WASHINGTON: Eminent Indian-American Arunachala "Raj" Nagarajan has been presented with the national flag flown over the US Capitol in recognition of his contribution to the country and to mark the 50th anniversary of his arrival in the United States.
"At the request of the Honorable Lamar Smith, member of Congress, this flag was flown to commemorate Arunachala 'Raj' Nagarajan's 50th Anniversary of his journey to the US to pursue his American Dream," the certificate read.
With just eight dollars in pocket, Chennai-boy Nagarajan undertook a 22-day boat ride to land in the US on September 9, 1962, to do a PhD in Physics at Carnegie Mellon.
After completing his PhD, he worked in IBM for almost 30 years on several aspects of semi-conductor technology like process, design, reliability and product engineering.
During this tenure he reached IBM's coveted Third Invention Plateau with more than 20 patents, 30 publications and a People Manager's Award.
As one of IBM's select Senior Technical fellows, Nagarajan chaired the Corporate Semi-conductor Committee for two years.
He was also instrumental in the starting of a high voltage battery project in Tamil Nadu (Chennai) to manufacture start up batteries for MIG planes.
Passionate about promoting goodwill between the US and India and preserving the Indian culture, in 1973 he founded a non-profit organisation to sponsor several distinguished classical music artists from India to hold workshops, master classes, concerts and dance performances.
Nagarajan's lifetime of community service and efforts to build bridges between Indian and American culture was recognised in 2010 and again in 2011, with The President's Call to Service Award, which was awarded by US President Barack Obama