Dilip Bhawalkar obtained his BSc (1959) and MSc (Physics) (1961) from Sagar University, after which he earned a Masters in Electronics (1963) and PhD in Lasers Physics (1966) from Southampton University. He joined Southampton as a Lecturer but returned to Indian to join the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1967. He headed the Laser Division, a BARC, the largest R&D programme on lasers and their applications in India. When Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) decided to establish a new research centre for R&D in particle accelerators, lasers, etc., he was appointed as its first Director (1987). After retirement (2003) he established Quantalase Enterprises Pvt Ltd to manufacture lasers and laser- based instruments for R&D and continues to be a Director of that company.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Bhawalkar taught post-graduate courses on lasers at Southampton University for about two years. At BARC he taught a laser course to the Physics Trainees of the post-graduate Training School of BARC for several years. He initiated programmes to develop and study important lasers and their applications, and demonstrated a novel method of measuring very weak lensing in gases by using a Gaussian laser beam. This technique has been used by others for Opto-Thermal Spectroscopy. He developed an Nd Glass laser chain to give 10 GW of pulsed power. This laser was used for many experiments on laser-produced plasmas. At the Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT), he initiated programmes on laser applications in Biology and Medicine. Dr Bhawalkar started a prototype production activity, which supplied more than fifty lasers to DAE units, R&D labs and industry. He was also involved in the accelerator programmes at CAT, which included development of India's first Synchrotron Radiation Source INDUS 1 and industrial and medical accelerators. He has published more than 80 papers in reputed journals and has guided sixteen PhD students as well as two students of Southampton University for their Masters Theses.
Other Contributions: Bhawalkar was deeply involved in the establishment of the Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT) at Indore, which is a world-class laboratory for particle accelerators and lasers. He initiated a National Laser Programme (1990), which gave a boost to laser R&D in India. Dr Bhawalkar was Coordinator for the DAE-CERN collaboration in LHC under which DAE has contributed substantially to LHC; a member of the Asian Committee for Future Accelerators (ACFA) (1996-99); and Chairman, ACFA (2003-04). He was a member of the International Committee for Fytyre Accelerators (2003-04); a member of the Steering Committee for International Linear Collider; and also the Coordinator for the areas of laser science and technology and accelerators and their applications under the 'Integrated Long Term Programme of Cooperation' between India and Russia (1987-2003).
Awards and Honours: Dr Bhawalkar received the SS Bhatnagar Award (1984), UGC National Lecturer (1984), Goyal Award for Physics (1997) and Firodia Award (2000). He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India (2000). He was elected a Fellow of Indian Academy of Science, Banglaore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Optical Society of America; and a Foreign Fellow of Russian Academy for Natural Sciences.