Jagannatha Gopalakrishnan earned his BSc and MSc degrees from Madras University and PhD on inorganic/transition metal chemistry under the supervision of Professor CC Patel from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. Subsequently, he worked as a Senior Fellow of the AvH Foundation, Germany at the Technical University, Berlin, and later as a Visiting Scientist at DuPont C R & D, Wilmington, USA. He was as a Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland, USA, where he worked on various aspects of solid state chemistry of inorganic materials.
Academic and Research Achievements: After a brief stint at the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras. Gopalakrishnan worked at the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit, IISc, Bangalore. He has directed his research efforts towards solid state/materials chemistry of inorganic oxide materials - an area of research that interfaces chemistry, physics and materials science. His main focus has been synthesis of new/functional inorganic oxide materials, the latter, being essentially non molecular extended structures and more often thermodynamically metastable, requiring special approaches for their synthesis. Over the years, he and his group have developed chimie douce/soft-chemistry as a viable strategy for the synthesis of several families of functional inorganic oxide materials that include layered perovskites and Aurivillius phases and their inter conversion, 'slicing' of 3D oxide structures into 2D analogs, nonlinear optical/ferroelectric materials, metallic and ferromagnetic materials, etc. His contributions have been unique and original, bringing out the role of chemistry for the design and synthesis of functional inorganic materials. He has published nearly 300 research articles including a monograph/text book, New Directions in Solid State Chemistry (co-authored with Professor CNR Rao; Cambridge University Press). He trained and mentored a large number of students including twenty PhD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Gopalakrishnan helped build the newly created Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit at IISc, having served later as its Chairman for many years. He also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Science, IISc, towards the end of his career. At the national level, he has served for several years in the Programme Advisory Committee of DST in the area of physical chemistry, among others. He has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals including Chemistry of Materials. He served as Convener for INSA Sectional Committee for Chemical Sciences during 2010-12.
Awards and Honours: Professor Gopalakrishnan has received several awards and recognitions that include the FICCI Award, CHOKSI Award of IISc, DuPont Accomplishment Award, AV Rama Rao Foundation Prize, MRSI Prize, CRSI Silver Medal and Professor Sadhan Basu Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (2008). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. In 2010, IISc has named him as one of its Distinguished Alumnus.