Rajinder Kumar obtained his BSc (Hons) and MSc (Technical) from Panjab University, pursuing studies at Delhi Polytechnic, Delhi. He obtained his PhD also from Panjab University although his research work was carried out in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, under the supervision of E Weingaertner and RL Datta. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, IISc as a Junior Research Assistant (1958), became a Lecturer (1963), Assistant Professor (1967) and Professor (1970). He was the Divisional Chairman and Dean, and retired in 1995. At present, he is an Honorary Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Kumar's major area of research has been multiphase phenomena. He jointly developed a model of bubble formation from single submerged nozzles, which not only quantitatively explained all the discrepancies present in the experimental data, but also could be easily extended to both drop formation and some more complex industrially relevant distributors. Along with his students and collaborators, he developed a series of models on drop breakage and coalescence in stirred dispersions corresponding to variety of systems and operating ranges of parameters. The significant research contributions of his group are Prediction of performance of foam bed contactors for a variety of reacting systems by taking the idealised structure of foam into account, development of models for foam drainage under both static and dynamic conditions, prediction of performance of a batch sonochemical reactor where the process of cavitation plays a major role, prediction of rates of reactions involving reverse miscelles which could freely coalesce and redisperse, and the prediction of the rates of both gas-liquid and liquid-liquid reactions along with precipitation.
Other Contributions: Professor Kumar was intimately involved in the growth of science applications and scientific organizations both at operational and policy levels. In addition to being Member of the Governing Body and Society of CSIR. He has been on committees of the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Digital Research Centre, National Innovation Foundation.
Awards and Honours: Professor Kumar is a recipient of SS Bhatnagar Prize (1976), Herdilia Award of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineering (IIChE) (1985), VASVIK Award (1986), Syed Hussain Zaheer Medal of INSA (1989), Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1991), FICCI Award (1994), SS Bhatnagar Medal by INSA (1997), Padma Bhusan (2003), and Lifetime Achievement Award of IIChE (2008) and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Visiting Fellowship of INSA (1995). He is a Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Indian National Academy of Engineering, Delhi; Member, Council (1990) and Vice-President of INSA (1991-92).