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Ratan Tata Awarded with Hoover Medal

ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile (left) presents the 2022 Hoover Medal to Ratan Tata.
ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile (left) presents the 2022 Hoover Medal to Ratan Tata.

Ratan Naval Tata, prominent engineer, entrepreneur, industrialist, and philanthropist of India, has been awarded the 2022 Hoover Medal by a board representing five engineering organizations: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers; the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Established in 1929, the medal commemorates the civic and humanitarian achievement of engineers and is conferred upon an engineer whose professional achievements and personal endeavors have advanced the well-being of humankind.

Tata was recognized as the 74th recipient of the Hoover Medal in a private award ceremony in January at Somerset House in Mumbai, India. Ponisseril Somasundaran, Ph.D., chair of the Hoover Board of Award and La von Duddleson Krumb Professor in the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Thomas Costabile, executive director/CEO of ASME presented the gold medal to Tata. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the board for the Tata Group, also attended the event.

The board summarized its selection of Tata “for leading the Tata Trusts that have helped millions of under-privileged people directly or indirectly through outstanding improvements in education, medicine, and rural development and for chairing the Tata Group, an innovative company that provides products, business consulting, and services in over 100 countries.”

Past recipients of the Hoover Medal include U.S. Presidents Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter, Apple Founder Steve Wozniak, Founder of HP David Packard, Moderna Co-Founder Robert Langer, Texas Instruments Co-Founder J. Erik Jonsson, and CEO of General Motors Alfred Sloan. Two of the past recipients of the Hoover Medal are from India: the late President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was honored for making state-of-the-art healthcare affordable; and N. R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, who was recognized for establishing a foundation that forged outstanding improvements in health care, social rehabilitation, rural uplift, and education. Murthy provided one of the references for Tata’s nomination, saying “Mr. Tata has successfully modernized a philanthropic approach that emphasizes knowledge- and research-based holistic solutions.”

Tata was the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, from 1991 through 2012, when he was named chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Tata Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals. He was the chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Teleservices and during his tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totaling over $100 billion in 2011-12. He is the chairman of the Tata Trusts which are amongst India’s oldest, nonsectarian philanthropic organizations that work in several areas of community development. He is also the chairman of the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Read more.

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