Krishnaswamy “Ravi” Ravindra

December 10, 1949 – December 2, 2021

On December 2, 2021, Krishnaswamy “Ravi” Ravindra passed away peacefully with his beautiful wife and lifelong partner, Alaka, by his side. Ravi was born in Mysore, India, and grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. His love for engineering and education began at an early age and never abated. He pursued and completed his engineering training in Mysore Engineering College and further studies at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, India. Ultimately, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from Penn State University in State College, PA.

He was passionate about many things. First and foremost, he was a husband and father; his passion was engineering, which he displayed both at home and at work. He devoted his professional life to educating the future mechanical and aerospace engineers of the world. His teaching career began at Dowling College in New York, and in 1987, he moved to Parks College as a faculty member of Saint Louis University (SLU).

During his 34-year tenure at SLU, he helped grow and mature the engineering programs, which included the transition from the Cahokia campus to the modern Midtown landscape as well as the establishment of the graduate degree program at Parks College. Ravi was instrumental in starting three new programs – mechanical, biomedical, and civil engineering at Parks. He had the privilege of leading the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering for 14 of those years and the college as Associate Dean for 5 years, but he was always eager to be with students in the classroom, labs, and outside, which he did until Spring 2021.

Colleagues remember him as a kind, caring, honest, and fair individual who helped them to achieve their greatest potential. Through his long career, he received many accolades, from a Professional Engineer license to the recent 2020 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Faculty Advisor Award given for his excellent leadership in higher education with AIAA at SLU. His most important accolades, however, were not awards but rather mentoring his students, watching them succeed professionally and in life, and keeping in close contact with them.

At home, Ravi was a devoted husband and father who similarly wanted to see his family succeed. He married the love of his life, Alaka, in June 1977, in Mysore, India. The two built a life together, first by venturing away from their families to the United States in search of education and opportunity and later by raising a family in Saint Louis. During their 44-year marriage, Ravi and Alaka traveled and explored the world together, making the most of their life by having fun and enjoying time with one another. In just the last decade, they adventured across the United States, Spain, India, and China. They raised two sons, Arjun and Vijay, and he was unbelievably proud of their accomplishments.

Ravi led his life with the utmost grace, forgave easily, saw the good in everyone and helped them to see the good in themselves. He was always handy with a joke, a smile, and some sage advice to bring clarity to any situation. What his loved ones will remember most about him was his thoughtfulness and willingness to help others without hesitation. His drive and commitment to excellence were unmatched and he motivated others to greater heights than they believed imaginable. He was an inspiration to those who knew him and will be forever missed by all who knew him and were touched by his kindness, love, and grace.

He is survived by his wife, Alaka, and his sons, Arjun and Vijay.

Funeral services will be held 9:00am, Wednesday, December 8, 2021.


  1. Alberto Mazarro on December 6, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Best teacher I had and a very good person. An example for human being. Condolences for family and friends

  2. Amelia Flood on December 6, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Dean Ravindran was the epitome of kindness. I have not meant a more thoughtful person. His love for his students, colleagues, and engineering radiated from him. Even years after working together, he still sent good wishes and they never failed to brighten my day. He was a treasure who will be missed.

  3. Rick Elliott on December 6, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Thoughts and prayers to his family. I did not know Dr Ravindra well as I graduated in 1988 but he was always inspirational to talk with and I remember his smile.

  4. Justin Pointer on December 6, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Ravi was the kindest. I was not a good student at the time I took a class of his. He never put me down or showed any disdain towards me. He just wanted me to come to class and learn and I will always appreciate that. The world needs more people like Ravi <3

  5. Oliver Philippi on December 6, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve enjoyed an amazing career thus far – I graduated in ‘92 (BSAE) and ‘96 (MSAE) – and much of it I owe entirely to this most wonderful soul we now mourn and celebrate, Dr. Ravindra. It is said the best teachers don’t teach, instead they illuminate and reveal their discipline. I think it’s safe to say his light still shines bright.
    I’ll remember you, Doc.

