Dr. K.A. PadmanabhanProf. of Eminence, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering & Advisor, Anna University
Prof. K. Anantha Padmanabhan obtained his B Sc (Metallurgy) – a five-year integrated degree program in Metallurgical Engineering – from Banaras Hindu University (India) in 1968, securing the first rank in the university and (all possible) three Gold Medals and his PhD from the University of Cambridge, U.K, in February 1972.
He is at present Professor of Eminence (Honorary), Anna University, Chennai, Member, Research & Innovation Advisory Board (RIAB), TCS as well as its Research Advisor. During Jan. – Dec. 2009, he was the Mercator Professor of DFG at the Institute of Materials Physics, University of Muenster, Germany. Prior to that, he was the Professor of Eminence, Anna University Chennai, India (Nov. 2006 to Dec. 2008). During March 2010 – April 2015, he was the University Chair Professor and prior to that Jawaharlal Nehru Chair Professor (Sep. 2004-Sep. 2006) at University of Hyderabad. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Aachen, Darmstadt, Erlangen and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. A former Director of IIT Kanpur and Dean of Academic Research, IIT Madras, he has 48 years of research & development, consulting and teaching experience in materials science and engineering. He started his career in April 1972 at the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (now IIT Varanasi) (India) where he was a Lecturer (1972-74) and Reader (1974-79). In January 1980 he joined IIT Madras as the Professor and Head, Metal Forming Laboratory. During 1982 – 85 he served as the Head of the Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering of the same IIT. Prof. Padmanabhan established the Centre for Continuing Education at IIT Madras and was its Founder-Chairman during 1986-90. In 1984/85 he received a grant of DM 3.2 million from the Federal Ministry of International Cooperation (BMZ), Germany, through its implementing agency, GTZ (Agency for Technical Cooperation), for the establishment of an Indo-German Materials Testing Facility at IIT Madras. He was the founder Chairman, GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) – the qualifying test for admission with scholarship to higher technical educational institutions in India – on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Government of India, for the First and the Second GATE examinations of 1983 and 1984.
Ten technologies developed by him and his students are used in Indian industries. He holds ONE European, ONE US and SIX Indian patents and has applied for THREE more. He has been a consultant to Tata Motors, Steel Authority of India Limited, Tata Steel, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association, Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Space Research Organization, Defence R&D Organization, Tata Consultancy Services and Aditya Birla S&T Company. He has authored three expert level books on “Superplasticity” (1980), “Superplastic Flow: Phenomenology and Mechanics” (2001) and “Superplasticity: Common Basis for a Near-Ubiquitous Phenomenon” (2019), all published by Springer Verlag, Heidelberg-Berlin-New York. The book of 1980 has been republished as an eBook and in print form, along with 39 other books, under the series “Springer Book Archives” (2012) out of a few thousand books published by Springer in the period 1842 – 2005 (163 years) and sold with a sales pitch “Great Minds Never Go Out of Print”. He has edited 9 books and authored five book Chapters on “Reliability of Nanomaterials” (Elsevier, 2009), “Severe Plastic Deformation” (Trans. Tech. Publications, 2011), “Superplasticity in and Superplastic Forming of Al-Li Alloys” (Elsevier, 2014), “Superplastic Forming of Aerospace Materials” (Springer Verlag, 2016) and “Material Forming at Very Low Strain Rates” (Elsevier, 2016). 300 research papers have been published by him in refereed international journals (213) and international conference proceedings (87). His contributions in the areas of Superplasticity/ plasticity, bulk and sheet metal formability/ forming and fatigue are well known. He is the first Indian engineer to be conferred the higher ScD degree by the University of Cambridge, U.K. for his “research contributions”, and the first Indian to be awarded the ‘Forschungspreis’ (Career Research Prize, 1994) of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. (Earlier in 1985 he received the Fellowship of that Foundation.) In 2001 he became the first recipient of an award “Guest Scientist Program for Outstanding Scientists from Abroad” of the Research Centre for Technology and Environment (FZK), Karlsruhe, Germany, which is open to scientists of all nationalities working in any area of science and engineering.
He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences-India, Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (London), Indian Academy for Mathematical Modelling and Simulation, Life Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India) and the Indian Institute of Metals, Consulting Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (London), Honorary Academician of the Bashkirian Academy of Sciences, Russia (formerly the Urals Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences), a Member of the Materials Research Society (USA), Materials Research Society of India, Asia Pacific Academy of Sciences, Society of Aerospace Manufacturing Engineers (India) and Indian Structural Integrity Society. He is a Chartered Engineer in India and the UK. He is an Honorary Member of the Indian Institute of Metals and the Institute of Indian Foundrymen and a recipient of the “For the sake of Honor” award of the Rotary Club, Chennai Central, India.
Prof. Padmanabhan has also been working in the area of nanostructured materials since 1994. He is the author of the well-cited models on Superplasticity/ Grain-Boundary-Sliding Controlled Flow in Microcrystalline, Sub-microcrystalline and Nanocrystalline Metals and Alloys, Intermetallics, Ceramics, Composites (both metal-based and Ceramic-based), Bulk Metallic Glasses, Geological and Glacial materials and the Inverse Hall-Petch Effect. Nature Materials (Vol. 4, No. 8, August 2005, p. 575) described his paper with H. Gleiter (Materials Science and Engineering A, 2004) in an editorial as a “break-through from India”. His models for predicting the forming limit diagram of steels and the limiting grain size obtainable in severe plastic deformation are also well-known. He was the Founder Professor In-charge of the Centre for Nanotechnology (CFN) at the University of Hyderabad. At Anna University Chennai he established the Siemens Centre of Excellence in Life Cycle Management and the Centre for Technology Development and Transfer (CTDT). In addition, he has been the Chairman of important committees of the Defence R&D Organization and Department of Information Technology, Government of India.
During 2000-2001 he was a Member of the Scientific Delegation of the Prime Minister of India (Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee) and was its alternative Chairman. He served for two years as a Member of the Indo-German Joint Scientific Council, responsible for approving projects jointly funded by BMBF, Germany and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. From 2012 to 2018, he was the Chairman of the Research Council of Defence R&D Laboratory, Hyderabad. He is also the Chairman of the Research Council of the CSIR-National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram.
During February 06-08, 2013 an international conference “Advances in Materials Processing and Characterization (AMPC) 2013” was held on the Guindy campus of Anna University, Chennai, the birth place of Engineering Education in India. At the end of the sessions on February 06, 2013 (the first day), he was honored by the presentation of a plaque for his contributions to “Materials Science and Engineering, Materials & General Engineering Education and Research over his entire career” (Lifetime Achievement Award). Now he has been conferred the “Lifetime Contribution Award in Engineering 2020” by Indian National Academy of Engineering.