Ajay Shrinivas Divatia earned his PhD (1955), University of Wisconsin, USA with a specialization on nuclear physics and vacuum physics. He was appointed the Head of the Van de Graaff Section (1962), Charged Particle Reaction Section (1965), Van de Graaff Laboratory (1972) at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. He became the Project Manager, Variable Energy Cyclotron Project (1973-81), Project Director (1981-83), Director (1983), Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Divatia developed the first continuously operating getter-ion pump for producing ultra-high vacua, various systems of electrostatic accelerators and did some of the earliest work on Coulomb excitation of nuclei; installed the 400 keV TIFR Van de Graaff accelerator, the 5.5 MeV BARC Van de Graaff accelerator, and carried out high resolution study of charged particle reactions while at BARC, installed and commissioned the 224 cm variable energy cyclotron at Kolkata, built completely with indigenous know- how, and operating as a national facility.
Other Contributions: Member, International Nuclear Data Committee of IAEA (1963-73).
Awards and Honours: Ajay Shrinivas Divatia was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Gujarat Science Academy as well as Life Member, Indian Physics Association, Indian Physical Society, and Indian Vacuum Society and a Member of American Physical Society.