Core Team

The Core Team manages and implements various day-to-day activities of the Solar Decathlon India challenge. The team consists of members from IIHS, AEEE, and individual consultants and volunteers who are led by the Director of Solar Decathlon India.

Amanda Thounaojam

Amanda Thounaojam
Competition Manager

Amanda Thounaojam is an architect with a Master’s in Building Energy Performance and is working as a Technical Associate at IIHS. She is a Programme Manager for the Solar Decathlon India program, and oversees outreach with institutions, development of content for the learning modules, technical review of submissions, and coordination with the division jury. She also takes up other roles such as webinar moderator, graphic designer, and lead event manager from time to time. Amanda is also our charming, resident Master of Ceremonies for the events conducted by Solar Decathlon India.

Gaurav Vakil

Gaurav Vakil
Manager – Partnerships

Gaurav has completed his M.Tech in Building Energy Performance from CEPT University, and has a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. He is a Research Consultant at the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. At Solar Decathlon India, he manages all partnerships and maintains connections with the Solar Decathlon India ecosystem, including project partners, jury and reviewers, alumni, and the Technical Resource Group, among others. He played an important role in bringing industry leaders together for the Solar Decathlon India internship programme. Gaurav also manages and coordinates the technical review process of the deliverables submitted by participants. His research work includes setting benchmarks for the energy performance of building types in the challenge.

Janani Venkatesh

Janani Venkatesh
Communications Manager

Janani Venkatesh has a Master’s in International Studies and Diplomacy with a focus on Global Energy and Climate Policy. She is an associate at the Sustainable Energy Lab at IIHS and is a LEED Green Associate. At Solar Decathlon India, she oversees communications across platforms and provides guidance to the participants on communicating for climate action. She manages the Solar Decathlon India website and also assists the team in research and documentation. She plans and executes the communication strategy for Solar Decathlon India and takes up the role of a graphic designer from time to time.

Jaydeep Bhadra

Jaydeep Bhadra
Strategic Advisor

Jaydeep is doing his PhD at Loughborough University, UK, where his research focuses on personal comfort systems, and thermal and sleep comfort. He provides strategic advice and often provides useful counterpoints during internal decision-making. He is specifically involved in developing and managing the rules and guidelines related to the challenge and coordinates the publication of the Competition Guide. He also provides technical review of the submission and assists the team in research and documentation. Jaydeep is involved in conducting Solar Decathlon India’s research with respect to transforming the pedagogy to educate and build capacity for climate action.

Lakshmi Keshav Kumar

Lakshmi Keshav Kumar
Lead – Technology Platforms

Lakshmi works with the Digital Blended Learning function at IIHS. As part of Solar Decathlon India, she manages the Learning Management System and provides technology support. She oversees the Production of the Self Learning Modules on building science provided to the participants. She also supports the setting up of other tech platforms, such as SARCON, the Virtual Event Management System on which the Design Challenge finals is hosted. Lakshmi is also passionate about teaching for climate action and is involved in Solar Decathlon India’s research with respect to transforming the pedagogy to educate and build capacity for climate action.

Prasad Vaidya

Prasad Vaidya
Director

Prasad Vaidya is Senior Advisor to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. Previously, he served as a Professor and Area Chair for Building Energy Performance at CEPT University. As the Director of Solar Decathlon India, he provides leadership, inspiration, and oversight to the Core Team in managing the challenge. He oversees the progress of the challenge and provides advice to the team on the way forward. He leads outreach activities with institutions and faculty for participation and industry leaders for collaboration with the Solar Decathlon India ecosystem.

Sreejith Jayaram

Sreejith Jayaram
Manager – Learning Content

Sreejth is an architect with a Master’s degree in Building Energy Performance from CEPT University. He is a consultant at IIHS, and at Solar Decathlon India, he is in charge of developing the Self-learning modules on building science provided to participants. He provides technical reviews of the submissions and coordinates with the division jury. Sreejith also takes up other roles related to graphic design, trophy design, providing tech support for the SARCON event platform, and management of events conducted by Solar Decathlon India. Currently, he is also involved in developing a gaming environment for learning HVAC systems in buildings.

Prasad Vaidya

Suyashi Srivastva
Manager – Partnerships

Suyashi has completed his M.Tech in Building Energy Performance from CEPT University and has a Bachelor’s in Architecture. She is a Research Consultant at the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. At Solar Decathlon India she works on industry and real estate partnerships for the challenge. She manages all partnerships and maintains connections with the Solar Decathlon India ecosystem, including project partners, jury and reviewers, alumni, and the Technical Resource Group, among others. She brought together industry leaders for the Solar Decathlon India 2022 internship programme.

Vivek Leonard

Vivek Leonard
Lead – Programme Development

He holds a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and is experienced in the training domain, to support professional development and behavioural skills management. At Solar Decathlon India, Vivek is responsible for process mapping the entire competition in flow using flowcharts, proceeding from the most macro perspective to the level of detail required to identify opportunities for improvement. He supports the team with logistics and operations and provides event management support. He aided the team in setting up the internship programme for the finalists of Solar Decathlon India. Vivek’s striking voice and diction also made him a voice-over artist for the Self Learning Modules on building science provided to the participants.

Yashima Jain

Yashima Jain
Program Manager

Yashima Jain is an architect by profession and holds an experience of 2 years in architecture and design. She has completed her M.Tech in Building Energy Performance from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. At Solar Decathlon India, she is a Programme Manager, in charge of developing the website, managing and moderating the webinars, providing technical reviews of the submissions, and coordinating with the division jury. She provides support in graphic design and developing the communications strategy. Yashima also provides strategic guidance to the team in almost all aspects of the challenge for sound decision-making.