Original Link :

http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle/archives/2010/11/interview_with_39.php

We are pleased to publish interview with Dr. N. Eswara Prasad who is one of the leading metallurgist/scientist in our country. He is presently working as Scientist G and Regional Director, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (Materials), Hyderabad.

Dr. Prasad obtained his B. Tech (Metallurgical Engineering) in 1985 and PhD (Metallurgical Engineering) in 1993, both from our institute. He was Research Fellow (1998 & 1999) of Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and Visiting Scientist (1998 & 1999) at Max-Planck-Institute, Stuttgart, Germany.

Dr. N Eswara Prasad joined DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in 1985 and worked at Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, in the fields of Design, Development and Life Prediction of Structural Materials and Components for both ambient and elevated temperature applications till recently. Dr. Prasad has published nearly 100 technical papers, which include original and comprehensive research articles in peer-reviewed national and international journals.

Due to his exemplary research and development work on NON-FERROUS MATERIALS FOR INDIAN DEFENCE, he has been honoured with 2010 Metallurgist of the Year Award by Indian Institute of Metals. He received the Award on November 14, 2010 from Shri Virbhadra Singh, Minister of Steel, Government of India, at the award ceremony at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Yogesh K. Upadhyaya from Chronicle talks to Dr. N. Eswara Prasad about his scientific research career and awards.

Education of Dr. N. Eswara Prasad

*B. Tech. Metallurgical Engineering in 1985 from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

* Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1993 from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Q-1: Welcome Sir, congratulations for receiving Metallurgist of the Year Award.

Thank you, Yogesh. I am extremely delighted with this prestigious award – which was earlier received by my Teachers at Banaras, by my senior colleagues at DMRL and by many inspiring associates and renowned metallurgists of other national institutions. Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) is the one and only premier metallurgy body which unites the activities of all the metallurgists of this country and I am very happy that my journey in this body which started as student member from BHU in 1984 to the present status of Life Member and Member of Executive Body as the one of the Editors of Transactions of IIM, a Springer publication, has been so outstanding.

The principal reason for this award being conferred on me was due to my contributions of last 25 years, especially those of last 5 years in the research, design, development, production and certification of certain grades of aero materials for Indian Defence.

I am indeed very happy to share these memorable moments with you all.

Q-2: Please describe your college days

The days I spent at Sir C. R. Reddy College at Eluru, A.P., have triggered interest in engineering and technology. The experimental facilities that existed at this college at +2 level are not available in some of the present day engineering colleges. This has enabled me into developing skills in experimentation which were subsequently enhanced to a significant level when I took up my engineering studies at IT-BHU, Varanasi (and later at DMRL, Hyderabad). It is very difficult to describe various facets of my capability development at Banaras in words. I only wish to say that whatever I am today is just because of the basic engineering that I learnt from the Banaras faculty. The five years that I spent at Banaras have also honed my skills of expression, use of English language (till I joined Banaras, I studied in local Telugu medium in Andhra Pradesh) and finally, the ways and means to conduct an engineering experiment. I am happy to share with you that the first metallic glass ribbons of Fe-B by Planar Flow Casting for electric transformer applications was achieved by my batch in the fifth year project work in 1985 under the outstanding guidance of Professor G V S Sastry and Late Professor P Ramachandra Rao, Former Vice Chancellor, BHU.

I have also spent the first days and years of hostel life at Banaras which was full of fun as well as memorable experiences – starting with my difficulty in adjusting to Roti-Dal-Sabji diet to Bhojpuri Hindi without which I would have not completed my engineering at Banaras. Being a sports person, I enjoyed vast sports facilities at Banaras and fondly recall the national events during my stay such as intervarsity games in wrestling, tennis, basket ball (in which BHU were the champions) and athletics (BHU did not win a single medal). Out of all this I still remember the goal I scored in the finals of IT-Football Tournament directly from the corner. I can not single out a few friends but only wish to add that nearly hundred of my 400 strong batch (because ours being the last of five year batches and we had the company of first of four year batches) do remember me even today.

Q-3: Please tell us about your career as research scientist.

