In pursuit of Excellence in Physics
He is the only Indian among 40 students in the world to be selected for the International Fulbright Science and Technology award this year. Awards and recognitions sit lightly on this lad, who has had a brilliant academic track record right from his school days.
Meet Nerella Tejaswi Venumadhav, who has completed his MS (Integrated) Physics from IIT-Kanpur recently. His mother P. Anuradha is a Chief Manager in the Overseas Branch of State Bank of India in Visakhapatnam and his father a businessman in Hyderabad.
He won the President’s Gold Medal for the best academic performance in the graduating class in all disciplines in IIT-Kanpur and the General Proficiency Medal for the best academic performance in the Master of Science (Integrated) programme in Physics recently.
A keen physics enthusiast, he attributes his passion for the subject initially to his mother, who told him stories on the birth of the universe during his childhood and gave him biographies of great scientists like Einstein.
“He was very inquisitive by nature and used to always wonder about the principles behind various things,” recalls his mother.
His uncle Ch.V.R. Gupta presented him a 4-inch telescope, apart from books on astronomy and astrophysics. He remained steadfast to his goal even after completing Intermediate and securing the All-India 5th rank in the IIT-JEE and the All-India first rank in BITSAT the same year.
He joined the 5-year MS (Integrated) Physics at IIT-Kanpur in 2005 and completed it with flying colours.
Tejaswi’s long list of achievements include securing 98.4 per cent to claim the first rank in the All-India Senior Secondary Examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 2003 and the first rank in the National Science Olympiad conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi.
His other interests include participating in quiz competitions, painting and playing cricket and tennis. He secured the 4th position in The Hindu Young World Quiz competition for ‘Seniors’ when he was in his 9th class and the second position in the Inter-School Quiz competition conducted by the Limca Book of Records.
His research interests include astrophysics, particle physics and condensed matter physics. “I have opted for the California Institute of Technology to pursue my Ph. D under the scholarship programme. I plan to return to India after my post-doctoral research and join top-grade institutes like TIFR or IIT-Kanpur,” he says.