Dr. Baldev Raj

9 April 1947 – 6 January 2018

Dr. Baldev Raj was Director of the Institute from 2nd September 2014 until his untimely passing on 6th January 2018. Humanist, patriot, inspiring leader, Dr. Raj had a special talent for bringing academia, industry and government together. Much loved by students and faculty alike, Dr. Raj’s smiling visage and outgoing personality will long be remembered on the NIAS campus, despite his tenure of just three years. Dr. Raj received his Bachelors Degree in Engineering from Government Engineering College, Raipur, and his PhD from IISc., Bangalore. He served as Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Chennai, where apart from his research work, he also organised training camps for young engineers and scientists. He was also President of Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). He fostered extensive research in metallurgy and was deeply interested in India’s rich cultural and historical heritage. He provided unique interpretations and solutions to challenges in energy, water, healthcare, manufacturing and national strategic unsolvables. He was acclaimed for his contributions to Science and Technology of Measurements and Sodium Fast Reactors and Associated Fuel Cycle.

Dr. Baldev Raj’s contribution to the growth of the Institute is immeasureable. During his tenure, in the first instance of Corporate Social Responsibility support for the Institute, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) provided a major grant towards the Institute’s research activities. This financial support has also been utilised to create infrastructure to house NIAS’s faculty, students and visiting scholars. His tenure also saw an international meeting involving the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Young Scientists, with a Bangalore Conclave 2016 being held at NIAS. This initiative has led to India establishing a leadership role for young scientists from the BRICS countries. Dr. Baldev Raj’s keen interest in traditional artists’ workshops also led to week-long workshops in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) and the Bhopal National Museum of Mankind and an exhibition of Kerala mural painting titled “Panchavarnam” in February 2015. Many thematic art pieces created during the exhibition is now displayed in the NIAS campus. Dr Raj's efforts resulted in campus improvement,relaunch of the NIAS website with a new design and a facelift for the library entrance.


Dr. Baldev Raj was a Fellow of all four academies of Science and Engineering in India. His awards include the Homi Bhabha Gold Medal, the National Metallurgist Award by Ministry of Steel, the H K Firodia, Distinguished Materials Science Award, and the prestigious Padma Shri. He was also a member of the Circle of Advisors, Cambridge University, and of the Search Group for the Queen Elizabeth Prize in Engineering.

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