Brahm Prakash obtained his ScD degree (1949) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. His specialization was in Metallurgical Engineering. He was Professor and Head, Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1951-57); Director, Metallurgy Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay (1957-72); and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum (1972-79).
Academic and Research Achievements: Brahm Prakash was a pioneer in R&D of nuclear metals and materials. He developed an indigenous and self-reliant base for extraction of rare metals. His pioneering investigations (with CV Sundaram) led to the development of two processes: (i) selective vapour phase dechlorination of ziroconium tetrachloride to form low hafnium zirconium oxide; and (ii) selective reduction of zirconium tetrachloride with aluminium to form nonvolatile ziroconium tri- and dichlorides. This led to the establishment of full-scale facilities for zirconium metal production. He was largely responsible for the establishment of a natural uranium fuel fabrication facility for CIRUS research reactor in 1959. Later, a fuel fabrication plant was set up at Hyderabad for nuclear power reactors again a substantial contribution. This included production from raw concentrates of Ziracaloy-2 fuel tube, pressure tubes and calandria tubes for the fabrication of natural and enriched fuel. As Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Brahm Prakash contributed significantly to two major projects of ISRO: Rohini Sounding Rockets and Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3).
Other Contributions: Brahm Prakash served as a Member of INSA Council (197-72, 1981-83).
Awards and Honours: Brahm Prakash was a recipient of Padma Shri (1961); Padma Bhushan (1968); Vasvik Award (1976); SS Bhatnagar Medal of INSA (1979); NP Gandhi Memorial Lectureship (1981); and Bralco Gold Medal of Indian Institute of Metals (1982). He was a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Honorary Member of Indian Institute of Metals (President, 1970-72) and Aeronautical Society of India.
Indian National Science Academy has instituted 'Professor Brahm Prakash Memorial Award' in his memory.