Akella Kameswara Rao obtained PhD (1958) from University of London, UK. He was Director, Engineering Staff College of India, Hyderabad; Professor of Aerospace Engineering, KSIIDC Professor of Mechanical Sciences, Chairman of Department of Aerospace Engineering, Dean Engineering Faculty, all at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore; Visiting Professor, Laval University, Monash University and University of New South Wales; Senior Design Engineer, Folland Aircraft Ltd, Southampton (UK); and CSIR Emeritus Scientist, National Aerospace Laboratory, Bangalore.
Academic and Research Achievements: Working in the areas: aeronautics, mechanical and electrical engineering, Rao made pioneering contributions to: (i) development of fatigue design and testing methods; (ii) exploitation of full potential of polar functions of elasticity solutions to various in-plane, bending and torsion problems of significance to aerospace structures; (iii) introduction of continuum concepts back into finite element theory and developing hybrid finite elements for problems of stress concentrations, fracture mechanics and short fibre composites; (iv) development of inverse formulation and its application to hitherto intractable problems of fastener joints; (v) reliability and maintainability of airfleet; and (vi) concepts in acoustic emission for monitoring damage growth and predicting failure.
Other Contributions: Professor Rao rendered advisory/consultancy services to industrial corporations as well as governmental/quasi-governmental organizations, notably Bristol Aeroplane Co. (UK), Lockheed Georgia Co (USA), Lockheed International Research Institute (USA), NASA (USA), Acoustic Emission Corp. (USA), Bharat Electronics Ltd, Nuclear Power Corporation, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Aeronautical Development Authority, Indian Space Research Organization, Defence R&D Organization, and Commonwealth Advisory Aeronautics Research Council and many others. He was editor of the Journal of the Aeronautical Society of India.
Awards and Honours: Professor Rao was conferred many awards, notably Honour Summus Award and Gold Medal by Watumull Foundation, USA; Sir R Venkataratnam Naidu Gold Medal by Andhra University; National Aeronautical Prize by Aeronautics Society of India; Biren Roy Lectureship by Aeronautical Society of India; and BR Seth Lectureship by Indian Society for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He was elected Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering; Honorary Fellow, Indian Society for Non-destructive Testing (President elect), Institution of Engineers (India), Aeronautical Society of India (President, 1991-92), Indian Society for Advancement of Material Process Engineering, and Indian Society for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.