Gurbax Singh Lakhina obtained his BSc from Punjab University, Chandigarh and MSc (Physics) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi where he also obtained his PhD degree (1972) in Plasma Physics. He worked as a post-doc at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) and then joined the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Mumbai (1973). He visited Ruhr University, Bochum (1981-82 and 1985) as a Guest Scientist, and worked with Professor Karl Schindler on problems related to tearing modes, magnetic reconnection and substorms. He was a Research Scientist at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York (1988-89) where he worked with E Hameiri on ballooning modes in space plasmas. He was a Senior NRC Research Associate at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1996-98) and worked with Bruce Tsurutani on microstructure of the solar wind, boundary layer waves and magnetic storms. He was a Visiting Professor at the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University (February-July 2005).
Academic and Research Achievements: Lakhina started the Space Plasma Physics group at IIG, Mumbai. The research activities of this group are directed towards understanding the flow of energy from sun through interplanetary medium to the earth's magneto-tail, magnetosphere, and ionosphere. His work has helped in identifying the interplanetary causes of magnetic storms, and brought out the importance of low latitude magnetic observatory data in space weather. His team discovered polar cap boundary layer (PCBL) waves from the analysis of the plasma wave data from POLAR spacecraft. His work has provided crucial insight about the microstructure of the solar wind, e.g., magnetic decreases and the discovery of arc-polarized waves by ICE and Giotto and Ulysses. These arc-polarized waves are the phase-steepened Alfven waves. He has proposed a new ubiquitous coherent radiation mechanism in astrophysical plasmas based on non-linear interaction of solitons and plasma waves. At present, he is an INSA Senior Scientist at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai.
Other Contributions: As the Director of IIG, Lakhina transformed this institution into a major centre of Space and Solid Earth Geomagnetism in the country. He is responsible for the construction and shifting of the Institute to its new campus in Panvel, Navi Mumbai. He served as a Member of the Executive Council of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) from 1999 to 2007.
Awards and Honours: Professor Lakhina has been awarded the Decennial Award-Gold Medal of Indian Geophysical Union (2000), KR Ramanathan Medal of INSA (2005), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Germany, Senior Associate Membership of Abdus Salam ICTP, Italy; and NASA Senior Resident Research Associateship, National Research Council, USA. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.