Distinguished Alumnus Awardee 2020

Prof. Meenakshi Narain(MSC2/PHY/1984)

Prof. Narain is a professor at Brown University and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Prof. Narain is the elected Chair of the Collaboration Board of U.S. CMS (2018-2022). Prof Narain created history by being the first woman to hold this elected position. She is a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel which advises the Federal Government on the national program in high energy physics (2019-2022). In January 2020, she was selected to co-lead the activities of the “Energy Frontier” for the APS/DPF Community Planning Exercise to develop a 20 year future vision for particle physics research within the US.

As an experimental high energy physicist, Prof. Narain has dedicated her career to understand the particles and their interactions during the early universe in order to characterize physics at the microscopic scales. She was instrumental in the discovery of the top quark in 1995, which is the heaviest fundamental particle and as heavy as an Osmium atom. In 2012, Prof. Narain’s group had significant involvement in the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Since 2007, Prof. Narain conducts her research with the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland), and has been a member of the DØ experiment at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) since 1991.

Prof. Narain holds a PhD degree in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she conducted her research on the CUSB experiment about Upsilon spectroscopy. She received M.Sc. degree in Physics from IIT, Kanpur and awarded the General Proficiency Prize for Best Outgoing Student in M.Sc. Physics. Prof. Narain completed her B.Sc. degree from Gorakhpur University and was conferred the University Gold Medal on behalf of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Prof. Narain joined Brown University, USA as a faculty in 2007, having previously taught at Boston University (USA). She was a postdoctoral fellow at Fermi National Accelerator lab (USA) between 1991-1995 and was awarded the prestigious Wilson Fellowship at Fermilab (USA) following the discovery of the top quark in 1995. Prof. Narain is a co-author on about 400 peer-reviewed journals, is a TEDx speaker, has given numerous public lectures and has appeared as an invited speaker at major conferences around the world.

Prof. Narain has been actively engaged in STEM outreach activities to encourage participation of young women in science. She served as the founding chair of the "Diversity Committee" of the CMS Experiment from September 2017- August 2018. Her outreach efforts are numerous, e.g. in 2018 and 2019, she spearheaded a pilot program to combine STEM activities with art and design at “WaterFire Providence”. As an affiliate faculty in the Brown University Data Science Initiative and the chair of the Campus Advisory Board, together with her group she actively participates in CS4RI, a RI state initiative for promoting Data Science in RI high schools. IITK conferred upon Prof. Meenakshi Narain the Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2020.

Awards and Honors