First-Hand:IEEE Award Recipient Series:Pravin Varaiya


Full name

Pravin Varaiya

Birth date


What Award did you receive from IEEE?

Simon Ramo Medal

Place of Birth

Bombay, India

Where did you grow up


Family Background: Parents and their education level & Siblings and their education/profession

My parents completed 2 years of college. My 4 siblings all completed college.

What did you want to do when you grew up?

An engineer or doctor

What was your upbringing like? Did you have a large family?

Middle class, 5 siblings in all

Did you have any hobbies (eg. Some people talk about learning trade skills from a family member.)


Did you partake in after school activities? Did you play sports?


Did you have a part-time job (after school, summer)? What was your most surprising job assignment?


Did you take vacations and/or go on day trips? Favorite holiday/family gathering?


EDUCATION: Favorite subject in school (K-12, university). Why?


Did you have a least favorite subject in school (K-12, university. Why?

Phys Ed

Why did you select the university (universities) you attended? What was your major and why did you select it?

It was the best school. I majored in EE

Employment and career: First job - Current position - Favorite job

Asst Prof - Prof

Has your career turned out as you expected?


Has IEEE played a role in your career? How? What does IEEE mean to you?

No. I followed the IEEE pubs and participated in many IEEE conferences

You have been awarded one of IEEE's highest-level awards. What does this award mean to you?

I am pleased

What other associations have helped you in your career?

Work for 1 year at Bell Labs

Career Advice: What advice would you give to young professionals entering your field today?

Keep a strong interest in society

Reflection: What would you have done differently or tell your younger self now?

I would have studied biology and history more deeply

Was there a project that you were so passionate about that you continued to pursue it even though there may have been doubts about its success?


What career achievement are you most proud of?


Personal Life: What do you do for fun? Hobbies?

Reading and walking

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

My students' success

Do you have a favorite food? Or a family recipe that may have been passed down?


Do you have a favorite genre of music? or a favorite song? Or do you play an instrument?

Classical. No

Do you have a prize possession? If so, please explain.


What is one thing you cannot live without in your work space?