Naladurga Srinivasa Govinda Rao obtained BE (Civil) (1928) from University of Mysore. He was Professor and Head, Department of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (1950-67); and Adviser, Central Board of Irrigation and Power, Ministry of Irrigation and Power, Government of India (1967-71).
Academic and Research Achievements: Working in the hydraulic and irrigation engineering, Rao produced a new theory of cavitation damage and a criterion for accurate determination of cavitation inception, and designed a new type of cavitation tunnel. With V Ganesha Iyer, he designed the world’s biggest siphons. He also designed a new type of current meter for measuring river discharges and made significant contributions to the knowledge of (i) submerged hydraulic jump, (ii) dissipation of energy of high-velocity flows, (iii) branch channel flow, (iv) scour, turbulence and inception of air entrainment in high-velocity flows, and (v) measurement of flow through new types of weirs, notches, orifices, etc. He authored nine books including Design of Siphons (1956), Hydraulics (1962), and Mechanics of Fluids (1978).
Other Contributions: Rao’s main contributions for policy-making were: Adviser, Mangalore Port Project; Member, Central Board of Railway Research and its Civil Engineering, Hydroelectric Construction Projects; and Consultant, Krishna Godavari Commission. He was editor, Journal of the Institution of Engineers (Civil Engineering) (1962-65); and Member, Panel of Editors, Hydraulic Research
Awards and Honours: Professor Rao won many awards, notably President’s Gold Medal by Central Board of Irrigation and Power (1964, 1965); KF Antia Prize (1973); Jawaharlal Nehru Gold Medal by Institution of Engineers (India); and IISc Alumni Award (1987). He was also conferred the lectureships: Foundation Day Lecture by Institution of Engineers (India), Dhanbad Centre (1966); and Nidhu Bhushan Ray Lecture by Institution of Engineers (India), Bombay (1967). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, and American Society of Civil Engineers; Honorary Life Fellow (and past President), Institution of Engineers (India), and Indian Geotechnical Society.