Dr. Sanjay Puri obtained an M.S. in Physics from IIT Delhi in 1982. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987. In December 1987, he joined as an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Sciences (SPS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi -- 110067. He has been at JNU since then and is currently a Professor in SPS. In this period, Dr. Puri has made several visits abroad, and has been a Visiting Professor at Johannes Gutenberg Universitat, Mainz (Germany); University of Manchester, Manchester (UK); Cambridge University, Cambridge (UK); Kyoto University, Kyoto (Japan), etc.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr. Puri works in the areas of statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics. He has been particularly interested in problems of pattern formation in nonequilibrium systems. He has made many important contributions to our understanding of the kinetics of phase transitions. These include (a) the formulation of Cell Dynamical System models to study phase ordering systems; (b) an analytical solution of ordering dynamics driven by the annealing of vector defects, e.g., vortices, monopoles; (c) the modeling and understanding of surface-directed spinodal decomposition, i.e., the interplay of wetting and phase separation in a binary mixture in contact with a wetting surface. Dr. Puri has also made important contributions to understanding the dynamical properties of granular materials, with special focus on the cooling of freely-evolving granular gases. He has published over 160 papers, and written or edited 3 books. Dr. Puri has also supervised the Ph.D. theses of 11 students.
Awards and Honors: Dr. Puri is the recipient of many awards and honors. He received the INSA Young Scientist Medal from the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi (1993); N. Satyamurthy Award from the Indian Physics Association, Mumbai (1995); B.M. Birla Science Award from the B.M. Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad (2001); Homi Bhabha Fellowship from the Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council, Mumbai (2003); and the S.S. Bhatnagar Prize from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi (2006). Dr. Puri has been an Editor and Associate Editor of the journal Phase Transitions since 2000. He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore in 2006; and the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi in 2012.