Kolar Ramakrishnaiya Krishnaswami obtained his DSc degree (1930) from the University of London, UK. His specialization was in mineral chemistry and industrial chemistry. He was Professor of Chemistry, University of Madras; Industrial Chemist, Post- War Reconstruction Board, Government of Bihar; Director of Industries, Bihar; and Professor, Department of General Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1952-61).
Academic and Research Achievements: Krishnaswami carried out important work involving chemical analysis and also laboratory scale industrial operation concerning the utilization of various raw materials. His work became the bedrock for the starting of several industries in the State such as lacs, soaps and glycerin, iron and steel, manganese and chrome, cement, paper, phosphate and fertilizers. He carried out investigations on the recovery of precious metal from ores, sulphur from Baluchistan sulphur ore, production of strontium carbonate for signal flares from celestite from Tiruchirapalli and gold from pyrite gold ore of Wynaad.
Other Contributions: Krishnaswami served as metallurgical consultant to Kolar Gold Field. As Director of Industries in Bihar, he was responsible for the project report on Bihar Spun Mills and a number of feasibility reports for chemical industries. He was Member, Chemical Advisory Committee, Atomic Energy Commission; and Ores and Raw Materials Committee, Bureau of Indian Standards. In this capacity, he was responsible for the implementation of a large number of industrial projects and was closely associated with the Sindri Fertiliser factory. He was solely responsible for the setting up of: (i) Super phosphate factory at Sindri; and (ii) High Tension Insulation Factory at Ranchi, as he took up the entire planning and carried out the execution of these two factories. He was instrumental in starting the State Industrial Research Laboratory, which was very close to his heart.
Awards and Honours: Krishnaswami was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the Royal Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland. He was a Member of the Metallurgical and Geological Institute of India, and the Royal Institute of Chemistry (London) serving as President of the Deccan Section.