Sampat Kumar Tandon obtained MSc (Hons School) (1966) from the Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh and PhD (Geology) from University of Delhi (1972). He commenced his career at IIT Delhi, and then worked in a research position at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun (1971-76). Subsequently, he worked as Reader (1976-86) and Professor (1986-), Department of Geology, University of Delhi, where he also served as Dean (Faculty of Science), Dean (International Relations), Dean (Research) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He carried out postdoctoral research with H Okada at the Institute of Geosciences, Shizuoka University (1981) and with PF Friend at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (1984-85).
Academic and Research Achievements: Tandon has made pioneering contributions in physical stratigraphy and sedimentology, geomorphology and Quaternary geology with reference to the Indian regions. He initiated the application of physical dating methods (magnetic polarity, luminescence dating, fission track dating of zircons) to Neogene and Quaternary continental sequences in parts of the Himalaya and western India. He made significant contributions for the reconstruction of the Late Cretaceous palaeogeography of Central India. These studies highlighted the influence of Deccan volcanism on contemporary sedimentary environments. He worked extensively on the application of calcrete and related facies to further the understanding of Phanerozoic stratigraphic records in India, Scotland and Canada. He made extensive studies on the responses of Late Quaternary fluvial systems, shifts in monsoonal precipitation, and the tectonic geomorphology of a part of the Himalyan front. He has authored over 100 research papers.
Other Contributions: Tandon has been a Member of Science and Engineering Research Council of DST. He chaired the Research Advisory Committee of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology with the Central Groundwater Board. He edited several books and thematic journal issues, and has been on the Editorial Board of Current Science.
Awards and Honours: Professor Tandon was awarded the INSA Young Scientist Medal (1974), Krishnan Gold Medal by Indian Geophysical Union (1985), SS Bhatnagar Prize in Earth Science (1988), and the VII Karunakaran Endowment Memorial Lecture Award by CESS, Tiruvananthapuram (2006). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He has held the offices of Secretary and Vice President of the Geological Society of India, President of the Indian Association of Sedimentologists and has been elected as a Councillor of IUGS Executive Committee for 2010-14.