Professor Shyam Sundar Rai earned his Ph.D. (1988) from the Indian School of Mines and M.Tech. (1977) from the University of Roorkee in Applied Geophysics. He earned B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physics from Banaras Hindu University in 1973. He is currently a J.C. Bose National Fellow, Professor, and the Chair of the Department of Earth and Climate Science, and the Dean of Faculty at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune. Previously, he has been affiliated with IISER Kolkata (Professor of Earth Science, 2009-10) and the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad (1978-2014, retired as Chief Scientist.)
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Rai\'s research is characterized by a purposeful inquiry both in the geological characteristics of the Earth\'s subsurface materials and structure, from the shallow Earth to its upper mantle, as well as the design of incisive geophysical experiments for their imaging. His early research in geo-electromagnetism resulted in several enduring research contributions, including the exploration of mineral resources. Over the past 30 years, his research in seismic tomography has progressively refined our knowledge of India\'s two most notable terranes, each highly evocative of the Earth\'s inscrutable processes, namely, the early Archaean and the ongoing Indo-Asian continental collision.
Specifically, Professor Rai has contributed to (i) the development of new and conceptually sophisticated approaches to target mineralized zones, groundwater aquifers, and kimberlite pipes in south sequence; (ii) generating evidence for a thick high-velocity lithospheric keel beneath the Deccan Volcanic Province; (iii) elucidating a classical, seismically transparent Archaean crust in the eastern Dharwar; (iv) the demarcation of the northern edge of the Indian lithosphere beneath western Tibet; and (v) the creation of a regional 3-D velocity image of the entire subcontinent.
Awards and Honours: Professor Rai is a recipient of the National Award in Geoscience and Technology (2016) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Distinguished Alumnus Award (2011) of IIT Roorkee, Andhra Pradesh Scientist Award (2006), National Mineral Award (2004) of the Ministry of Mines, and the S.S. Bhatnagar Prize (1996). He is a Fellow of all three national science academies of India and the Indian Geophysical Union and a recipient of the M.S. Krishnan Medal (1991), Andhra Pradesh Young Scientist Fellowship (1989), and the CSIR Young Scientist Award (1988).