Padma Vibhushan Professor P. Rama Rao is the President of the Board of Governors and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Professor P. Rama Rao, presently Member, Atomic Energy Commission, Govt. of India, obtained his Ph.D. degree in Physics-Metallurgy from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, India in 1964. He was a post-doctoral research associate during 1966-67 at the University of Pennsylvania. He started his career as a faculty member of the Department of Metallurgy at, IISc in 1960 and then moved to BHU in 1962 as a Lecturer. He was appointed Professor of Physical Metallurgy at BHU in 1975, in which position he continued till 1982. For the next 9 years he served as Director, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad. In 1991 Professor Rao was appointed Secretary to Government of India, Department of Science and Technology, a position he held till 1995. Additionally, he held charge as Secretary, Department of Ocean Development. Subsequently, during 1996-99, he served as Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Government of India and as Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad during 1999-2002. He has recently been appointed a Member of the Atomic Energy Commission, Government of India.
The main research interests of Professor Rama Rao include Mechanical Behaviour of Materials, Alloy Development and X-ray diffraction from structural imperfections. Professor Rama Rao has nearly 200 technical publications, including journal papers, edited volumes and published conference proceedings, to his credit and he has served on the editorial boards of national and international journals.
He has been elected Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering (U.K.), Third World Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, India and Indian National Academy of Engineering. He was elected President, Indian Academy of Sciences, in 1995 for a three year term. Subsequently he was elected President, Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2001 for a two year term. He has been also General President, Indian Science Congress Association (1997-98), President Indian Institute of Metals (1990-91) and President Materials Research Society of India (1992-94). He was earlier President, International Congress on Fracture (1989-93) and more recently Vice-President, International Union of Materials Research Societies (2002-03).
He contributed to the setting up of the following institutions: The Heavy Alloy Penetrator Plant (HAPP), Tiruchirapally, (a manufacturing plant, the first full-fledged Ordnance Factory to come up in the country based on indigenous R & D), International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad, Non-Ferrous Materials Technology Development Centre (NFTDC), Hyderabad, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, Safety Research Institute, Kalpakkam and the Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi.
He is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (1979), the Platinum Medal of the Indian Institute of Metals (1994), the Tata Gold Medal (1992) and the Homi J. Bhabha Award for Applied Sciences (1986) and the Materials Science Prize of the Indian National Science Academy (1996). The Union Ministry of Steel gave him the honour of National Metallurgist in 1999. He was awarded a “Millennium Plaque of Honour” (2003) and Jawaharlal Birth Centenary Award (1999) by the Indian Science Congress Association. He received the Presidential honours Padma Shri in the year 1989 and Padma Bhushan in the year 2001. He has just been awarded “General Medal: The Meghnad Saha Medal 2004” by the Indian National Science Academy and the “Distinguished Life Membership” award (2004) by the American Society of Materials, ASM (International) (the first Indian to receive this honour in 50 years since inception of this award by ASM in 1954).