Dr. Purushottam Kashinath Kelakar (1909-1990) is best remembered as the founding director of IIT Kanpur, established in 1959. Born in Karnataka, he graduated in Physics from the Royal Institute of Science, Mumbai in 1931 and later obtained his Diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1934 from IISC, Bangalore. Pursuing his passion for studies, Dr. Kelakar earned his doctorate from the University of Liverpool under the guidance of Dr. J.C. Prescott. His association with IITs began in 1956 when he was appointed as the Planning Officer of IIT Bombay and later became its Deputy Director. In 1959 December, Dr. Kelkar was appointed as the first Director of IIT Kanpur. His vision was to establish an institute incorporating engineering curriculum based on science, humanities and social sciences, with faculty engaged in teaching and research. Dr. Kelkar was instrumental in forming a collaborative program between IITK and a consortium of nine American universities called the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP) that played an important role in the development of the institute. He was appointed as the Director of IIT Bombay in 1970 where he brought in many key changes that led to the growth and expansion of the institute. To honor his immense contribution in the field of technical education, the Government of India honored him with Padma Bhushan in 1969.
Prof. S. Ganesh, Department of Biological Sciences & Bioengineering, specializes the areas of Neurobiology of disorders, stress biology, and human molecular genetics. Prof. Ganesh heads Human Molecular Genetics Laboratory at IITK and works in the areas of molecular pathology of Lafora disease, genetics detriments of complex disorders etc. He earned his doctorate from Banaras Hindu University (1996). Prof. Ganesh is currently the Deputy Director of IIT Kanpur.