Dr. Johny Varghese who recently completed his PhD (Materials Engineering) in the School of Engineering Sciences and Technology (SEST) under the supervision of Professor Koteswararao V. Rajulapati is selected for the prestigious “STAR: Sensing and Sensibility – Transcending Disciplines for a Responsible Future” postdoctoral fellowship co-funded by the European Commission under the aegis of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND program. Dr. Johny Varghese won this prestigious scholarship in an international competition and will be implemented by the University of Siegen (Germany), supported by an expandable consortium of currently 23 academic and non-academic partner organisations from all over the globe, offering specialised hosting/training opportunities to recruited researchers.

Dr. Johny Varghese

Under this program, Dr. Varghese will be carrying out independent research under the direction of Professor Robert Brandt (University of Siegen, Germany) and also in collaboration with the Ruhr University, Bochum (Germany). He has proposed to investigate “Additive Manufacturing Aspects of Maraging Steels for Automotive Applications” for two years and would be receiving a scholarship of nearly Euro 5000 per month plus other benefits and research contingencies.

At the University of Hyderabad, Dr. Varghese worked on the topic “Mechanical Properties of Friction Stir Welded (FSW) Reduced Activation Ferritic Martensitic (RAFM) Steels” for his doctoral thesis. RAFM steel is a strategic material to be used for the test blanket modules in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Fusion Reactor (ITER), France for civilian nuclear energy applications. The ITER is under construction with the co-operation of European Union, USA, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and India. The Indian RAFM steel was developed under the supervision of Professor K. Bhanu Sankara Rao (Former Dean-SEST as well as Pratt & Whitney Chair at UoH) as part of a joint research effort by IGCAR Kalpakkam, MIDHANI Hyderabad and IPR Gandhinagar. The comprehensive research work that was done at UoH on FSW of RAFM steel was funded by a research project by the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (DAE, Government of India). Dr. Varghese and Professor Rajulapati reaped the benefits in conducting excellent research work by having several and critical scientific discussions with Professor K. Bhanu Sankara Rao at various junctures and encouraging them to work on problems of national importance that comprise basic scientific research that culminates into product development. A fruitful collaboration with Dr. G. Madhusudan Reddy (Former Director, DMRL-DRDO) and Shri E. Rajendra Kumar (IPR, Gandhinagar) is gratefully acknowledged.

Professor Rajulapati says, “I am proud of my student’s achievement, sincerity, perseverance, and hard work and wish him good luck for his future endeavors.”