I started my research career in 1985, the year I passed out from Banaras at DMRL, DRDO. The work on Engineering Ceramics, the area that was specified by Dr. P Rama Rao, the then Director, DMRL, has continued to be my forefront research even today. In the time between 1985 – 2010, I had also worked on many other aspects of R&D on Structural Aluminum alloys, Metal matrix composites (especially the short fibre composites at Max-Planck Institute, Stuttgart, Germany), Intermetallics and their alloys and composites (through several outstanding national and international collaborations) and finally, the Continuous Fibre-reinforced, Ceramic-matrix Composites, shortly known as CFCCs for many critical defence applications.

Among many of these activities, there has been a significant component of outstanding basic research – which had brought me many a recognitions from time to time. All this allowed me to publish extensively and most of my published work has been acknowledged as the first reports in the international research. Apart from this, the recent contributions on the Airworthiness Certification have contributed to semi-commercial and commercial production of advanced materials and critical components for Indian Defence.

Q-4: Describe the structural properties of alloys and their composites. How these properties find use in fabrication of defense equipment.

The metals have outstanding properties such as good combinations of strength – toughness and fabricability with large process window. However, the modern structural demands are very severe and hence are the evolution of composites; and more recently the materials with enhanced structural and functional capabilities that can be achieved by select additions of micro- and nano-materials. On top of this, the defence equipment still needs more significant property enhancements and use of newer materials that should in a way not matched by the capabilities of enemy’s armament(s)’ capabilities. Such demand warrants the Defence Scientists to constantly work on cutting edge technologies and be in the forefront world’s R&D. Added to this, the DRDO also needs to contribute significantly in aiding the defence production so that the sub-systems and systems are in place for their ready use in Indian Defence Services.

Q-5: What will be the future for material research for the defense needs?

The future materials research and development principally lies in three different categories: (i) Structural materials such as High strength and high toughness steels, intermetallics based alloys of Titanium and Nickel for aero applications, aluminum alloys and composites with enhanced structural efficiency and finally newer materials such as tungsten, refractory metals and alloys: (ii) functional materials and nano-materials, the work on these materials is slowly maturing into component production and finally (iii) advance futuristic materials and their devices.

Fortunately, I spent a two year stint each at Max-Planck-Institute at Stuttgart, Germany and G-FAST, the think-tank group of DRDO at DRDO HQs, New Delhi. These two opportunities have provided me with ample scope to contribute innovatively for the development and production of materials and components for future in India in a significant manner. Some of these efforts have already been culminated into various R&D and production activities at national level.

Q-6: What advise will you give to any engineer interested in having a career as research scientist?

The present day technologies and their basic engineering have future only if such activities are amply and adequately supported by both basic and applied research of genuine originality. Such a requirement has paved way into numerous research initiatives in most of the advanced countries and sometimes forged into international collaborations of research and development, often leading to joint ventures of production. Now there exists a need and necessity as well as ample scope for outstanding research in each and every country globally and that much more scope in developing countries such as India.

The Indian efforts in research and career prospects are widely based from life sciences (various outstanding academic institutions, DRDO and CSIR) to advanced military applications (DRDO and Indian Defence) to sustained energy (NTPC and DAE), and finally to civilian applications (space-ISRO, and DST). Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, the research initiatives by private industries are limited to certain metallurgical and materials agencies such as Tata’s and many a medium and large pharmaceutical institutions apart from another few national initiatives in other industries. I only hope that such research gets enhanced to many more areas and India becomes leading research hub for the world to derive benefits from; rather than the fact that we Indians constantly look for directions from the east and west of the world.

JAIHIND.

Sir, it was nice talking to you.

Lastly I wish to congratulate Chronicle for keeping all of us well informed and for its excellent coverage of national events and finally, I wish the magazine many more successful years and decades and centuries of publishing”.

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Dr. N. Eswara Prasad can be contacted at: [email protected]

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Thank you, Yogesh. I am extremely delighted with this prestigious award – which was earlier received by my Teachers at Banaras, by my senior colleagues at DMRL and by many inspiring associates and renowned metallurgists of other national institutions. Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) is the one and only premier metallurgy body which unites the activities of all the metallurgists of this country and I am very happy that my journey in this body which started as student member from BHU in 1984 to the present status of Life Member and Member of Executive Body as the one of the Editors of Transactions of IIM, a Springer publication, has been so outstanding.

Some of the Products that were contributed by Dr. N Eswara Prasad:

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