February 7, 2009
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
Dr. P. Somasundaran is Director of the prestigious Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants at Columbia University, New York. He is also Director of the Langmuir Center for Colloids and Interfaces, another center for research at Columbia. A distinguished academician, Prof. Somasundaran will be at our Coimbatore Campus next week to teach a week-long course on Surface and Colloid Chemistry as part of the Indo-US expert lecture series.
“It is not very often that we have the privilege of attending a class taught by one who has enormous research experience in the subject,” stated Dr. Sriram, Senior Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences at Coimbatore. “Dr. Somasundaran is also known for his ability to relate to students of varying backgrounds. Most engineering students these days opt for careers in the IT field. I feel that his class may motivate some of our students to also consider opportunities in research-based and perhaps teaching careers,” he added.
Third and fourth year B Tech as well as M Tech students will attend the course. Some faculty members may participate as well. Dr. Somasundaran has taught earlier at Amrita; he was on our campuses briefly during both 2007 and 2008. In 2007, he was the Chief Guest at the Induction Program conducted by the Amrita School of Business for incoming students. Dr. Somasundaran is a popular teacher. A couple years ago, his former students from Columbia organized a symposium to celebrate his 60th birthday. The Columbia Alumni Association feted and honored him. (see rediff news article)
After the course, Dr. Somasundaran will travel to our health-care campus at Kochi to participate in the international Nano Bio conference being organized by the Amrita Center for Nanosciences. “Dr. Somasundaran is a leading scientist in the nano-bio area,” stated Dr. Shanti Nair, Dean (Research) and Convener of Nano Bio. “He has a large center grant from the National Science Foundation in the US to study the toxicity of nano particles and is planning to also work in the area of utilization of natural ayurvedic medicines in nano form.”
Dr. Somasundaran will present an invited paper at the conference as well as chair a workshop session. Known for his path-breaking research both in chemistry and nanotechnology, Dr. Somasundaran has several patents to his credit. He has authored over 500 scientific publications and 16 books. He will use one of these books — Introduction to Surface & Colloid Chemistry — for his class at Coimbatore. Dr. Somasundaran has taught at Columbia University for nearly four decades. We welcome him back to Amrita!