March 5, 2018

OBITUARY - Dr Baldev Raj

9 April 1947- 6 Jan 2018

Dr Baldev Raj, Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies, (NIAS) Bengaluru and former Director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, sadly passed away on the morning of 6 Jan 2018 in Pune, India, where he had gone to attend a meeting at the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET).

The vast contribution of Baldev Raj to the Indian Fast Breeder Programme in general and to non-destructive testing, radio-metallurgy, strategic materials and materials science are well known and documented.

Dr Baldev Raj was selected for many eminent positions, as evidenced by awards, fellowships of all the four academies of Sciences and Engineering in India, the International Nuclear Energy Academy, Institute of Directors, Indian Academy of Social Sciences, Academy of NDT International, American Society of Metals, the German Academy of Science, The World Academy of Sciences and several others. He was Honorary Fellow of International Medical Sciences Academy, Indian Institute of Metals, Indian Society of NDT, Indian Institute of Welding, and the International Institute of Welding (IIW), where he was Vice President from 2009 to 2012.

Dr Baldev Raj was President of the World Conference of NDT in 1996 when it was held in New Delhi, India and he was made an Honorary Member of the International Committee for NDT (ICNDT) in the same year. He was awarded the ICNDT Sokolov Award for major contribution to NDT research in 2004. He was a member of the British Institute of NDT (BINDT) since 1988 and was appointed Honorary Fellow in 1993.

With about 500 plenary, keynote, invited speeches, numerous papers published and membership of some of the most eminent committees, councils and bodies in India and more than 30 countries worldwide, Dr Baldev Raj steered several large high-impact collaborative programmes with almost all important countries in the world.

Dr Baldev Raj's contributions to science policy and science diplomacy are recognised worldwide. He was honoured with the Homi Bhabha Gold Medal; H K Firodia Award; Om Prakash Bhasin Award; Vasvik Award, National Metallurgist Award; Lifetime Achievement Award of Indian Nuclear Society, Distinguished Material Scientist Award; Padma Shri; Distinguished Alumni of Indian Institute of Science, among many other distinct honours.

Prof Baldev Raj had a passion for interacting with students and young professionals for mutual inspirations and service to society.

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr Baldev Raj.