Srinivasa Ranganathan obtained BSc (Hons) Chemistry (1960) from the University of Madras and BE (Metallurgy) (1962) from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and his PhD (1965) from Cambridge University. After a brief stint as Research Metallurgist at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (1965-67), he joined Faculty of the Department of Metallurgy at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1967 and became Professor there (1972). He served as Chairman, Department of Metallurgy (1981-88), and also the Division of Mechanical Sciences (1994-99). He was Senior Homi Bhabha Fellow during 2005-06. He has been INAE Distinguished Professor at IISc, Honorary Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, and Honorary Professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ranganathan made outstanding contributions to physical metallurgy through the exploration of metastable microstructures obtained by solid state and rapid solidification processing. He made a pioneering contribution to the theory of atomic configuration at grain boundaries in a publication, which became a citation classic. His analysis of the geometry of grain boundaries led to a generating function for coincidence site lattice known as the Ranganathan generating function. As early investigator in field-ion microscopy, he used computer simulation of images to solve the problem of contrast from perfect and imperfect crystals. His studies of the temporal evolution of the microstructure during a variety of phase transformations such as the spinodal decomposition in cobalt-base alloys, ordering in nickel-base alloys and the crystallization of iron-base metallic glasses provided fresh insights into the nature of these transformations. His basic studies on quasicrystals won him international acclaim. He also made startling new insights in the connection between topologically close packed crystalline, quasicrystalline and nanocrystalline materials. He used thermodynamics and Pettifor map approach to throw new light in this field. His latest studies related to the structure of bulk metallic glasses and multicomponent alloys bringing many of these materials into a broad framework of new geometries for new materials, which is also the title of his book published by the Cambridge University Press.
Other Contributions: Professor Ranganathan played a key role in emergence of the departments of Metallurgy, at both BHU and IISC, as UGC centres of Advanced Study. He brought the concept of Alloy Design to the Indian scene. He has coauthored a policy document on Indian priorities in materials at the behest of the SACC. At the request of Indian National Academy of Engineering, he chaired the Committee on the Metallurgical Heritage of India and contributed to its growth by coauthoring the book India's Legendary Wootz Steel. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee of Euroschool in Materials Science.
Awards and Honours: Ranganathan is recipient of the National Metallurgist Day Award, Government of India (1970), Materials Science Prize, INSA (1991), MRSI Medal (1991), Homi Bhabha Award (1992), Excellence in Engineering Research Award, IISc (1994), Jawaharlal Nehru National Award in Engineering and Technology, Government of Madhya Pradesh (1999), MRSI Distinguished Materials Scientist (2001), National Metallurgist Award, Government of India (2001), Platinum Medal, Indian Institute of Metals (2005), Professor Jai Krishna Memorial Award (2006), and Distinguished Alumnus Award, IISc (2006). He was elected President of the Indian Institute of Metals; and Vice President of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and the Materials Research Society of India. He is Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Indian National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).