Workshop Talk

A century of evolution of the science of metals and materials, what now and in the future?

Professor Palle Rama Rao

December 15, 2008, 2.15PM - 5.15PM

Materials science is relatively a new interdisciplinary science. While the beginnings of the field were driven by chemistry, physics influenced its subsequent development. More recently materials science has drawn upon chemistry, physics and biology, often in combination. The discipline acquired an identity as it gained understanding of how materials properties are influenced by the underlying structure and how materials processing can be managed to impart the designed structure. All of these in conjunction yield the required performance of materials in service.

The talk will trace the pathbreaking discoveries at various stages of evolution of the field as also the development of tools for observation and manipulation of the internal structure of materials as needed. Attention will be drawn to gaps in knowledge notwithstanding the phenomenal developments in the field and discuss what may determine the future course of the subject.

The last part of the talk will sketch in brief the status of Indian work and emphasize the missing aspects which must be addressed in order for major materials-based programmes to be pursued in a more wholesome fashion.

About the Speaker

Prof. Palle Rama Rao has been a teacher at Banaras Hindu University for nearly two decades. Subsequently he was Director, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory and then Secretary to Government of India, Department of Science and Technology. Thereafter he was Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad and ISRO Dr. Brahm Prakash Distinguished Professor. All through his professional career his research interests were centered on metallic behaviour and alloy development.