Hiriyakkanavar Ila got her MSc from DAV College, Kanpur (1964) and was first woman to receive the PhD (1968) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. She did post-doctoral work at Purdue University, Lafayette (1969) and was Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich (1984-85). She was a scientist at Medicinal Chemistry Division, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (1970-76) and then moved to North Eastern Hill University, Shillong (1977) as a founder faculty member and continued there for nearly 18 years. She moved to IIT Kanpur as Professor (1995) and continued there till her superannuation (2006). She was a Marie-Curie Visiting Fellow at University of Cambridge (1995) and a Visiting Professor at Locker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, USC, Los Angeles (2002), at Institut de Investigacuiones, Sovilla, Spain, and at Kuwait University (2007). Presently she is Principal Adviser (Chemistry) at Jubilant Biosys Ltd, Bangalore (2007- ).
Academic and Research Achievements: Ila has made prolific contribution in heterocyclic chemistry developing novel general and efficient methods for biologically important heterocyclic scaffolds utilizing polarized ketene S,S-and N,S-acetals as versatile building blocks. She along with her husband Junjappa were responsible for building the Chemistry Department at newly established University, NEHU with state-of-art laboratory, instrumental and library facilities. She has more than two hundred research publications in international journals and about sixty students have received PhD degree under her supervision.
Other Contributions: Ila is a member of Advisory Board of 'Eurasian Conference of Heterocyclic Chemistry' (2000- ). She is a scientific Editor and member of Control Editorial Board of the journal Arkivoc (2004- ) and has served on numerous national and international committees.
Awards and Honours: Professor Ila received AV Rama Rao Prize (2001), CRSI Silver Medal (2002) and PC Datta Memorial Lectureship of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences, Kolkata (2006). She is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1991).