Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2016 Contents 8 UWI TODAY – SUNDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER, 2016
PROFESSOR VIJAY NARAYNSINGH
has had a distinguished career that led
to fellowships in several International
Colleges, Reader in Surgery (1990),
Personal Chair (1997), and Departmental
Chair (2002) in the University of the
West Indies. At age 42, he was one of
the youngest recipients of the National
Award (The Chaconia Gold) for service
in Medicine to Trinidad and Tobago.
In 2003, he was the first and only
Caribbean Surgeon to be granted the Fellowship of the Royal
College of Surgeons (FRCS England) without examination.
He was also the first and only Caribbean Surgeon to be made
an Examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons of England for
their postgraduate surgical exams. In 1991, he was chosen by
Medicine Sans Frontieres (Nobel laureate) to be one of five
surgeons worldwide to sit on an international panel on colon
trauma surgery (Brussels, Belgium). He was chosen as the
surgeon to the Pope when John Paul II visited Trinidad and
Tobago in 1985.
Internationally, Professor Naraynsingh has been a pioneer
in the design of twelve new operations, never done in the
world before. These procedures have all been recorded in the
KOCHHAR first arrived at The UWI’s
campus when there were 2000 students
and when he retired there were 18,000.
He specialises in the field of Mechanical
Engineering and says he likes to tinker
with things – trying to make then work,
and has always liked working with his
Professor Kochhar’s family came to
Trinidad and Tobago as refugees from
West Pakistan. His father worked in military engineering and
this influenced his choice of career. As a scholar, he pursued
his first degree in India, his Masters’ degree at the University
of Wisconsin and his PhD here at The UWI. A student at
The UWI from 1970 to 1976, he left to work in Canada as a
professional engineer and then returned to become a lecturer.
In 1996, he attained the title of professor. Indeed, Professor
Kochhar has held the posts of Deputy Dean of Engineering,
PROFESSOR BALSWAROOP BHATT
is proud to admit that “even from
a tender age” Mathematics was his
passion. Born in India, he earned a PhD
in Fluid Dynamics from the University
of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in 1976 and then
pursued research in Fluid Dynamics
and Bio Mathematics. He says, “For
the last 20 years I have been trying to
use Mathematics to understand the
dynamics of some relationships and
Through his supervision of students, Professor Bhatt has
successfully mentored five PhD candidates here at The UWI to
completion of research on topics that include fluid dynamics
and mathematical models of crime. Now he is applying the
models to understanding the dynamics of the stock market and
‘Emeritus St Augustine’ for Three
The esteemed status of ‘Emeritus Professor’ was bestowed on three long-serving and decorated
retired professors at the end of the last academic year, May 2016. For the St Augustine campus these are:
VIJAY NARAYNSINGH, GURMOHAN KOCHHAR and BALSWAROOP BHATT.
The UWI Today extends hearty congratulations to each man and is pleased
to highlight each of their stellar contributions in the following summaries.
cancer. He firmly believes Mathematics can benefit any area
because prior to any endeavour – time management, budgets,
even relationships – one must plan parameters and make some
form of modeling to measure (and adjust accordingly) – which
are mathematically based functions. Professor Bhatt says that
mathematical modeling can reveal the stability or instability
of systems, even marriage.
As a researcher and now emeritus professor, his intention
is to support whoever needs his help academically. He wishes
to further promote his field and, in his opinion, there are many
more avenues for the application of mathematical concepts.
Even in cancer treatment, he says, mathematical models can
predict outcomes better than just the judgment of a doctor
relying on his experience.
One highlight of Professor Bhatt’s career is that he was
awarded an academic staff fellowship of the Commonwealth
to do research at DAMTP, University of Cambridge, U.K.
for a year where he produced two research papers. One was
published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics which comes from
Cambridge University and the other, QJMAM which comes
from Oxford University.
