Syamal K. Poddar, an AIChE Fellow and President of Poddar and Associates, based in Houston, TX has been named and awarded Philanthropist of the Year for 2017 by the AIChE Foundation, in recognition of a recent fundraising challenge initiated by him and his wife, Susmita. The endeavor was the latest donation made by the Poddar’s to the AIChE Foundation’s Annual Fund, the cornerstone of the Foundation’s activities dedicated to supporting programs that align with the Doing a World of Good campaign transformative priorities.
Last year, the Poddar’s announced a matching gift challenge — offering to match dollar for dollar up to $20,000 all donations made to the Institute’s Annual Fund during year-end. By year-end, more than 300 donors had participated to the challenge, which ultimately raised $61,000 for the Annual Fund. The donations went to fund programs including scholarships; support for students, young professions, and chemical engineers from underrepresented groups; education and training initiatives; and activities aimed at inspiring K–12 students to pursue engineering as a career path.
In a recent interview Syamal said that he and his wife are dedicated to AIChE “because of its mission to make the world a better and safer place through chemical engineering — which is something we both believe in.” He reflected that “as time goes by, Susmita and I have become even more passionate about the causes we support,” adding that “AIChE plays a vital role in our lives, and we want to invest in and strengthen its ability to support the next generation of chemical engineers.”
The AIChE Foundation is deeply appreciative of Syamal and Susmita’s continued generosity and human impact to strengthen the future of leaders of the chemical engineering profession.