Dr. Viswanathan obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Annamalai University, Master Degree in Production Engineering at the College of Engineering, Guindy, University of Madras. He obtained his Ph.D. from I.I.T. Madras under Quality Improvement Programme. During his Ph.D. Programme he worked on Trissule Missile Project, which was sponsored by His Excellency Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the then Director of DRDO in 1984.
Dr. Viswanathan has made remarkable multifaceted achievements in the areas of teaching, research. Invention and extension activities. Starting from a modest career as a lecturer in mechanical engineering, he rose to the highest position of Vice-Chancellor of Anna University. He also worked as Director of Audio Visual Research Centre and Director of Centre for Educational Media Technologies, which was started by Dr. Viswanthan at Anna University through sheer dint of hard work and merit. He has teaching and research experience of spanning over 30 years in Anna University.
He has guided four Ph.D. scholars and published more than 50 National and International research publications, attended several International Conferences. He has conducted number training programmes for small-scale industries' technicians sponsored by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
He has received the most prestigious International Socrates Award from the European Business Assembly. UK at the famous Oxford Hall and this award was conferred on him for his outstanding achievements in excellence in technical education and research. He is the first Indian to receive this award.