Outstanding Volunteer - Narasimhan Venkatesh

“It’s not the possibility that makes life, but the path to making it does!”

Narasimhan Venkatesh, currently Senior Director of Engineering at Silicon Labs, Inc., a company that is the world leader in wireless solutions for the IoT. He has about 35 years of experience in communication systems design, semiconductors for telecom and optical networks, and semiconductor and system solutions for IoT wireless. He has contributed to IEEE standards development “ including the 802.11 series that forms the basis of the Wi-Fi protocol. He has been an innovator and hold 22 US patents.

He has an M.Tech in Communication Systems from IIT Madras. Heworked for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., for eight years designing jam-resistant airborne communication systems. Hethen worked in a US company called Paxonet Communications for nine years designing ASICs and semiconductor IP for telecom and optical networks. For the past 19 years, He has been working at Redpine Signals, which was acquired and merged into Silicon Labs in 2020. At Redpine He has led the development of semiconductor devices for wireless networking. He has written numerous technical articles and evangelised the concept and methodologies of adopting wireless communication for machine-to-machine communication that later became the IoT.

He has been an active volunteer for the IEEE for over 10 years. He also volunteer with an organisation called TiE which originated in the US and has chapters around the world, including in Hyderabad. In particular, He has been running a training program on entrepreneurship for students in classes 9 to 12 for the past several years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2015.

Over the past year, He has held formal positions as Vice-Chair of Industry Relations at India Council for 2020, and Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Startup Committee at IEEE Hyderabad Section.

For IC, He helped organise a Satellite Event for IEEE Quantum Week → a part of IEEE Future Directions Initiative on Quantum Computing.This year, He organised a series of events to benefit IEEE members and student members with entrepreneurship goals. As part of the strategy for this initiative, He organised events covering the whole spectrum of entrepreneurship. Then He had a session with one of India’s leading start-up mentors on how to start being an entrepreneur while still in college. The next session was on the important topic of Social Entrepreneurship with interaction with a German with deep connections to the Indian social enterprise network. Finally, He has organised an Ideation Camp where teams of IEEE student members with entrepreneurship intent are taught how a professional business plan presentation is made and compete in a business plan competition judged by an eminent jury.

Although He first became an IEEE member in 1988, and subsequently re-enrolled in 2002 after a gap, He has been an active volunteer only since 2010. He first contributed to technical events for the Computer Society Chapter of the Hyderabad Section. These are the formal positions He has held:
2013-2014: Vice-Chair, ComSoc/SPS Joint Chapter
2015-2016: Chair, ComSoc/SPS Joint Chapter
2017-2018: Secretary, Hyderabad Section
2019: Chair, Hyderabad Section
2020-2021: Chair, Entrepreneurship and Startup Committee, Hyderabad Section
2020: Vice-Chair of Industry Relations, India Council.

He has contributed to TenCon 2019 as a TPC chair, to TenSymp 2015 through presenting a tutorial, to Indicon 2019 through an invited talk, to HydCon 2020 as a TPC chair, to PrimeAsia 2011 as an organiser, and am part of HTC 2022 as well.

He has helped raise industry engagement with our Section through the contribution of technical content as well as sponsorship to multiple events, including a series of annual seasonal schools organised by the ComSoc/SPS Joint Chapter. He has brought in the involvement of and support from the Telangana state government in IEEE activities. He has involved the start-up ecosystem in IEEE activities and helped promote the participation of members in IEEE standardisation activities. He has been involved in think tanks and discussions on IEEE future directions initiatives. He has instituted a Mentorship Programme for professional members and student members at Hyderabad Section with Senior Members enrolled as mentors.

He created an IEEE Exhibit at the Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad – a hands-on Boolean Adder demonstrator that drew accolades and helped replicate it in two other science centres in South India.

He helped create the Life Member Affinity Group at Hyderabad Section and the CAS/EDS Joint Chapter.

He am a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Through INAE, He has mentored students and faculty. He serve as an INAE-AICTE Distinguished Visiting Professor at two engineering colleges, contributing to enriching the experience of students with practical information on electronics and IoT products “ through which He has been encouraging and assisting students in carrying out product development rather than projects.

He is an active volunteer with TiE Hyderabad, a global volunteer-driven organisation fostering entrepreneurship. He has been co-chair of an award-winning programme called TiE Young Entrepreneurs which has been training school children to be entrepreneurs. He has helped create effective and proven pedagogy that quickly gives the students the knowledge and the confidence to take their ideas to a professional business plan format with prototyping and customer validation.

He was part of the IEEE LAN-MAN Standardisation Committee that created the IEEE 802.11 series of standards that is the foundation of today’s Wi-Fi technology. He has also contributed to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s efforts in creating an interoperability test program for wireless LAN leading to Wi-Fi Certification of qualifying products.

He has written over 15 articles in technical journals on wireless connectivity for the IoT, low-power electronics design, and emerging topics in electronics.