  6. Gary B on December 6, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Ravi was one of the first people I met at SLU. He served on the search committee that hired me, and he was often the person with whom I felt comfortable in tough conversations. We sometimes had differences of opinion, but we always were able to move past those differences. He was a wonderful example of how to treat others, especially students. I fondly recall asking him about how to deal with a troubling student issue, and his response was that I should try to see their perspective, and while I thought I had, his counsel helped me solve that issue. I’ve applied that counsel many, many times, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

  7. Kay Bopp on December 6, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    I just don’t know where to begin. He was a wonderful friend, boss, colleague, teacher. He always had nothing but kinds things to say to everyone. So many wonderful memories I have of him. I would sit outside his office and I always knew which son he was talking to on the phone. If it was Arjun it was a quiet and mellow conversation, if it was Vijay it was fast and I could always hear him say wait a minute, wait a minute, then hello, hello. I smile everytime I think about it. It was so much fun and blessing to work for him. He was the best of the best.
    He always liked trying to pull pranks on people, he did get us a few times. The campus will never be the same without him.


  8. Carlos Antunez on December 6, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Requiescat In Pace, Doctor Ravindra. It was such an honor to learn from you.

  9. Jon M on December 6, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Dr. Ravindra was kind, caring, and a truly genuine soul. He left a lasting impact on so many of us, his students, and his spirit will never be forgotten. I can still see him in the hallway of Parks, smiling and laughing 🙂

  10. Fernando Abilleira on December 6, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Ravi was an incredible teacher and an outstanding human being. All his students loved him. He was truly passionate, caring, and knowledgeable. When I think of my time at Parks, Ravi is one of the first people who come to mind. He had such a tremendous impact on many of our professional careers. Thank you for all your teachings. You will be so missed Ravi but never forgotten! God bless. ~Fernando (BS AE ’99 / MS AE ’01)

  11. Jeff lewis on December 6, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    An amazing professor and I am happy that I got to experience his presence here on earth before his transition.

  12. Betty Bowersox on December 6, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    It has been my privilege to have known Ravi since Parks College was in the process of establishing their Mechanical Engineering curriculum. Serving as an Industry Advisor for the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and for Parks College of Engineering has provided me with many opportunities over the years to talk and work with Ravi as he followed his passion of interacting with and educating engineering students. He was a delightful person, and a true gentleman. SLU/Parks has been very fortunate to have Ravi on their faculty, and he will be missed by many! My condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers.

  13. Swami Karunamoorthy on December 6, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Ravi has passed away. He has passed away his wealth of knowledge into the young minds of students. A true teacher never dies. His spirit will live for ever in the hearts and minds of students he taught and the engineers he has created. Ravi is a true teacher. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  14. Nancy Carson Schicker on December 6, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    My family has been blessed to be neighbors to Ravi, Alaka, Arjun and Vijay. What an honor to have been Ravi’s friend …. He lived the example of kindness and thoughtfulness, with such a graceful soul. I will miss seeing him on his walks, but know I will still feel his presence in our neighborhood.
    My family sends love to Alaka, Arjun and Vijay as they begin their journey in grief.

  15. Kathy Barbeau on December 6, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I feel privileged have to worked with and for Ravi. He was the ultimate teacher taking any student showing up at his office under his wing. He always looked at the whole student. He would inquire, had they eaten a healthy meal and gotten a goods night sleep.
    He cared about the students success. Parks College was a better place because of Dr Ravindra, Peace be with you always.

  16. Silvia S. on December 6, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Dr. Ravindra was an incredible human being. Besides being an excellent professor, he always treated his students with kindness, understanding, and open to listen. As I told him the last time we spoke: it was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity of being his student. Rest In Peace, Professor. You will be dearly missed.

  17. Natalie Cormier Smith on December 6, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Thoughts and condolences for this kind family. Colleague of Dr. Vijay Ravindra, who spoke so highly of his father. Dr. Vijay was gifted with qualities listed of his father above: kindness, caring, and innate ability for teaching others.

