The PhD thesis done by Ms. Manugula Vijaya Lakshmi in the School of Engineering Sciences and Technology, University of Hyderabad (UoH) under the guidance of Dr. Koteswararao V. Rajulapati and Dr. G. Madhusudhan Reddy of Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), is adjudged as one of the best at national level by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and is selected for the conferment of “INAE Innovative Student Projects Award 2018”. This award, comprising a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 25, 000/-, will be presented to her in the INAE annual convention to be held in December 2018.

In her work, it was shown for the first time that friction stir welding can be used to join critical hard steel components used in the nuclear fusion reactors especially in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) being built in France where India is also a partner. This work was supported by a research grant from Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.

Dr. Manugula Vijayalakshmi is currently Assistant Professor in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.

After completing B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering from Andhra University and M.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Madras, she did her Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the School of Engineering Sciences and Technology, UoH in the area of Advanced Methods of Joining for India-Specific Reduced Activation Ferritic-Martensitic steel.

Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi has 13 years of experience in Teaching and has published 5 papers in International journals, and presented 6 papers in National and International Conferences. She is Life member of several professional bodies like Indian Institute of Welding (IIW), The Indian Institute of Metals (IIM), Powder Metallurgy Association of India (PMAI) and Electron Microscope Association of India (EMSI). She also received best paper award during the International Institute of Welding 6th Welding Research &Collaboration Colloquium, 2016 at Hyderabad, India.

For more details about her work, the following publications may be referred:

· Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, 23 (2018) 666-676.

· Energy Engineering (Springer), 2017, 173-177.

· Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 48 (2017) 3702-3720.

· Materials Science and Engineering A, 698 (2017) 36-45.

· Materials & Design, 92 (2016) 200-212.