Nanduri Atchuta Ramaiah obtained MSc and PhD degrees from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) while working on the origin of triggering electrons for electric discharge in electrode-less ozone tubes. His mechanism for the origin of triggering electrons resulted in spontaneous invitation for participation in the first International Ozone Conference (1956). He worked as Faculty Member (Chemistry) at BHU and Delhi universities, then joined the Central Government Services (1956), worked as Professor of Physical Chemistry in the National Sugar Institute (NSI), Kanpur, Secretary of the Sugar Industry Enquiry Commission set up by the Central Government (1969-74), and Director, NSI (1974-81). After retirement (1981), he established the Deccan Sugar Institute (now Vasant Dada Sugar Institute, VSI), Pune and worked as its founder Director.
Academic and Research Achievements: His research work at NSI and VSI related mainly to elucidation of physicochemical reactions involved in clarification of cane juice so that it could be used for the manufacture of commercial crystal sugar. His researches led to improvement in the quality of sugar contributing immensely to increased financial returns to sugar factories. He developed a number of analytical methods for sugar house products which were adopted by the sugar industry all over the world. He enumerated quantitatively the technical efficiency factors relating to the operation of sugar factories, which helped commendably the efficiency of process techniques in sugar factories. He authored 325 research papers, trained many students for working in the sugar industry, including 23 to obtain their PhD degrees.
Other Contributions: Dr Ramaiah worked as Honorary Director on the Board of Directors of World Sugar Research Organization, London (1981-85) and contributed to finalizing research projects for improvement of performance of sugar factories in different countries.As Chairman of the Committee constituted by ICAR, he worked out the detailed procedure to manufacture ethanol directly from cane, and advocated that ethanol manufactured on large scale in high capacity cane-based ethanol units, can be effectively used as automobile fuel. He is Life Member of Indian Chemical Society and the Sugar Technologists' Association of India.
Awards and Honours: Dr Ramaiah was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Memorial Award for Research for the Development of Indian Sugar industry (1970), and Noel Deer Gold Medal and the Life Time Achievement Award by All India Sugar Technologists Association (2005). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Institutes of Chemistry, London, and Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.