Sarjit Singh Sandhu obtained BSc (Hons) (Chemistry) and MSc (Hons) (Chemistry) from Punjab University, Chandigarh, both in First Class. He received PhD (1958) while working with RC Paul. After joining as Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Punjab University, he was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship to work with Ronald S Nyholm, and he obtained a second PhD from the University of London. Thereafter, he joined as Reader in Inorganic Chemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, then moved to Punjabi University, Patiala (1966) and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar as Professor and Founder Head, Chemistry Department (1971) from where he retired in 1990. He also served as Director, Council of Science and Technology, Punjab State, Chandigarh.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sandhu had made outstanding contributions on coordination chemistry of transition metal complexes in solid state, reactions in non-aqueous solvents, synthetic organic chemistry, bio inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, analytical chemistry, solid state chemistry of decomposition products of complexes, photochemistry of uranium ion, structure determination of compounds by X-ray diffraction technique, stability constants of transition metal complexes in solutions, reaction mechanism of metal complexes, and study of soil pollution by industrial effluents containing toxic transition metal ions. He supervised 32 PhD students and published more than 200 original research papers in international and national journals, besides chapters in internationally published books.
Other Contributions: As Director, Punjab Council of Science and Technology, Professor Sandhu organized its Secretariat. During his stay in every University, he gave first priority to the revision of syllabi to bring it at par with international standards, and to the procurement of modern instruments for competing at national and international level. While at GNDU, he introduced degree courses such as analytical and instrumental techniques in chemistry; chemistry of oils, soaps and detergents; dyeing and dyes, etc. to open up opportunities for employment in industry. He served on the Editorial boards of the Journal of Indian Chemical Society and Indian Journal of Chemistry. He was also Editor of the Journal of Chemical Sciences (GNDU).
Awards and Honours: Professor Sandhu was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.