UCLA Engineering Alumnus Gives $1 Million to Establish Faculty Term Chairs

Mani Srivastava and Dejan Marković named inaugural Mukund Padmanabhan chairs

Mukund Padmanabhan

Courtesy of Mukund Padmanabhan

Aug 16, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Double Bruin Mukund Padmanabhan M.S. ’89 Ph.D. ’92 has given $1 million to the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering to create two new endowed faculty term chairs. Accompanied by a matching gift from the Samueli Foundation, this is the sixth major contribution from the accomplished electrical engineer who has worked in finance for more than two decades.

The inaugural chairholders, Mani Srivastava and Dejan Marković, are both professors of electrical and computer engineering. They will hold the Mukund Padmanabhan Term Chair and Mukund Padmanabhan Term Chair in Electrical Engineering, respectively, for the next five years. The endowed professorships provide additional funding to support their individual research. 

“It is my privilege to be able to give back to the school where I received such a great education,” Padmanabhan said. “I hope this gift will help to further improve the quality of that education by enabling the hiring and retaining of top-notch faculty.


Srivastava, who also holds a joint faculty appointment in the Computer Science Department, directs the Networked and Embedded Systems Laboratory at UCLA. His research focuses on human-cyber-physical and IoT systems that are AI-enabled, resource-constrained, and trustworthy. This includes problems across the entire spectrum of  architectures, algorithms and technologies in the context of applications in mobile health, smart environments and defense. He is a fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Marković’s research is focused on implantable neuromodulation systems, domain-specific compute architectures and design methodologies. An IEEE fellow, Marković received its International Solid-State Circuits Conference Lewis Award for Outstanding Paper in 2014. He also holds a UCLA faculty appointment in Bioengineering Department and is the co-founder of Flex Logix Technologies, a semiconductor IP startup.

Padmanabhan’s previous gifts to the school, totaling $4.5 million, have helped establish an endowed scholarship, three endowed graduate fellowships and a semiconductor research lab in the Engineering VI building.

“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of Mukund Padmanabhan,” said UCLA Samueli interim dean Bruce Dunn. “The endowed faculty chairs will go a long way to help support innovative research critical to addressing societal challenges.”

After earning both his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering, Padmanabhan joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, where he specialized in speech processing technologies, including managing the research and development of algorithms for speech recognition. Today he conducts statistical financial modeling for Renaissance Technologies, a New York-based hedge fund. 

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