Prof. Sangram Mudali is the Director of the National Institute of Science & Technology, India. After working with several MNCs in the USA and India, he returned to Odisha and became a leader of technical education in the state. He has been involved in bringing educational opportunities to the poor and meritorious students of South Odisha through Diganta. The school provides free education with free lodging and boarding to over 500 tribal students from poorest districts of Odisha. It is the second largest school for tribal students in the non-government sector. Honoring his relentless work in rendering selfless services to the society at large and bringing education to the marginalized communities of Odisha, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. "You can take someone out of IIT Kanpur, but you cannot take IIT Kanpur out of your system. It is seeped into your DNA,"said Prof. Mudali, while receiving the award.
Prof. Mudali received his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1985 and an MS in Mechanical Engineering-CAD from the University of Houston, USA, in 1987. He then worked at the BFGoodrich company in Ohio in Computer Aided Design. In 2006, he received the J.F.K. Lincoln award based on his paper during his MSc program. After his return to India, he worked with the HCL Technologies in the CAD/CAM division. Later, he set up his own technical consultancy company in association with the other IIT alumni in the areas of Electronic Design Automation in FPGA and VLSI in New Delhi. He was barely 33 when he went into the remote regions of Odisha and without any government support laid the foundations of National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Berhampur, Odisha. Today, NIST has emerged as the top most engineering college of the state. It is the first engineering college in the South Odisha region. It has 3500+ students, faculty strength of 200 and staff 250 with more than 10,000 alumni. Under the leadership of Prof. Mudali, the college has achieved many milestones in its two-decade long journey:
Prof. Mudali and his family have started many institutes including the Apex Institute of Technology & Management, Diploma, ITI, + 2 science college, etc. He is also a member of the Board of Management of Odisha's Technical University, the Biju Patnaik University of Technology. To create learning opportunities for the marginalized communities, he set up a residential school for tribal children called 'Diganta' where 500+ children get free education from Nursery to class X. Besides, several other extracurricular activities and vocational trainings are provided to students.