Prof. K.C. James Raju and Prof. Surajit Dhara faculty members from the School of Physics, University of Hyderabad (UoH), have been adjudged the best entry for 7th Visitor’s (President of India) Awards, 2021 under the category Visitor’s Award for Technology Development and Visitor’s Award for Research (Physical Sciences) respectively. This is the first time two of UoH Professors are selected for this award in the same year. Earlier one faculty each were awarded in 2018 and 2020.
Reacting to the awards, Prof. B J Rao, Vice-Chancellor of the University said, “It’s a historic moment for all of us. This is the first time that two visitor’s awards have been given to UoH faculty and that too from the School of Physics. I congratulate our Professors and believe that their achievements will be a source of inspiration for all faculty, researchers and students. Best wishes for more laurels.”
Prof. K.C. James Raju Prof. Surajit Dhara
Prof. Raju obtained his Ph.D from IIT, Madras, winning the “Best Thesis” Award in the process. As a part of his Ph.D, he developed Microwave Dielectric Resonators for DRDO. He joined the University in 1996, becoming the first faculty of the Electronics Program of the School of Physics. The Electronics Program was later developed into CASEST in 2014 under the School of Physics. He also received the prestigious Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National Fellowship, from the Indian Academy of Engineering for the year 2021-22.
Prof. Raju has worked in the interface between Solid State Physics and Microwave Electronics, and the Electronics Centre in the Physics School facilitated the interdisciplinary approach – his work required involvement of students from both Physics and Electronics – that eventually produced the work that brought this recognition. “Prof.James Raju is recognized for his work with ferroelectric thin films. He developed tunable microwave devices like varactors and resonators with these thin films”.
Dr. Dhara obtained his PhD from Raman Research Institute Bangalore. Previously he received several awards like Swarnajayanti Fellowship of DST, N S Satya Murthy memorial award for young scientists by Indian Physics Association, Michi-Nakata prize for early career achievement of International Liquid Crystal Society. He has carried out inventive research and made outstanding contributions in emerging and diverse areas of Liquid Crystal science and technology spanning – colloids with tunable interaction and controlled assembly in liquid crystals; topological colloids with 2-dimensional motility and tunable direction of motion; development of liquid crystal droplet based tunable microresonators and microlasers. He was selected for the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology in 2020.
While expressing happiness over the news honour on him, Dr. Dhara hoped that his fundamental contribution to the field will be helpful in understanding and designing programmable materials which are important for new technologies.
The President of India who is the Visitor of the Central Universities, annually confers Visitor’s Awards to promote healthy competition amongst Central Universities and motivate them to adopt best practices from around the world in pursuit of excellence.