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Prof Subbarao is internationally recognized for his pioneering work on Ferroelectrics and Zirconia Ceramics. His pathbreaking work on Barium Titanate in the early fifties and his research on ionic conductivity in zirconia in the sixties are considered seminal contributions in the field. As the first Dean of Faculty at IIT Kanpur, Prof Subbarao helped Prof Kelkar, the founding Director, in setting up and nurturing this premier institute of technology in India in its formative years. As the founding Director of the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (established as a division of Tata Consultancy Services), under the guidance of Mr. JRD Tata and Mr. F C Kohli, he created a high-quality industrial research centre, dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the industry.
Prof Subbarao is rightly considered the father of materials science and engineering education, academic and industrial research and innovation in India. As the founding member of three organizations, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Electronics (DOE) and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), he helped in nurturing the national S&T infrastructure in India.
Prof Subbarao was recently awarded the INAE Life Time Contribution Award in Engineering 2019 for pioneering contributions to ferroelectrics and zirconia ceramics and leadership in nurturing two world class institutions – IIT Kanpur (higher education) and TRDDC (industrial research). He was felicitated during the INAE Annual Convention held in Jaipur held on 13 Dec 2019.
Prof. Subbarao celebrated his 90th birthday last year. In his honor, Indian Institute of Metals has published a special issue titled "Special Topics in Advanced Materials Engineering". Dr. R A Mashelkar formally released the special issue on Jan 3, 2020 in Pune.
Professor Subbarao being honoured with the prestigious INAE Lifetime Contribution Award
Release of a Special Issue of the Transactions, Indian Institute of Metals, on the theme “Special Topics in Advanced Materials Engineering”, published by Springer in honour of Professor Subbarao’s 90th birthday