Prof. Ananth graduated from the AC College of Technology with a gold medal In Chemical Engineering. He obtained his Ph.D degree In Chemical Engineering in the area of Molecular Thermodynamics from the University of Florida, USA In 1972 and joined UT Madras as a faculty member in the same year. He held various senior positions and served as Director of IITM from Dec 2001 to July 2011. He was one of the key persons associated with the preparation o f The Strategic Plan of UTM - Vision 2010. Prof. Ananth was a Visiting Professor in UT Kanpur, Princeton University and University of Colorado (USA) and in RWTH, Aachen (Germany) and a Visiting Scientist in ICT, Mumbai, Aspen Tech and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA).

He has taught a wide range of courses in Chemical Engineering and has been consistently rated an excellent teacher. His research Interests are In Molecular Thermodynamics and Mathematical Modelling. He has several publications in and is a reviewer for several international journals. He has been a consultant for several industries in India. He has been awarded the Herdillia Prize for "Excellence in Basic Research" in Chemical Engineering by the IIChE and the R.W. Fahien Alumni Award for "Distinguished Professional Contributions" by the University of Florida. He is a Fellow of IIChE and INAE. He was Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet and of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (2008-2011).

He is responsible for setting up the UTM Research Park, the first University-based Research Park in India. This Research Park will promote innovation and enterprise, Increase industry-institute interaction by an order of magnitude and incubate start -ups. It currently houses R&D of 38 companies and research labs as well as 10 incubatees.

He is the architect and the first national coordinator of the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). NPTEL has created over 800 video and web courses for free use by all the engineering colleges In the country.

In December 2011, I&EC Research published the Ananth-Festschrift Issue consisting of over 75 technical contributions from former students and chemical engineering colleagues in honour of "Professor M.S. Ananth, leading researcher, gifted teacher and visionary leader of higher education in India".

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