Prof. R. Vasudevan Gold Medal for the M. Tech. (Nanoscience and Engineering) programme at the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) has been instituted by the family of Mrs. Rukimini Ammal through an endowment to IISc.

Mrs. Rukimini Ammal was passionate about education, literacy and scientific research and firmly believed in empowering women through education and impactful careers.

About Prof. R. Vasudevan:

Ramaswami Vasudevan was born on 6th May 1935 in Madras (now called Chennai).

He graduated from the Madras Christian College obtaining his M.A.(Physics) in 1955. He then took his M.Sc. (Physics) with specialization in X-Ray Crystallography from the Madras University and was a direct student of the celebrated bio-physicist, Professor G.N. Ramachandran. He then joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore from where he secured his D.I.I.Sc.(Metallurgy) in 1959.

He was offered the Lecturer’s post right at the commencement of the IIT Madras in 1959 and deputed to West Germany for undergoing advanced technological training. During the pursuit of this training sponsored by the DAAD at the Technical University of Aachen, he carried out research on Stacking Faults and their effect on work hardening of austenitic Fe-Cr-Mn steels and was awarded the degree of Dr.-Ing. (Ph.D.) in Metallurgical Engineering by the University.

He returned to India in 1963 and took up the Lecturer’s position at IIT Madras. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1965, then to Associate Professor in 1969 and to a Full Professorship in 1972. He was appointed as Head of the Department during the period 1975-1977. He was Head of the Central X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory set up with a generous grant of the German Government until his retirement in 1995. He was appointed Head of the Materials Science Research Centre during 1980-81.

He was a member of the Senate from 1969-1995, member of the Board of Governors of IIT Madras during 1986-88.

Prof. Vasudevan has been abroad several times as a visiting scientist and Professor. He was awarded the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship in 1968 for carrying out research work at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart in Germany. During this period, he had the opportunity to meet the celebrated physicist, Prof. Werner Heisenberg (then the president of the Humboldt Foundation) and talk to him. He was awarded the Max Planck Society Senior Research Fellowship in 1977 where he did research work at the Max Planck Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy Research in Duesseldorf. He visited Bonn in 1982-83 where he carried out research at the Institute for Industrial Refractories. He visited the erstwhile USSR as a member of the Government of India delegation in 1984 for identifying areas of collaborative research work between the two countries. He was a visiting professor and scientist at the University of Twente in Holland during 1987 and 1989 at the Centre for Advanced Physical Metallurgy.

Prof. Vasudevan is the recipient of several awards. The NRDC awarded him a certificate of Merit during the Republic Day Awards in 1986 for the invention and development of a unique thermocouple welding gadget based on the principle of electrolytic heating. The Indian Society for Technical Education conferred upon him the Anna University National Award for Outstanding Academic in 1992. The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) awarded him the DAAD seminar prize in 1993 for the best poster presentation among DAAD scholars for research work carried out in India. The Kerala State Engineering Design award was given thrice to his students for their outstanding research projects.

Prof. Vasudevan is an invited member of the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD) in the USA. He was elected as a Fellow of the Institution of Metallurgists London in 1978 (since discontinued). He is a Life Member of the Indian Society for Technical Education. He has guided about twenty Ph.D. and M.S. Research scholars and has about 120 papers in technical journals and conference proceedings.

He retired in 1995 from service but was an Emeritus Professor for two more years under an AICTE award, also at the IIT Madras.