Satish Dhawan: The Father of Experimental Fluid Dynamics in India

It was in 1946 that Dhawan arrived at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT, now Graduate Aerospace Laboratories), wanting to work with Hans Liepmann. But the Indian students Liepmann had worked with until then had given him the impression that “perhaps the select group that came to Caltech from India […]

The Effect of World War II on IISc

“This is a time of war. The great majority of the people of this country deeply sympathise with risks and sufferings of the people of Great Britain. Many are willing and anxious to take part in the measure needed to help Britain and humanity in this emergency,” said engineer and statesman Sir M Visvesvaraya in […]

Morris Travers’ Troubles in Bangalore – And How Marriage Couldn’t Solve Them

The following piece is an edited excerpt from the unpublished autobiography of Robert MW Travers, the son of Morris Travers, IISc’s first Director. Locked in a tussle with JN Tata’s sons over his plans for IISc before he travelled to England on leave in 1910, Morris Travers sensed that having a wife would enable him […]

Structures in Turbulence: An interview with Garry Brown

Garry Brown is professor emeritus at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University. He is a distinguished fluid dynamicist, well-known for his work with Anatol Roshko where they found unexpected order within turbulent flow. He was at IISc in late 2017, teaching a course on shear turbulence with his friend Roddam Narasimha. Excerpts […]

IISc’s remarkable expansion under Dhawan

Satish Dhawan was the longest-serving Director, who transformed the Institute in many ways – from reorganising academic departments to establishing new centres and encouraging the Institute community to embrace an interdisciplinary research approach. In 1951, Satish Dhawan joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) as a Senior Scientific Officer, and within a few years, he […]

Satish Dhawan (left) and Roddam Narasimha (centre), with KR Narayanan (Photo courtesy: Roddam Narasimha)

‘Dhawan introduced a new personality to IISc’: Roddam Narasimha

Roddam Narasimha is the DST Year-of-Science Professor at the Engineering Mechanics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. Narasimha, a former professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IISc, was one of Satish Dhawan’s earliest students. In this excerpt from a wide-ranging interview, he shares his memories of Dhawan.   What was […]

My Father, Satish Dhawan

Jyotsna Dhawan is a cell biologist working at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore. Recently, Connect invited her to IISc to talk about her father, Satish Dhawan, one of India’s most well-known scientists and institution builders, particularly about his life away […]

How IISc Launched Aerospace Research in India

And how its alumni shaped it in the years that followed IISc set up its Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1942 – bang in the middle of World War II. It was the year that the Nazis were to begin acting on their horrific plan for a “Final Solution”, that the Japanese military strengthened its […]

‘The Aerospace Department, Like the Whole of IISc, Was a Quieter Place Then’: Rama Govindarajan

Rama Govindarajan is a renowned scientist whose work lies in the area of fluid dynamics. The recipient of several awards, in 2007 she received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for her “original contributions to the understanding of instabilities in shear and non-parallel flows, flow entrainment, turbulent transition and small-scale hydraulic jumps.” She remains the only […]