Supporting Fellowships in Biomedical Engineering
Ajit Prabhu ’98, CEO and co-founder of Quality Engineering & Software Technologies (QuEST), recently made a $250,000 gift to fund an endowed fellowship for biomedical engineering graduate students. Prabhu and his family visited campus in May to tour facilities in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and to meet with faculty and students.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for Ajit’s generous and impactful gift. Fellowships such as these are essential elements of a package of financial support to be able to attract the very best student to Rensselaer for graduate work. By permanently endowing this graduate fellowship, his gift will have permanent impact in the School of Engineering,” said David Rosowsky, dean of engineering.
“I have been very fortunate to have been mentored by an outstanding group of faculty at Rensselaer,” said Prabhu. “Professors who not only taught me valuable lessons, but also gave me the freedom to explore my entrepreneurial aspirations while in school. This led me to found QuEST in 1997. The full scholarship from the Biomedical Engineering Department helped me finish my graduate studies. Without this, I would not have been able to fulfill my dreams. Ever since, there has been a deep desire in me to make a contribution that could help other students realize their aspirations at Rensselaer.”
Prabhu and his family toured the Biomedical Engineering (BME) lab with Deepak Vashishth, professor and chair of the department, and the Musculoskeletal Tissue Laboratory with Eric Ledet, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. He also met with John Brunski, a former professor of engineering and Prabhu’s graduate student adviser.
“Faculty especially can appreciate that this type of discretionary fellowship fundingnot linked to federal research grantsgives the BME department much-needed flexibility in supporting the early research careers of graduate students,” said Brunski. “Indeed, back when Ajit was first a graduate student at Rensselaer, I used part of a small corporate gift to my lab to support his early work. His gift is of major significance because it will increase the department’s competitiveness in attracting the very best new graduate students.”
“Just as Ajit has overseen the rise of QuEST from a startup company of two to a worldwide provider of outsourced engineering solutions employing over 2,000 professionals, so, with his endowed fellowship gift to biomedical graduate students at Rensselaer, is he now enabling this department to expand and grow with the opportunity for more bright young minds to join our ranks,” said Vashishth.
QuEST Global provides outsourced engineering services and manufacturing, and helps global companies set up offshore manufacturing units at their special economic zone. Prabhu is a Six Sigma Green Belt certificate holder and the recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the International Association for Dental Research. He was inducted as a lifetime member into the Livingston W. Houston ’13 Society of Patroons and serves on the Engineering School Advisory Board and the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Council.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Karnataka University, India, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer.
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