Uppugunduri Aswathanarayana obtained his BSc (Hons) in 1950, MSc (by research) in 1951, and DSc in 1955 from Andhra University, Waltair (now Visakhapatnam University). A pioneer of nuclear geology in India, he did post-doctoral research at Caltech, Pasadena (1957), and Oxford (1963). He served as Lecturer (1954-59), and Reader (1959-66) in Andhra University, Waltair, and Professor and Director of the Centre of Advanced Study in Geology/Dean, Faculty of Technology, University of Saugar, Sagar (1967-80). He was Visiting Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario (1966-67) and Professor, Department of Geology/Director, State Mining Corporation, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (1980-90), Between 1990 and 2001, he was Commonwealth Visiting Professor/Adviser on Environment and Technology, Government of Mozambique/World Bank Consultant, Maputo, Mozambique. He is the founder and honorary Director, Mahadavan International Centre for Water Resources Management, Hyderabad.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Aswathanarayana did pioneering research in the area of nuclear geology. He delineated the geochronology of peninsular India on the basis of the radiogenic isotopes of Pb, Sr and Ar. He used the radioactivity of rocks as a guide to ore to decipher the petrogeneis of rocks. His long stint in sub-saharan Africa (1980-2001) convinced him of the urgent need to refocus the applications of geosciences to human welfare. On the basis of geochemical and isotopic studies, he developed comprehensive models for the endemicity and mitigation of geo-environment related diseases, such as fluorosis, goiter and stomach cancer. He has more than 100 publications in international journals, and eight internationally published acclaimed books (principally by Taylor Francis, UK).
Other Contributions: Professor Awathanarayana has established the modern Geosciences Institute, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and oriented it to serve the needs of the mineral industry there. He promoted establishment of the Centre for Technology Transfer, Maputo, Mozambique, and got it linked to the UNESCO Centre for Trace element Research, Lyon, France. He founded the Mahadevan International Centre for Water Resource Management; this is now recognized as a part of the UNESCO-TWNSO Network.
Awards and Honours: Professor Aswathanarayana has received the Excellence in Geophysical Education award (2005), and the International Award (2007) of the American Geophysical Union in addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) of the International Association of Geo-Chemistry (IAGC), Cologne. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Science (Bangalore) and the Geological Society of India. He is a member of the AGU and IAGC, General Secretary, Geological Society of India, and Chairman, IAGC Working Group of Geo-Chemical Training in developing countries.