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Kaushik Rajashekara Elected International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan

UH Engineer Honored for His Contributions in the “Interests of All Mankind”

By Laurie Fickman 713-743-8454

Kaushik Rajashekara, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering, continues to receive recognition and awards on a global scale. The man who ushered in the era of electric cars, working on the General Motors EV1 in 1995 when he was a Technical Fellow there, has been elected an International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan, recognized for his contributions to power conversion and, of course, electrification of transportation.

Kaushik Rajashekara with the first GM electric car, the EV1, in 1995

According to the academy, Rajashekara’s election as an International Fellow specifically honors his “outstanding scientific research and scientific-technical developments in the field of energy which promote greater efficiency and environmental security for energy sources on Earth in the interests of all mankind.”  

He stands among an elite group of fewer than 10 Fellows from the United States, out of a distinguished group comprising 800 Fellows and 15 International Fellows. 

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen as an International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan, a distinction that I hold in high regard. This recognition reflects the longstanding relationships I've cultivated with several esteemed Japanese universities and industries throughout my career,” said Rajashekara, who is also the director of the UH power program PEMSEC (Power Electronics, Microgrids & Subsea Electrical Systems Center).  

Originally from a small village in India, Rajashekara has kept Asia close; he is also an International Fellow of the Chinese and Indian National Academies of Engineering.

Kaushik Rajashekara today, a noted pioneer in electric transportation and a self-described "futurist"

For over three decades he has worked with Japanese students, engineers and the faculty of several Japanese universities. As the former lead propulsion system engineer for General Motors’ IMPACT electric vehicle and as chief technologist at Rolls-Royce Corporation, he visited Japan often to give seminars at Meiji University among others. He has also visited companies like Toshiba, Fuji, Meidensha, Hitachi and more to establish research and development cooperation.  

His reach is wide, his journey impressive. As a youngster who had to read by kerosine lamplight in a one room lean-to with his family of five, his accomplishments are nothing short of awe inspiring.  

In 2022 Rajashekara received the most coveted prize in the field of international energy – the Global Energy Prize bestowed by the Global Energy Association. Only three people in the world were selected in 2022 for the honor out of a record 119 nominations from 43 countries. Think Nobel Prize for science or Academy Award for film. That’s the level of the award. He is also a member of U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, The National Academy of Inventors and The Society of Automotive Engineers.  


In fact, as a self-described “futurist,” Rajashekara is confident that flying cars are the next big thing. Given his track record, we'll soon be arguing over who gets the top floor of the sky garage. 

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