Tribute to Prof. Predhiman Krishan Kaw

Prof. Predhiman Krishan Kaw was an notable Indian plasma physicist. He had been the founding director of the Institute for Plasma Research(IPR), Dept. of Atomic Energy, Gandhinagar and served the institute as the director from 1986 to 2012 (for nearly 26 years). He was the chief architect of the of the highly complicated thermonuclear fusion project. Under the able leadership of Prof. Kaw, India developed ADITYA TOKAMAK at IPR for the research activities which is the initial R&D step to have thermonuclear fusion reactor. Then the SST-1 (Super Conducting Steady State TOKAMAK) was build at IPR. The SST-1 project increased India's stronghold in a selected group of countries who are capable of conceptualizing and making a fully functional fusion based reactor device. The SST-1 System is housed in Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar.

Prof. Kaw is highly recognized in the world community as one of the leading scientists of the century. He has published 389 publications in journals of high repute. It is worth to mention that he has published 34 papers in PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS.

He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award, India's fourth-highest honor, in 1985 and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1986. On December 28, 2016 he was awarded the Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Prize of Plasma Physics for his seminal contributions in the areas of laser-plasma interactions, strongly coupled dusty plasmas, and turbulence, nonlinear effect in magnetic fusion devices. This prized is given by Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies. He was also a recipient of the another prestigious award TWAS(Third World Academy of Science) Prize in 2008 by International Centre for Theoretical Physica (ICTP) Trieste, Italy.. Some of his awards and honors are mentioned below.

He was born on January 15, 1948 in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), India. He matriculated from Punjab University (1958) and completed his M.Sc. from Agra University in 1964. He received PhD from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1966 under Supervision of Prof. M. S. Sodha, and has the honor of being the first Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Dr. Kaw received his Ph.D. Degree at the age of 18. He obtained his Ph.D. in two years.

Academic History:

1967-1969 Princeton University Postdoctoral Fellow

1969-1971 Princeton University, USA Research Staff & Lecturer

1971-1974 Physical Research Laboratory, India Associate Professor

1974-1975 Physical Research Laboratory, India Professor

1975-1982 Princeton University, USA Principal Research Physicist Lecturer in Astrophysical Sciences 1982-1986 Plasma Physics Programme, Physical Research Laboratory, India Director

1986-2012 Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar, India Director

2012–present Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar, India DST Year of Science Professor

Institution/Academy/ Society Award Year

INSA Young Scientist 1974

Fellow of Inidian Academy of Science(IAS) 1974

Fellow of American Physical Society(APS) 1980

Fellow Indian National Science Academy (INSA) 1984

Govt. of India Padma Shri 1985

CSIR Shanti Swarup (S.S.) Bhatnagar Award 1986

Fellow of National Academy of Science India (NASI) 1987

Ghent University, Belgium Doctor Honoris 1991

IIT, Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award 1992

Indian Physics Association R D Birla Award for Excellence in Physics 2002

INSA Albert Einstein Research Professorship 2006

INSA Vice-President 2006

DST, New Delhi J C Bose Fellowship 2007

TWAS Prize in Physics TWAS Council of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World 2008

Association of Asia-Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize of Plasma Physics 2015

Other Recognitions:

1. Chairman, Science & Technology Advisory Committee, ITER Council, (2007) (ITER's member states - the EU, India, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and the United States.).

2. Member, International Fusion Research Council, IAEA, Vienna (1986-2000).

3. Chairman, International Fusion Research Council, IAEA, Vienna (2000-2007).

4. Invited by NRC-NSF Panel Chaired by CF Kennel to make presentation on international impact of USDOE Fusion Theory programme, San Diego.

5. Associate and Corresponding Member, ICTP, Trieste, Italy.

6. Associate Editor, Jr. Plasma Physics (Cambridge) (1994-2006).

7. Past editorial assignments : Editorial Board, Plasma Physics & Controlled Fusion, I.O.P. U.K. (upto 1997). Correspondent, Comments in Plasma Physics, Physics News, Editorial Board, Pramana, Indian, Jr. of Physics.

8. Japan Society for Promotion of Science(JSPS), Visiting Professor (1974 and 2000).