MONTBLEX: India’s First Major Monsoon Experiment

The first national effort to understand the meteorological phenomenon For about four months from May to September 1990, the Indian summer monsoon was the subject of unprecedented nationwide attention. While the monsoon winds raced from Kerala to the northwest of India in 35 days, less than its usual 45, researchers on land, air and sea […]

‘Ours was a small group, like one family’

Syed Ameenulla, who joined IISc as a lab assistant and went on to be a scientific officer, recalls his involvement in the Institute’s monsoon experiments In the monsoon of 1979, Chandipur beach in Balasore, Odisha was host to a small group of researchers from Bangalore. The team, from IISc and the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL), […]

Remembering SR Valluri

A tribute to the life and achievements of the IISc alumnus who left his mark on Indian aerospace engineering The name of Dr Sitaram Rao Valluri, who passed away on 23 January 2019, aged 94, will forever be linked with the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL; now National Aerospace Laboratories). Valluri had many stellar accomplishments in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hans Liepmann with his wife Dietlind (Photo courtesy: Roddam Narasimha)

Hans Liepmann: The Teacher Who Had a Lasting Influence on Satish Dhawan and Roddam Narasimha

In 1964, Hans Liepmann from Caltech arrived at IISc for a term. SM Deshpande, then doing his ME in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, remembers the “glorious combination” that resulted. “Liepmann taught our batch,” says Deshpande, now at the Engineering Mechanics Unit at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. “We were very lucky. […]