Homi Nusserwanji Sethna did his MSE (1946) from the University of Michigan. He received DSc (hc) from 13 universities and LLD (hc) from University of Bombay. He worked as Principal Secretary (1981-83), Secretary (1972-83), Government of India, and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (1981-83), Director (1966-72), Director of Engineering Group (till 1966), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.
Academic & Research Achievements: Sethna was responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of several national projects like the rare earths plant at Alwaye (1949), which marked the beginning of the exploitation of nuclear materials in India, thorium plant at Trombay and the plant for production of nuclear-grade uranium metal, 40 MW research reactor (CIRUS), plutonium plant at Trombay, and uranium mill at Jaduguda, Bihar.
Other Contributions: Sethna has served industry in various capacities as Chairman/Member/Trustee of a large number of governmental/non-governmental bodies. He served as Member, Study Team on Scientific Departments, Administrative Reforms Commission (1958), Scientific Advisory Committee of IAEA, UN Scientific Advisory Committee (1970), Scientific Advisory Committee to the Union Cabinet (1959-83), Governing Council of TIFR, Mumbai (1972-83); Chairman, Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd (1970-73), Board of Governors, IIT Bombay (1971-74), Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, consisting of Tata Memorial Hospital and Cancer Research Institute (1972-83), Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (1973-79), Indian Rare Earth Ltd (1974-78). He was Life Member of the Indian Academy of Sciences and Institution of Engineer (India); and Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Awards and Honours: Dr Sethna was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1960), University of Michigan’s Sesquicentennial Award (1967), Sir Walter Puckey Prize by Institution of Production Engineers (1971), Sir William Jones Memorial Medal by the Asiatic Society (1974), Sir Devaprasad Sarbadhikari Gold Medal by the University of Calcutta (1975), Durga Prasad Khaitan Medal by the Asiatic Society (1983), Vishwa Gurjari Award (1985), Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Prize (1985), Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Award (1989), Padma Shri (1959), Padma Bhushan (1966), and Padma Vibhushan (1975). He was elected President of the Indian Science Congress (1976) and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences; and Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.