  18. Summer Mattina on December 7, 2021 at 1:51 am

    It was my privilege to call Ravi a colleague for several years in Parks College; a kinder man I’ve not yet met. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  19. German Loperena on December 7, 2021 at 3:48 am

    .my deepest condolences.
    Great professor and a great man. His knowledge and his kindness should be an example to all.
    I will never forget him. His family should be really proud of him.
    German Loperena B.S. 91

  20. Carlos Manglano (BSc 2000 / MSc 2002) on December 7, 2021 at 7:14 am

    He was a great inspiration to everyone who knew him. As a student at Parks, it was a privilege to have his invaluable support, advice and teachings.
    Rest in peace, Prof. Ravindra.

  21. A. Harrison on December 7, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Dr. Ravindra was an amazing teacher, leader and above all a wonderful kind person. I will always remember our incredible trip together on SLU’s very own King Air private aircraft to the University of Minnesota for the AIAA student competition in April of 2004. We (the students) felt like a group of rockstars on our way to Vegas…imagine Ravindra having to deal with us…we all had a great time in the end. Parks teams won 1st and 3rd place! We will miss you Ravi. My sincere condolences to all his family and friends. God bless you.
    AE class of ‘04

  22. Rodney Kutz, BSAE '01 on December 7, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I traveled all the way across the continent by myself to go to SLU. Ravi was the Aero Engineering chair and first faculty member I met. I introduced myself and said I was there for the Aero Engineering program. He welcomed me, but looking down his list, said he did not have me enrolled in the program. Sensing my anxiety of the situation, Ravi helped my resolve the mixup. He was always so helpful through my years of study at Parks. Ravi, you will be missed.

  23. Cathy Zimmer on December 7, 2021 at 9:46 am

    I was so sad to learn of Ravi’s passing. My interactions with him were during the time of The Graduate School. My impression was that he was a kind and gentle soul who cared deeply about his students. I’m sure the faculty, staff and students are saddened by this loss but feel blessed for knowing him. My sympathy to his family, colleagues and students. Rest in peace, Ravi.

  24. Silvia Bayón on December 7, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Dr. Ravindra was a fantastic teacher, but above all, he was an exceptional human being. I remember how during my first year at Parks he invited us (the foreign students who did not have family nearby) to spend Thanksgiving at his house with his family. The kindness and caring he always transmitted will never be forgotten. My warmest condolences to his family. Rest In Peace dear Dr. Ravindra. Silvia (BSAE 01/MSAE 02)

  25. Cari Wickliffe on December 7, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Dr. Ravindra was an incredible man and educator. He lead with kindness, expectation and full support of others. He gave his best to everyone and in everything. He was gracious, smart, funny and encouraging. Seeing him always brought joy. Condolences to the family.

  26. Terri Swider on December 7, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    I just knew him as Ravi. I am one of the mentors for the transplant program. I talked with Ravi as he was preparing for transplant. He had many questions and I found his curiosity refreshing because most people are so overwhelmed they don’t know what to ask. I answered his questions and gave him more information to help him make the right choice for him and his family. This is such a beautiful description of a life well lived. This man was utterly loved and respected. He touched my heart as well. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  27. Dolores Seats on December 7, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    I worked at Parks College, Saint Louis University from 1985-2014 and remember Dr. Ravindra as a kind, gentle, and caring man. He was a great educator, and became an administrator when it was needed. He tirelessly worked for the school with grace and dignity.
    I am so sorry for his family and give my deepest condolences to them. Parks College and Saint Louis University are so much better for his having being there; he has left a legacy.

  28. Chuck Kirkpatrick on December 7, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    I was fortunate to be able to work with Ravi for many years at Parks. He was kind, considerate, and always looking for ways to enhance the education of students. I was also fortunate to know his children. He was extremely proud of them, and their success is the result of the fine family created by Ravi and his wife. Former Parks students from around the world will be sad to hear of his death, and are fortunate to have had him as an instructor and department chair.

  29. Manoj Patankar on December 8, 2021 at 4:54 am

    I met Dr. Ravindra for the first time when I was an undergrad student at Parks. He always entered the classroom with a smile and deep enthusiasm for the topic he was about to teach. His energy was perfectly balanced with kindness and concern for every student’s success. It is no surprise that so many students and colleagues have noted kindness as one of his most experienced qualities.

