Ramesh Rao is the director of the University of California, San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). In 2004, he was appointed the first holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technologies in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, where he has been a faculty member since 1984. Prior to becoming the Calit2 UCSD division director in 2001, he served as the director of UCSD's Center for Wireless Communications (CWC).
In addition to directing Calit2 UCSD, Prof. Rao is involved on a day-to-day basis with a wide variety of interdisciplinary and collaborative research initiatives, leading several major projects at Calit2. He has been a lead investigator on dozens of major federal-, state-, foundation-, defense-, and industry-funded grants, including the NIH-funded Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters (WIISARD), Self-Scaling Systems for Mass Casualty Management (WIISARD SAGE), and the Multimedia Telemedical Diagnostic System (STRokE DOC), the NSF-funded Responding to Crises and Unexpected Events (RESCUE) and ResponSphere projects, multiple projects involving cognitive networking, as well as leading several international collaborations. He has authored more than 230 peer-reviewed technical papers on a wide range of research topics in wireless communications including architectures, protocols, performance analysis of computer and communication networks, adaptive systems, energy-efficient communications, disaster management applications and health-related applications, among others. He is currently engaged in numerous projects to bridge emerging technologies with medicine and healthcare and investigating the power of utilizing information technologies to enhance, even transform, healthcare resources, knowledge bases, and outcomes.
For his leadership in wireless communications, Dr. Rao was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has twice been a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society. He is a Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and served as the chair of the CCST's Personalized Health Information Technology Task Force (pHIT). He is a member of the Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center Board of Trustees' Information Technology Task Force and a member of the Weqaya Advisory Task Force of the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), United Arab Emirates. He also serves as a panelist on the Innovation Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation Board and is a member of the UC San Diego Health System Advisory Board. He is on the advisory council to the California Telehealth Network. In addition, he is a member of the Education Task Force of The San Diego Foundation Regional Vision Council. He received a 2010 Professional Gordon Engineering Leadership Award from the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, UCSD. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of CommNexus San Diego: A Network of Communications Companies. He is the vice-president of the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS). He participates in many technical, academic, health-related, and industry organizations, boards, councils, and committees. He received a Casa Familiar 2011 Abrazo Award. Prior to leading Calit2 UCSD, he was the Vice Chair of Instructional Affairs in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Rao chaired the National Research Council's Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management, the findings were published by the NRC in 2007: "Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery." He testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Calit2 research related to Homeland Security in February 2002. He also served on a U.S. government panel to review the current status of research, development, and applications in wireless communications in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe with a view towards evaluating the competitive status of U.S. efforts. He has consulted extensively for government agencies and also provided consulting services to industry.
He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1984, and M.S. in 1982, both from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. He earned his undergraduate B.E. degree with honors in electronics and communications in 1980 from the Regional Engineering College of the University of Madras in Tiruchirappalli, India. In 2008, the National Institute of Technology (NITT), Tiruchirappalli, awarded him their Distinguished Alumnus Award.