Srikumar Banerjee obtained the BTech in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur (1967), the same year that he joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai as a Scientific Officer in the Metallurgy Division. Subsequently, he obtained his PhD also from the IIT, Kharagpur, and became Head, Metallurgy Division, and the Associate Director, Materials Group. Since 2004, he has been the Director, BARC. He has held visiting positions at University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (1978-79), Max-Planck Institut for Metallforschung-Institute fur Physik, Stuttgart, Germany (1979-80), and University of Cincinnati, USA (1992), The Ohio State University, and Forschungszentrum, Juelich, Germany.
Academic and Research Achievements: Banerjee's thesis was on Martensitic Transformation in Zirconium Alloys. He has taught Physical Metallurgy, Materials Characterization and Mechanical Behaviour of Materials in the BARC Training School, and has supervised 10 scientists for the Ph D degree. His studies on phase transformation in zirconium alloys cover a spectrum of solid-state transformations, including crystallography of martensitic transformations, thermodynamic prediction of metastable phase reactions, mechanisms of hybrid displacive and replacive transitions; interstitial ordering, vitrification and crystallization. He employed rapid solidification, radiation damage and shock pressure techniques to study phase transformations under conditions far from equilibrium. He has shown that several first-order phase transformations can occur through the formation and subsequent amplification of fluctuations in terms of concentration waves, displacement waves and their combinations providing description of the early stage of the nucleation process. He has established stability domains of the order-disorder phases under irradiation. His book 'Phase Transformations: Examples taken from Titanium and Zirconium Alloys' is a comprehensive treatise on the subject.
Other Contributions: Dr Banerjee has set up an internationally recognized research group on Phase Transformation at BARC. As Director, BARC, he organizes research in Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Design of Innovative Reactors, Applications of Radiation and Isotope Technology in Agriculture, Health Care, and Food Preservation and Industry. He has also served on the INSA Council (2005-07).
Awards and Honours: Dr Banerjee is a recipient of: INSA Young Scientist Medal (1976); National Metallurgists' Day award (1981); SS Bhatnagar Prize in Engg. Sciences (1989); Materials Research Society of India (MRSI) Medal (1990); GD Birla Gold Medal of the Indian Institute of Metals (1997); INSA Prize for Materials Science (2001); MRSI Superconductivity and Materials Science Prize (2003); Indian Nuclear Society Award (2003); Padma Shri (2005); MRSI Distinguished Materials Scientist of the Year Award (2008); Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT, Kharagpur (2005), and Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Burdwan University (2005). Notable international awards received by him are: Acta Metallurgica Outstanding Paper Award (1984) and Humboldt Research Prize (2004). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Banglaore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Maharashtra Academy of Sciences (MASc) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).