of significant performance.

Twenty-four-year-old Kamalnath, who is originally from Dubai, U.A.E., met this requirement by means of a company he started with a group of friends when he was 14 years old called Lindowtech, which provides people and companies with cost effective and proven IT technologies to increase business value.

“It’s actually made me one of the world’s youngest senior members,” Kamalnath said.

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Kamalnath earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and his master’s in computer science from the University and is now working for Microsoft as a software engineer.

“Vishnu is a very self-driving, super smart and dedicated individual,” said Dongmei Gui, Vishnu’s manager at Microsoft, in an email. “He came to my team as a strong hire and proved himself as a new shining star shortly after joining the team.”

Computer science professor Paris Smaragdis, also Kamalnath’s adviser for his master’s thesis and a fellow IEEE senior member, was one of his three nominators for the designation of senior member.

“Vishnu is extraordinarily driven, and has been very active on a number of fronts,” Smaragdis said in an email. “Aside from his work here at Illinois, he has had an entrepreneurial presence that spans a while back, something that is also a factor of growing significance.”

Professor Gary Eden, who taught Kamalnath in an electrical engineering undergraduate course, is an IEEE fellow, a rank higher than senior member, and was another of Kamalnath’s nominators.

“He’s a fine young man, very smart,” Eden said. “He’s what we used to call a go-getter, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. He’s just a young man of vision — I think that we’re going to hear a lot more about him in the future.”

Abrar can be reached at [email protected].