Setharampattu Seshaiyer Krishnamurthy earned his BSc and MSc degrees with first rank from Madras University, after which he joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore where he worked on Structural Chemistry under the supervision of Professor S Soundararajan to obtain his PhD degree (1968). He then studied and worked in UK (1969-72) at the University of Sussex and Birkbeck College. On returning to India, Krishnamurthy joined the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, IISc, Bangalore where he initiated research programme in main group and organometallic chemistry. He became a Professor in 1984. Currently he is an INSA Senior Scientist at IISc.
Academic and Research Achievements: Krishnamurthy has contributed significantly to the chemistry of cyclic, linear and polymeric phosphorus-nitrogen compounds and transition metal organometallics of novel phosphorus ligands. The highlights of the work are: the uncovering of a novel P4N5 bicyclic system; observation of ring-contraction-cum-rearrangement in a six-membered cyclic P-N system; and the formulation of a unified mechanistic model to explain regio- and stereo-selectivity in cyclophosphazene chemistry. Structural data on a myriad range of P-N compounds have provided new insights into the nature of the P-N bond. His recent research is focused on (allyl) Pd complexes of "P-N-P" ligands and transition metal chemistry of phosphorus functionalized calixarenes. Krishnamurthy has brought about a successful symbiosis of inorganic heteroatom chemistry, phosphorus chemistry and organometallic chemistry. He has published over 150 research articles and three book chapters. He has mentored a large number of students, including 31 PhDs.
Other Contributions: Krishnamurthy served as Chairman of the Department of Inorganic & Physical Chemistry (1988-94) and Chairman of the Division of Chemical Sciences, IISc (1996-2003). He was a member of International Advisory Committees for IUPAC symposia on phosphorus chemistry and inorganic ring systems. Krishnamurthy served on the Editorial Boards of several international journals and is, at present, Editor of Journal of Chemical Sciences published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.
Awards and Honours: Professor Krishnamurthy was conferred on Science and Engineering Research Council (DST) Lectureship (1991-92) and held Amrut Mody Chair, IISc (1995-98). He is a recipient of AV Rama Rao Foundation Prize Lecture Award (2000); Alumni Award of Excellence in Science, IISc (2001) and Silver Medal of Chemical Research Society of India (2002) and S Swaminathan 60th Birthday Commemoration Lecture Award of INSA (2006). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the Royal Society of Chemistry, London.