Sockalingam Sam Kannappan

Professional Engineer


Sockalingam “Sam” Kannappan of Houston is a Professional Engineer. He came to Austin on September 6th 1968 and joined UT. He is a Charter Member of the Society of Piping Engineers & Designers and Advisory Board Member, Asia Society, Texas Center. Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Kannappan to the Texas Professional Engineers Board from 2012 to 2017. He serves as Enforcement Committee Chairman. He was elected as the Secretary and Treasurer, US National PE Board (NCEES) Southern zone. Houston Mayor Brown declared December 27, 2003 as Sam Kannappan day in Houston to mark his 60th birthday celebration.

He served as member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Gas Pipeline Safety Research Committee, ASME B31.3 piping code committee, and Defend Houston against Bio-terrorism. He served on the Texas On-Site Wastewater Treatment Research Council from 2006 to 2011.

He received Lighting Award from General Electric Company′s Astro Division, Princeton, NJ for estimating the remaining life in a critical component which was already fitted in US Government satellite. He received Merit award from Tennessee Valley Authority for expediting non-conformance reports in the design of Bellefonte Nuclear Power plant. He received award from Crystal Dynamics group of NASA′s Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland for improving laser measurement accuracy. As Chief Engineer, he implemented electric power peak energy reduction programs.

As Chairman of Indo-American Disaster Relief Council, Kannappan worked with the Indo-American Charity Foundation to donate $23,000 to student representatives of UTMB and Galveston Recovery Fund in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. He is the Founder of Bharathi Kalai Manram and Founder Secretary of Sri Meenakshi Temple, and GOPIO Houston Chapter. He is from Nattarasankottai, Tamil Nadu.

Kannappan received his B.E. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Annamalai University, India in 1965 and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin in 1970. He is the author of the text book on “Introduction to Pipe Stress Analysis” and developer of Piping Analysis software “EZFLEX”.

Contact: Sockalingam Sam Kannappan, 281 484-2270 (H), My Bio-data

Kannappan′s Ancestors

Philanthropy and Dharma:

Making good Drawings is due to hand practice. Speaking good Tamil is due to tongue practice. All others are due to mind practice. Ancient Tamils have said that meditation, philanthropy and Dharma are passed on along hereditary lines. Bridegroom Ramakrishnan′s ancestors are well versed in meditation, philanthropy and Dharma.

Ram′s father KN.M.N.S. Kannappan′s great grand father KN. Meyyappan donated silver rishbam (bull) to Karikala Choleeswarar Siva temple in Nattarasaankottai (about 1900). He lived to celebrate his eighth birthday. He saw Astami festival at Madurai Meenakshi temple and started the same in Nattarasankottai. This festival is celebrated in Markazhi month in Nattarasankottai even today.

Kannappan′s grandfather Narayanan established lot drawing system (around 1923) to determine the sequential order to line up to make Pongal on first Tuesday in Thai month at Kannathal temple.(more than 1000 families make pongal together similar to Kannaki temple, Trivandrum). Kannappan′s father Sockalingam renovated Thandauthapani (Murugan, Karthik) temple in Pasumandan, Burma (1962). Later he served as Honorary Secretary of Kasi Nattukottai Nagara Chatram. He purchased a big building (East Marat St) in Madurai (1967). From the rent collected, he arranged for the continuation of daily Arthasama Abishekam and puja at Kasi Viswanathar temple. (this is a exclusive privilege given to Nattaukottai Chettiars for the past 250 years in Varnasi).

Kannappan′s mother S. Kaliammai Achi (age 93) was born in Paganeri, sacred town of Pulvanayaki Amman. She gave her children, Saroja, Kannappan, Manonmani, Deivanai, Radhakrishnan and Narayanan good education.

Kannappan′s wife Meenakshi′s father Okkur S.KR.RM.KR. Karuppan Chettiar had extensive business experience (family had private covered walkway from railway station to home in Dieau, Burma). Kannappan family live for the past forty years (1968) in USA. They have four children, Ramesh, Ryan, Abirami and Ramakrishnan. To establish a Tamil sangam, Bahrathi Kalai Manram was started in 1974. To promote spirituality, Houston Sri Meenakshi Temple was started in 1977.

Kannappan family was a good friend of M.G. Ramachandran, Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. With his help, family improved roads and installed florescent lights in Nattarasankottai. Family conducted free eye camps twice.

We pray Almighty that bridegroom, Ramakrishnan, will follow his ancestors in performing good deeds.

