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Academician par excellence

Something that is striking about him is his down-to-earth approach to life. That he has achieved so much in the field of education has had little effect on him. Principal of Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering, Dr Sadashive Gowda, knows no one can claim to have achieved everything in life. No matter how big you are. His philosophy of life is simple: The more you achieve, the more is life. It is exactly this principle that has helped Dr Gowda achieve more and more.  

Dr Gowda’s early days go back to a small village called Thondal in Hunsur taluk. This soft-spoken educationist speaks proudly of school days when he got to learn the nuances of life, thanks to his father.  “He was hard-working. He would get up as early as five, got to the fields, work till late in the evening. He was humble and honest. This left an indelible mark on my career. If I am something today, I owe a lot to my father,” Dr Gowda sets the tone of conversation.  

Dr Gowda didn’t have a flashy childhood and he has no regrets about it. He is happy it was in the serene atmosphere of a small hamlet that helped him groom his career.  I had my primary education in my village (Thondal) itself. Later for 5th standard, I joined middle school at Gavadagere which is about 3 km from my village. I used to walk to the school everyday till I completed 10th standard. Later, I joined Government PU College at Hunsur to pursue PUC and during those two years I stayed in Hunsur itself. As I was keen to do engineering, I joined AIT, Chikamagalur in 1982 to pursue mechanical engineering which I completed in 1986 with distinction. As I was eager to pursue higher studies, through GATE, joined for ME in refrigeration and air conditioning at CIT, Coimbatore. After ME, I joined for PhD program at IISc Bangalore in 1992 which I completed in 1996.”

 Dr Sadashive Gowda with his Family
Dr Sadashive Gowda with his Family

Dr Gowda has been with VCE since 2007. When he says he is happy quite happy with the progress so far, it is not without a reason.  “So far the journey has been good. Yes, I am happy and content. I always believe we must do our best with noble intentions, thereafter, whatever happens, will happen for good,” he says with a sense of satisfaction.

“Yes we have a good education system till PU level. There is a lot of scope for improvement after that. We need to do research with higher education in mind. Only then, can we expect a change,” is his line of argument.

Could you tell something about childhood? How different was it?

I was born at a village called Thondal in Hunsur taluk. I had a pleasant childhood life. I would often help my parents in farming and household works. But I never liked working in fields. I always enjoyed weekdays as I would go to school and cursed the weekends as I had to work in fields. I was a kind of special child to my parents as I was the first child to be born 13 years after their marriage. And it was a middle class family with all the facilities of a joint family.

Your parents influence on you when you were young.

My parents were the inspiration and influenced me immensely. I owe a lot to them. My father was a hard working farmer in the village. He would wake up at 5.00 am every day and work throughout the day in the fields. He was not only hardworking but honest and helpful. Even though he had studied up to 4th standard, he taught me to build a strong foundation in early education.

How is your professional journey so far?

I am quite happy with my professional journey so far. After my PhD, I was in the industry for almost three years which was quite memorable. As I got a teaching assignment at Taylor’s College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I went there in 1999 and came back to India 2007 and joined VVCE as professor of mechanical engineering. Since 2007, there has been a steady progress in my professional life.

Do you see room for further improvement?

Of course, improvement is constant and never ending. We must seek to improve, innovate the way we think, the way we do things pushing the boundary of limits in order to achieve greater heights.

How is technical education in India?

Technical education in India is quite good. Engineering graduates produced by India are highly successful all over the world. However, mushrooming of technical institutes these days has adversely affected the quality of education being imparted to students. This is a transitory phase which will stabilise in due course.

Are we good enough to compete with the rest of the world?

There is no dearth of talented and competent people in India, but there is a dearth of right ambience and support system for competent people, as a result, we are not able to compete in all fields with rest of the world. In order to compete with the rest of the world, meritocracy shall only be yardstick in every aspect this competitive world.

Your views on education system in India.

We have a very good education system up to pre-university level. At the university level, the quality of education needs to be improved.  Frequent engagements between industry and academia are required to make education current and relevant. A lot of collaborative research should be carried out in institutes of higher learning

How do you treat success and failure?

I take both success and failure equally. I always believe that we can always learn from success as well as from failure as every incident or situation is unique.

Any unforgettable moment in life.

In 1985, there was drought. My parents’ struggle to support me financially for my engineering education was the most unforgettable moment in life.

Your advice to budding engineers.

Students of engineering must learn the basics of engineering with passion, and love problem solving, and then they will have a great future.


  • Member of Academic Council of RVCE, Bengaluru
  • Academic Senate Member of VTU  from June, 2013 to June 2016
  • Chairman of International Conference on Current Trends in Engineering & Management (ICCTEM 2012) in 2012 & 2014 held at VVCE, Mysore
  • Member & Chairman of LIC of VTU for three years from 2013 to 2016
  • Bestowed with Fellowship of Institute of Engineers in 2009
  • Executive Council member of ISHRAE, Mysore chapter since 2007
  • Member of ISTE
  • Member of Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) of VTU
  • Recipient of Academic Excellence Award for the year 2004 at Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Served as Member of Board of Studies in Engineering for UG Courses for more than 4 years, under the Autonomous status of the Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was responsible for designing of curriculum for first two years of engineering in American Degree Program of Taylor’s College
  • Have successfully designed and commissioned   research projects at RINAC India  Limited, Bengaluru
    • Pre-cooler sponsored by MHRD under technology development mission.
    • Carbon dioxide  Cooler

Publications in international journals:

In addition, 20 technical papers have been published in journals, national and international conferences.


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Murali R

A senior journalist in the business, R Murali started his career with The Times of India as a reporter in sports. He has covered a lot of local, national, international events in cricket, hockey, volley ball, motor sports and table tennis. Over the years he has done a lot of special stories including general stories. Before Joining City Today, he worked in Deccan Chronicle and DNA. At City Today, he is an integral part of the team handling national, sports edit and op-ed pages. He also actively contributes to City Sunday features.

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