M Lakshmanan earned his BSc from NGM College, Pollachi and MSc from Madras Christian College. He carried out his doctoral research in nonlinear dynamics at the Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras (1970-74) under the supervision of PM Mathews. He then spent a year at the University of Tuebingen, as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation post-doctoral Fellow and another year at Eindhoven University. He was a Royal Society Nuffield Foundation Fellow at University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology (1979-80); Visiting Guest Scientist, University of Uppasala (1981); and JSPS Fellow at Kyoto University (1984-85). He has also held several short-term Visiting positions in many countries from time to time. Lakshmanan joined the Department of Physics, Bharathidasan University (then Autonomous Postgraduate Centre of University of Madras), Tiruchirapalli (1978) as a Reader He became Professor (1984) and served as Head of the Department of Physics (1992-2006), when he was made Professor of Eminence.
Academic and Research Achievements: Lakshmanan has intensive research activities in nonlinear dynamics and theoretical physics including the fields of solitons, integrable systems, bifurcations and chaos and their applications. His identification of magnetic solitons in ferromagnetic systems, invention of the simplest dissipative chaotic circuit along with Murali and Chua (MLC circuit) and his demonstration on the energy sharing collision of optical solitons in multimode fibres, and many other novel results, have enriched the subject and made a mark in the field. A thriving school of young research workers under his leadership started working on different areas of non-linear dynamics. He has published more than 300 research articles and wrote/edited several books on non-linear dynamics. He has mentored 25 PhDs and many MPhil and MSc students.
Other Contributions: Lakshmanan initiated the Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics at Bharathidasan University and was its Head (1990-2006), which was instrumental in enhancing the nonlinear dynamics activities not only in the University but also at the national level. He served as an INSA Council Member (2005-07). He has also served/is serving as a Member of the Editorial Boards of several prestigious journals, such as Proceedings of Royal Society of London A, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, Chaos Solitons and Fractals, Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics, and Advances in Mathematical Physics.
Awards and Honours: Lakshmanan received SS Bhatnagar Prize (1989), Hari Om Trust Meghnad Saha Award of UGC (1990), Tamil Nadu Scientists Award (1994), N Biren Roy Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (1998), Goyal Prize (2005), VV Narlikar Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2006), Raja Ramanna Fellowship of DAE (2006), DST Ramanna Fellowship (2007) and AC Banerjee Lecture Award by NASI (2007). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and is an elected Foreign Member of Royal Academy of Sciences, Uppasala, Sweden.