Get to Know Ramesh Nair
Today’s focus is on IEEE Computer Society Young Professional Ramesh Nair. Ramesh has been a member of the IEEE Computer Society since 2011. In 2012, he won the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship and later served on the Society’s Membership & Geographic Activity Board. He currently serves as Vice Chair for IEEE Young Professionals. Recently, IEEE Computer Society interviewed Ramesh. You can read here what Ramesh had to say about his history and relationship with computer science, the IEEE Computer Society, and so much more.
How did you first get interested in computer science/engineering? What made you want to do this professionally for your career?
I have been interested in computers from my early school days. I grew up in the early 90s, so I remember playing some old computer games and always wondered how such graphics and UI could be designed. I have always had a passion for electronics in my science classes by doing projects, and that paved my way to doing my Bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering. During my Bachelor’s, I was influenced by professors who offered courses in VLSI Design—most of whom were former employees in Silicon Valley tech companies. I wondered how billions of transistors are embedded in a very tiny chip! I went ahead and did my Masters in Computer Engineering, specializing in VLSI Design and ended up at Intel—which is a dream company for any professional interested in electronics and chip design.
Where do you currently work? And what do you currently do?
I currently work at Intel Corporation in California. I work as a Design Automation Engineer where I develop next-generation Intel microprocessors and SoC design projects.
What made you join IEEE Computer Society?
I joined IEEE Computer Society during the second year of my Bachelor’s. I was motivated to join the Computer Society by a Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship winner and friend, who inspired me by telling me stories about the Computer Society and the benefits it could bring to student members. Finally, after being in the Computer Society for 2 years, I went on to win the Richard E. Merwin scholarship myself and then continued in the Computer Society even after graduation and taking a full-time job.
You won the Richard E. Merwin Scholoarship Award. How did that help you while in school? And how did it help you land your first job?
I won the Richard E. Merwin scholarship during the final year of my Bachelor’s. It was an exciting moment in my career. I was funded by my University where I did my Master’s for almost 90% of my tuition, and the best part was that I was able to use the Richard E. Merwin money for the remaining 10% of tuition fee payment—how exciting!! Apart from the monetary benefit, I also got a chance to meet with many senior mentors in IEEE Computer Society and learn more about the Society and how much I could contribute.
You are still involved with the IEEE Computer Society? What roles have you held? Why are you involved? Did winning the Merwin Award and serving as a Student Ambassador get you hooked on being involved with the Society?
Yes, I am still involved in the Computer Society—I recently did a webinar on IEEE Young Professionals, and how CS benefits are aligned towards early career development. I currently serve many positions in IEEE—Vice Chair for IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE Region 6 Operations Committee, IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct, to name a few. I served as Student-Young Professional Coordinator in IEEE Computer Society Membership & Geographic Activity Board in 2016 and helped drive Computer Society activities in the US Regions.
Winning the Merwin award opened new doors for me to get in touch with senior leadership, make new friends and understand what possibilities I had ahead of me.
What do you hope for the Society five, 10, 15 years from now?
IEEE is a great organization and this organization needs young people to get involved, in order to keep IEEE running, even 20 years from now. IEEE member data reveals that average age of IEEE members have been increasing for the past 10 years, and that is alarming—IEEE is aging. If we continue this trend, we will have no future leadership for IEEE. I think the Computer Society as a society should make it more attractive to young members and make it more relevant as it deals with key technical areas like AI, Big-Data, high speed computing, etc. Having a CS membership should help you be on the cream layer in your job and peers—that should be the goal. I think having SkillChoice Complete is a great start for early career developers, and we should continue to invest in those domains in order to retain and attract members. IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors should have young professional members, so their voice is at the table, and give more leadership positions to young members.