Indian government awards Rowan chemistry professor

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When Rowan University chemistry professor Dr. K.V. Ramanujachary ("Chary") returns to his native India several times during the next few years, it will not be to visit his siblings or father. The 49-y

When Rowan University chemistry professor Dr. K.V. Ramanujachary ("Chary") returns to his native India several times during the next few years, it will not be to visit his siblings or father. The 49-year-old Deptford resident will be going to his homeland to help promote the advancement of materials science.

The Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India (equivalent to the National Science Foundation here) recently identified Chary as one of the eminent scientists in the area of materials science who will be able to help improve the quality of Indian science programs.

As a part of that recognition, he will spend 12 weeks during Rowan University breaks every year for next three years visiting and counseling the scientists at premiere Indian research institutions. He'll initially visit in June 2007, consulting at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the technology hub of the country.

Materials science focuses on improving the critical components of advanced technology, such as the components that make computers faster and hard drives larger, ranging from magnetic parts to superconductors, Chary said.

His area of expertise is solid-state chemistry. "We are the people who design the materials, who understand structure in the properties of materials. Our job is to find the relationship between the crystals and the way atoms arrange themselves in a solid," he said. "We play with the chemistry that is the composition of these materials. We fine tune the composition to improve the properties and functionality of the materials."

Scientists in India applied for the grant money and included Chary as the consultant with whom they wanted to work.

"This is one of the most prestigious awards I have won," the professor said. "The project will enhance the capabilities of Indian scientists to prepare them for the global competitiveness in materials technology." The grant will cover Chary's travel to and in India and his accommodations as well as provide an honorarium.

Chary earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology and Andhra University, both in India, respectively. A member of the American Chemical Society, he has published extensively in his field.

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