IIT Gandhinagar

Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Seminar Series

Former Director : National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Former Director : National Aeronautical Laboratory, Bangalore.

Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of National Academy of Sciences (USA) and National Academy of Engineering (USA)

Padma Vibhushan : (Government of India).


Professor Roddam Narasimha holds a PhD from the California Institute of Technology where he worked with Professor Hans Liepmann, and a Masters from Indian Institute of Science where he worked with Professor Satish Dhawan. He joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in 1962 and was associated with the Department of Aerospace Engineering in various capacities from that date till 1999. In 1982, he founded the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, which he headed till 1989. He was the Director of the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) from 1984 till 1993. He was the Clark B Millikan Visiting Professor and Sherman Fairchild distinguished scholar at Caltech, and the Jawaharlal Nehru professor of Engineering at Cambridge University. He had also held visiting positions at NASA Langley, University of Strathclyde, University of Brussels, and Adelaide University. From 1990 to 1994 he was Indian National Science Academy Golden Jubilee Research Professor, and from 1994 to 1999 the ISRO K. R. Ramanathan distinguished Professor at IISc and Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientifc Research (JNCASR). He was the Director of the National Institute for Advance Sciences during 1997-2004.


Narasimha’s research has been chiefly concerned with Aerospace Fluid Dynamics and certain related problems in the atmosphere. He has made extensive studies of transitions between laminar and turbulent flow, the structure of shock waves, various characteristics of fully developed turbulent flow fields, the fluid dynamics of clouds, near-surface temperature distributions and eddy fluxes in atmospheric boundary layers. He continues to be closely associated with Aerospace technology development in India at both technical and policy-making levels. He is the author of more than 200 research publications and fifteen books.


As Director of National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) he initiated and oversaw several major technological programs. He served on the Board of Directors of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for several years. As a member of Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council he was instrumental in establishing a major parallel computing initiative in the country. He was the President of the Indian Academy of Sciences during 1992 till 1994 and spearheaded a new program on university education in science, leading to the establishment of the science journal Resonance and other Academy programs involving teachers and students. He has served on the National Security Advisory Board and the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. He was a member of the Space Commission, and co-chairs the Joint Steering Committee and the Joint Scientific Working Group for the Indo-French atmospheric research satellite Megha-Tropiques.


As Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies(NIAS), Narasimha initiated a series of major dialogues on International Security issues with the US National Academy of Sciences and other bodies, and pursued his interests in the history of science and technology.


Professor Narasimha has been widely honoured for his research work as well as his scientific leadership. In 2008 he was awarded the Trieste Science Prize by TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a Foreign Associate of both the US National Academy of Engineering and the US National Academy of Sciences. He is also an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In India his distinctions include the Bhatnagar Prize, the Gujarmal Modi Award and the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honor accorded by the Government. He is a Fellow of all the National Academies of Science and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of both Caltech and IISc.