Note: Translated from “Bhagaved Gita” Tamil book distributed during Dr. Ram and Dr. Aarthy′s marriage on June 24, 2009 in O.Siruvayal by Dr. Aarthy′s parents.

My Grandfather

My Father and Mother


Sockalingam Sam Kannappan graduated with Mechanical Engineering BE (Hons) degree from Annamalai University in 1965. As Joint Secretary of Engineering Association, Kannappan successfully requested Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer to conduct a special examination for seven classmates to retake the exam.

Soon after the final examination, he got appointment as Associate Lecturer at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. He coordinated the writing and printing of Mechanical Engineering Design Data Hand Book in Metric Units. This is the first book in metric units in India. For the first time, three students (Kumarswamy and two others) received 100% mark in Heat Engines subject taught by Kannappan in Madras University Examination in 1967.

Kannappan registered to take Indian Railway Services Examination. One of the Professors asked him not to leave the college promising that he will arrange for Kannappan to get part time MS admission at the college. But when time came, the professor said he could not do it. So Kannappan applied for eleven US universities. Received teaching assistantship of $180 per month at University of Texas (UT) at Austin. In Minnesota, he received part time job at Dalton Gear Company. Coming to Texas in 1968 was scary. Just in August 1966, one American had shot from the UT tower and killed 16 people and injured 31 people. In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Attorney General Robert Kennedy were assassinated. The Vietnam War was at its worst situation for America.

Wife Meenakshi was expecting their first born Ramesh. Kannappan admitted her to Madurai Dr. Rasalam clinic and left for Austin just 24 days before Ramesh was born. He lived in International House with a roommate from Fort Worth, Texas. Kannappan liked President John F Kennedy from what he had heard in India. The roommate did not like the former President. So they argued a lot whether Kennedy was a good President or not. President Johnson decided not to run for reelection. Kannappan watched CBS news anchored by Walter Cronkite every evening.

In August 1969, Kannappan wanted to help new international students arriving in Austin. He wrote instructions for the new arrivals and distributed to all new students. Mrs. Kidd from the international student office used the write up in later years. He did not know FORTRAN computer programming. He had to drop a course on Vibration since it involved using FORTRAN. His classmate Fred Freeman helped a lot. Fred served in Vietnam as signals engineer and liked Asians. Kannappan gave him an engineering book used in India in 1969. In fact, Fred returned the book in 1994 when he attended wedding reception for Ramesh and Soundaravalli with a note “book returned after 25 years”. With FORTRAN knowledge, Kannappan authored EZFLEX pipe stress software program.

At UT, Kannappan coordinated an international festival. When guests started arriving, he found out that the old auditorium was not air conditioned. He requested the professors to go home and bring table fans and extension cords. Many of them did.

Particle Physics Nobel Prize Nominee Dr. ECG Sudarshan joined UT. Kannappan knew his name. His uncle BA Manickam had given him a Kerala newspaper clipping about Dr. Sudarshan in 1968. Dr. Sudarshan asked Kannappan to translate a Tanjavur NADI from Tamil to English. A NADI is an old written document supposedly giving the life sketch of the person whose name is mentioned in it.

Kannappan got admission to do PhD in Oklahoma University in Norman but instead moved to Houston looking for a job. He visited the University of Houston in summer of 1969 to do PhD in Bearings & Lubrication. His close friend Ambi K. Subramanian at UT told him about SAK Raman in Houston. He met SAK Raman near the UH library. He met Dr. Durga Agrawal who gave him a ride in his car to go to Greyhound bus station to go back to Austin. When he got his master’s degree in mechanical engineering, he came to Houston and stayed with SAK Raman and started looking for a job. He helped to teach Tamil to Peace Corp. volunteers at UH. He got a job as maintenance engineer at Sakowitz stores, at Center Pavilion Hospital, Texas Medical Center and then at Texaco building. He passed the Stationary Engineer’s license test. Mr. Elvin Hayes and Mr. Jackie Meyers, of City of Houston, helped him. He received First Grade Stationary Engineers license and got Chief Engineers job at the old Shell building at 609 Fannin St. in 1972.

Kannappan started Patients hospitality committee with Dr. Venu Menon to help open heart surgery patients from India in 1972. About seven patients died with out next of kin with them. Kannappan performed last rites and mailed their ashes to their families in India.

In Sept. 2018, Kannappan completed fifty years in Texas from 1968.