G Ravindra Kumar obtained his BE (Hons) (Mechanical Engineering) and MSc (Hons) (Physics) (1983) from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, and PhD (Physics) (1990) from IIT Kanpur. After a year of postdoctoral work at IIT Kanpur, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai in 1992, where he is working now as Professor in the Department of Nuclear and Atomic Physics.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ravindra Kumar's studies span different areas of nonlinear optics and interaction of very intense light beams with matter. His researches cover three major areas, studies on interaction of intense, ultrashort pulses (picosecond and femtosecond) of light with single molecules, studies on the behaviour of hot, dense plasmas created by intense, femtosecond light pulses; and search for better nonlinear optical materials. Notable findings made by him include the first demonstration of ultrashort, giant magnetic pulses in dense solid plasmas, enhancement of light coupling and hard X-ray emission from nanostructured surfaces, real-time demonstration of wave breaking in plasmas, and demonstration of novel experimental strategies for in situ monitoring of transport of fast electrons in dense, hot matter. He has been instrumental in setting up a highly competitive, internationally visible experimental research programme at TIFR on the interaction of superintense laser pulses with matter. He has over 120 publications in peer reviewed international journals, three review articles and a book chapter to his credit. He has also mentored eight PhD students.
Other Contributions: Ravindra Kumar is a Life Member of the Indian Laser Association, Plasma Science Society of India, Indian Society of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Indian Society for Mass Spectrometry. He is Member of the Optical Society of America and is currently on the International Committee on Ultra Intense Lasers.
Awards and Honours: Professor Kumar received the BM Birla Science Prize in Physics (2000), SS Bhatnagar Prize for Physics (2003), Salute Mumbai Award (2005) and the DAE-SRC Outstanding Research Investigator Award (2006-11). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2004.