Vasant Ramchandran Choudhary earned his BSc and MSc Degrees from Poone University, Pune after which he joined the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune. There he worked as a CSIR Junior Research Fellow for his PhD under the supervision of Dr LK Doraiswamy in the area of Chemical Reaction Engineering. He received his PhD in 1972. After about 30 years of research at NCL, which spanned diverse areas such as heterogeneous catalysis, energy research, reaction engineering, etc., he retired as Director's Grade Scientist in 2003. Since then he has been working as a CSIR Emeritus Scientist at NCL. He was a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Fayetteville, USA in 1999 and at Hokaido University, Japan in 2003.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Choudhary was responsible for initiating research in the area of heterogeneous catalysis and zeolite synthesis at NCL. His research has encompassed frontier areas of catalysis research such as zeolites and meso-porous materials, energy efficient methane conversion, lower alkane upgrading, green/environmental chemistry and direct H2O2 synthesis. His pioneering work on methane partial oxidation and oxy-steam-CO2 methane reforming processes received world-wide acclaim and provided a strong impetus to the field of energy efficient syn gas generation. His work has been a rare blend of basic and applied research. He has published over 380 research papers in journals like Angewandte Chemie, Science, Journal of Catalysis and Chem Commun. He is one of the most cited scientists in India and has over 40 US/World patents and several Indian patents to his credit. He has guided 30 PhD students and over 60 MSc and MTech students on various research projects.
Other Contributions: Dr Choudhary is on the Editorial Board of Catalysis Communications.
Awards and Honours: Dr Choudhary received the Vasvik Research Award (1993), Eminent Scientist Award from the Catalysis Society of India (2000), Silver Medals for US patents (NCL Research Foundation: 1995-2002) and Most Cited Author in Applied Catalysis A (2002-06). He is a Fellow of the Maharashtra Academy of Sciences, the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. He is also an honorary Fellow of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers.