Bal Raj Nijhawan obtained BSc (Metallurgy) from Banaras Hindu University (1936) and Doctorate (Metallurgy) (1941) from the University of Sheffield, England. After returning to India, he worked in a defence establishment; then joined the newly established National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML) at Jamshedpur and became its first Indian Director; later moved to United Nations Industrial Development Organization as Senior Industrial Adviser/Consultant and worked there for 28 years.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Nijhawan, an outstanding engineer and technologist, an eminent researcher and an able administrator, rendered invaluable and magnificent service to the metallurgical industries all over the world. He has pioneered research and development work on armour plate technology, armour failures and control of austenitic grain size of steels, all related to the defence needs of our country. He has also been responsible for research and development of production technologies of alloy steels from indigenous raw materials including the world acclaimed nickel-free austenitic stainless steels. He has nearly 500 publications to his credit and holds several patents. He has authored a book on Austenitic Grain Size of Steels and edited a monograph on Production of Iron and Steel and High Quality Product Mix: Technological Innovations (American Society of Metals, 1992). He has prepared numerous special reports for the US steel industry and United Nations.
Other Contributions: As an outstanding leader in the metallurgical profession, Nijhawan was responsible for establishment of 25 internationally renowned Centres of Metallurgical Engineering and several mineral and metallurgical R&D replica watches centres in many developing countries, through UNIDO. Nijhawan was honoured with Life Membership of American Society of Materials and Senior Membership of the Iron and Steel Society of USA.
Awards and Honours: Dr Nijhawan was conferred the prestigious SS Bhatnagar Prize for Engineering Sciences (1964), Padmashri (1958), Honorary Membership and Gold Medal of the Japanese Iron and Steel Institute, Award by the Yugoslavian Government (1980), International Award by the Polish Government (1986), Award of Honour and Gold Medal by the Government of Czechoslovakia (1989), Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University (1973), and Fellowship by American Society of Metals (1988) in recognition of his Meritorious and Outstanding Services to the Developing Countries in Metallurgical Research and Establishment of Industries. Dr Nijhawan is also a Fellow of the Institute of Metallurgists, London, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Honorary Vice President, British Iron & Steel Institute (UK); and Member, d' Honneur, Society Francoise de Metallurgies, Paris, France.
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