Professor Bhatt loves both teaching and research. Together
with his colleagues, the Department began to offer an MSc
in Mathematics which had its first intake in 2005. He also
implemented a programme to share further mathematical
knowledge with school teachers and engineers in a course
format. From 2006 to present he has organised three
international conferences in the field. In 2004 he achieved
professor status and in 2005 he became Fellow of the Institute
of Mathematics and its Applications, (FIMA) based in the
United Kingdom. Of this new title - ‘Emeritus Professor’ – he
said he is honoured and looks forward to giving his services
and assistance to anyone who needs help with mathematical
Dean of Engineering, Advisor to the Vice Chancellor, and then
Aside from making The UWI the home of his full-time
academic pursuits, he says that this university has helped him
to create his family home as well in that he met his wife on
campus. “I got two certificates from UWI,” he says with a grin,
“One is a PhD and the other is a marriage certificate. Both have
no expiration date”. Professor Kochhar is also proud of his two
daughters and his son and the fact that they are achievers – a
doctor, a lawyer and an engineer.
The specialty field embraced by Professor Kochhar is
Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (Thermal Sciences).
His philosophy is you teach what you research and you research
what you teach. In addition, he says that he loves his students
and is supervising five MSc theses at present. His approach is to
always reference the practices of the industry hand in hand with
pursuing the theoretical research in order to comprehensively
For him, the title of Emeritus Professor is indicative that,
as he says, “My university which I have given all my life to has
recognised me, and that recognition is going to be a lifelong
recognition and I am very grateful for that”.
Regarding current endeavours, he has just reviewed a book
for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP),
an undertaking which speaks to his concern for the protection
of green spaces. He says that as an engineer your job is to find
a solution to the problems of people in the most cost effective
way without harming the environment.
Years ago as Deputy Principal, some of his successes were
air-conditioning the cafeteria and setting up the food outlets.
He says, “I have always been very student-centred. I am here
because of students not the other way around”.
Professor Kochhar, who has turned down lucrative
opportunities for private consultancy, says that in life you make
choices and you make them not just based on material gain.
He says, “I am a person who likes to help and I think I have
been able to do that in the university system. My satisfaction
is in seeing my students do well”.
international surgical literature. In the Caribbean region, he
has been credited with the many advances including: the first
to perform kidney transplantation in 1988, carotid surgery for
stoke under local anaesthesia in 1984, no colostomy surgery for
left colon obstruction in 1985 and colon trauma in 1991 and
extensive use of myocutaneous flaps in general and orthopaedic
surgery from 1981 to 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Professor Naraynsingh is an educator, community leader,
mentor, scholar, adviser, author and surgeon. He has taught and
administered programmes at The UWI for more than twenty-
five years, and has started the postgraduate surgical specialties
and sub-specialties in Trinidad and Tobago. His outstanding
research accomplishments led to a prolific publication
record and contribution to nationhood and public service.
He continues to publish having authored 52 publications in
peer reviewed journals in 2009 to 2012. On the basis of his
published work, Professor Naraynsingh has been invited to
lecture and sit on international expert panels. He has also
supervised and mentored over fifty colleagues on their first
scientific publication and training contributed to the careers
of some fifteen specialist surgeons who are now employed at
the highest level at home and abroad.
Professor Naraynsingh has a distinguished record of
public service. He has led outreach activities beginning
since graduation from medical school. He has founded
the Avatar Medical Auxiliary which provides access for the
underprivileged to medical and surgical care. To further this
goal, on 6 separate occasions, he set up activities to provide 108
patients with free surgical treatment. He was also the Trinidad
and Tobago consultant surgeon for the Kids First programme
for underprivileged children in Guyana.
For more than 30 years Professor Naraynsingh has shared
his secrets of success with young students through youth
groups, holding camps and illustrating study techniques. The
most recent workshop recorded 300 attendees from over 20
schools and tertiary institutions. These social endeavours have
been well appreciated by recipients as well as organisations,
national and international, including the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago, The Rotary Club, The Lions Club, St.
George County Council, San Fernando City Council, and the
Spiritual Baptist Church. His most recent awards include the
Award for Excellence in Medicine and Community Service,
Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin in August, 2010
and the Award of Excellence for Exceptional Contributions to
Educational Development, Medical and Community Service
and Humanitarianism in the Caribbean by The Holi Samelan
Committee of New York, USA in September 2010.
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