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US NAE selects four Indian Americans

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Washington: To provide valuable contributions to the society four Indian American engineers are selected to the US National Academy Engineering (NAE).

Anil K Jain, Dr Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr K R  Sridhar were formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, NAE president C D (Dan) Mote Jr announced in a statement.

Jain, a distinguished professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, was elected for his contributions to the engineering and practice of biometrics.

A B Tech graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, his research interests include pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition.

Jain has also been a consultant to the Indian government’s Aadhaar programme that provides a 12-digit unique ID number to the residents of India based on their fingerprint and iris data.

Prabhakar, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Virginia, was chosen for national leadership to advance semiconductor and information technologies.

Beginning her career as a Congressional Fellow, Dr Prabhakar has served on the National Academies’ Science Technology and Economic Policy Board. In addition, she chaired the Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee for the US Department of Energy.

As the founding director of DARPA’s Microelectronics Technology Office, she led a team of programme managers whose efforts spanned areas such as optoelectronics, infrared imaging and nanoelectronics.

Thakur, who is the president of Thakur Services Inc in Houston, Texas, was named a member for leadership in the implementation of integrated reservoir management techniques.

Sridhar, the Principal co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bloom Energy Corporation in California, was selected for the “contributions to transport phenomena and thermal packaging of electrochemical systems and generation of clean, reliable and affordable power”.

Prior to founding Bloom Energy, Sridhar was director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and flight experiments to Mars.

His work for the NASA Mars programme to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support was recognised by Fortune magazine which cited him as “one of the top five futurists inventing tomorrow, today.”

Along with the new members, the total US membership goes up to 2,275.

Election to the institution “is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer,” the statement read.

Founded in 1964, the NAE is a non-profit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation.

Its mission is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.(IANS) (image: 1000flags.co.uk)

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Microsoft Told its Employees in US to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Microsoft tells US employees to work from home

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Microsoft
Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. Pixabay Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. Pixabay

Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. This is the latest news.

The tech giant has also recommended that those who are feeling sick, have a compromised immune system, or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should work from home. The company employs nearly 54,000 people in the Seattle region.

“Consistent with King County guidance, we are recommending all employees who are in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25th. Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite,” said Microsoft Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene in a statement on Wednesday.

There are currently more than 94,000 cases of COVID-19 globally, with 128 confirmed in the US. King County in Washington State has reported 21 cases and eight deaths.

Microsoft
Microsoft has already cancelled all non-essential business travel in regions with active COVID-19. Pixabay

Amazon has also confirmed that an employee at its Seattle headquarters has been tested positive for COVID-19. “If in your role it is essential to be in the office or other work environments (data centre, retail, etc.), plan to continue to go to your location. We will continue to implement the CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitising the locations,” said DelBene.

The exceptions to this new guidance are the following groups who are being advised by health authorities to avoid interaction in large groups or public settings: If you are over 60, If you have an underlying health condition (heart disease, diabetes, etc.), if your immune system is compromised or if you are pregnant.

“In these cases, you should work with your manager to determine leave options or other accommodations available to you. If you are a caregiver of someone that is immune system compromised, please contact your health provider for input,” said Microsoft.

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“Limit prolonged interactions and try to stay more than six feet (1.8 meters) away from others. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible. Most importantly do not come to work if you are sick. This will be clearly posted on all building entrances,” said the company.

The company has already cancelled all non-essential business travel in regions with active COVID-19. Twitter has also told its 5,000-strong workforce to work from home. (IANS)