Surjit Singh did his PhD (1967) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He worked as Professor and Head, Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre; Dean, Academic (Courses), IIT Madras; AVH Fellow; and also Visiting Professor (DFG) at Uni-Siegen, Germany.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Singh’s mastery was over molecular spectroscopy. He carried out world-class research in both theoretical and experimental aspects of vibrational spectroscopy, infrared band intensities, force fields, overtone spectroscopy, solute-solvent interactions, weak and strong hydrogen bonds, solvation dynamics and the structure of water. He used spectroscopic techniques to quantify dipole-dipole interactions of organic compounds with the help of some of his coworkers. Values of equilibrium constants for various solute-solvent were determined on the systems basis of electronic spectral intensity variations, infrared spectral band shifts and NMR chemical shifts of solutes in binary solvent mixtures. Singh did experimental studies involving Raman Spectroscopy, going away from its complimentary techniques of IR spectroscopy to probe the structures of liquid DMSO, acetonitrile and water and their interactions with other polar organic compounds and electrolytes. Other interesting works of Professor Singh pertain to his analysis of conformers in potential energy distributions for molecules such as nitromethane with different isotopes of nitrogen and hydrogen, complexes of nitromethane with cations and anions, variations in stretching force constants for linear and cyclic dimmers and ion molecular complexes.
Other Contributions: Singh served as Member, Board of Governors, Pondicherry Engineering College; and Chairman, Management Committee, KVIIT, Chennai. He was on the Editorial Board of Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Awards and Honours: Professor Singh was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.