Dipankar Banerjee graduated with a Bachelor's degree (1974) in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and received his PhD (1979) from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. After a brief stint as a Research Fellow on a project of the Aeronautical Research and Development Board of India, he joined the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) of DRDO, Hyderabad, and became its Director (1996-2003). Banerjee has held research positions at world's premier metallurgical institutions including the Carnegie Mellon University; the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; the Los Alamos National Research Laboratory; the University of Paris-Sud, and has also been a Visiting Fellow at the GE Corporate Research and Development Laboratory, Schenectady. He was appointed Chief Controller, R&D of DRDO in 2003 and is currently responsible for coordinating the aeronautical and materials programmes of DRDO in this capacity.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Banerjee developed an understanding of structure-property relationship in titanium alloys using advanced techniques of electron microscopy. Under his leadership, the electron microscopy and the titanium alloy groups at DMRL have been recognized as the leading research groups in these areas in the country. Banerjee subsequently initiated programme on development of intermetallics based on the Ti-Al system for use in high temperature applications. These studies significantly contributed to the understanding of physical metallurgy of these alloys. In particular, the discovery of the Ti2AlNb phase during the course of this work led to the development of a new generation of alloys, some of which have been internationally patented.
Other Contributions: As the director of DMRL, Dr Banerjee has provided leadership for many critical defence related materials programme including special naval steels for the Indian Navy's aircraft carriers, investment casting processes for single crystal, directionally solidified and equiaxed Ni-base alloys and the development of titanium alloys products for aero-engines. He is on the Board of Governors of Midhani and is currently Vice-President and a Council Member of the Indian Institute of Metals. He has served on the strategic Advisory Committee of The Metallurgical Society of USA.
Awards and Honours: Dr Banerjee received National Metallurgist's Day Award of the Indian Institute of Metals (1987) and Scientist of the Year Award of DRDO (1987). Prominent among his other awards and honours are Fellowship of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1992), the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1993), Fellowship of Indian National Academy of Engineering (1999) and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (2001), Material and Superconductivity Prize of the Materials Research Society of India (2001), Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai (2003), Padma Shri (2005), and DRDO Technology Leadership Award (2008).