    Subsequently, when I served in administrative capacities, I looked up to Ravi for counsel and a broader perspective, which helped make decisions that were in the best interest of our students and respectful of our colleagues

    He will be missed and respectfully remembered by sudents around the world. His gentle, caring persona will inspire his students, colleagues and friends for years to come.

    I am deeply grateful for his mentoring and friendship. May his soul rest in eternal peace.🙏🙏🙏

  30. John A. George on December 8, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Ravi was a colleague and a good friend. He will be be greatly missed.

  31. Theodosios and Trudi Alexander on December 8, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Observing Ravi was a study on how to become kinder, gentler, and more helpful to all others. His actions and behavior taught students, staff, faculty and society how to be better human beings. His example, and thus Ravi himself, will always live with us and guide us for the rest of our lives. We hope this is of some comfort to Alaka, Arjun and Vijay.

  32. Office of Mission & Identity at SLU on December 8, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Our deepest sympathies and warmest thoughts are with you–what a loss to us, but what a beautiful legacy he leaves behind.

  33. Sharon Spicer School for Professional Studies Graduate academic coach on December 8, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Dr. Ravindra (Ravi) always has such kinds words and sage advice. He will be missed.

  34. Jason Flowers on December 8, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Arjun, my condolences to you and your family. Your Dad was always warm and generous.

  35. Hector Barrio on December 9, 2021 at 3:20 am

    My condolences to the family. Dr. Ravindra was an excellent person and teacher. Always a helping hand, always understanding.

  36. Sandra Johnson on December 9, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Ravi was an extraordinary human being. I had the privilege of knowing him at SLU for many years in his work as Department Chair and his service on the University Rank and Tenure Committee. I appreciated his wisdom, kindness, compassion, and expertise — and his ready smile. He embodied servant leadership and was a gift to us all.

  37. John Waide on December 9, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Nearly 20 years ago, I had the privilege of working with Ravi on a short article on the history of aerospace engineering education at Parks College. Whenever I saw him on campus, he always had time to visit with me. What a kind and generous man. My condolences to his family. Rest in peace, Ravi.

  38. Sandra Hooper(Pulmonary Rehab) on December 10, 2021 at 8:35 am

    My prayers go out to the family. He was a joy to work with.

  39. Ryne Sandler on December 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    For the brief time that I knew Dr. Ravindra, he left a profound impact on my life. Moving from a local college to Saint Louis University was a daunting process and Dr. Ravindra opened me with open arms in the Aerospace Engineering Program. I’ll never forget him and the entire Senior class of 2022 (Aerospace Engineering) will honor his memory.

  40. SIVAPERUMAL S on March 14, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Really shocked to read this news. I am from India and had great opportunity of inviting Prof Ravi twice and he was a great teacher. I suddenly remembered as i saw some news connected to St. Louis and searched him on web because i know only Prof Ravi from St. Louis and found this sad news. I still remember, his invitation to visit St. Louis to establish cooperation and i got visa also using the invitation letter. Unfortunately due to COVID, my visit was cancelled and unfortunately i could not meet him also. He was really a wonderful Teacher and student first person. My prayers to his family.

  41. Alex C. BSAE on April 26, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    The only Prof I remember from SLU was Dr. Ravi, I graduated >20 years ago.
    So if all that time has passed and you remember just one, that puts into perspective what a kind and caring man he was.

    I will always remember Dr. Ravi.
    Rest in peace kind Sir.

  42. Audrey Gunn Steinberg on April 26, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    I remember Dr Ravi as a caring and truly interested professor. He was my advisor during my time at Parks and as others have written here, he always had time for any student. Reading about his passing brought sadness but what a legacy he leaves as I read through the comments here. How lucky and blessed we were to know him!

  43. Daryl Betancur on April 27, 2022 at 12:17 am

    Although I did not know Dr. Ravindra personally, I do remember seeing him around campus. He was well-known for his kindness and his good sense of humor. My condolences to his entire family and to those whose lives he touched. May you now be at peace in the presence of God Almighty! (Dr. D. A. Betancur, Parks College, Class of 1988).

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