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. […]

A piece of wreckage being placed on the deck of Kreuzturm (Photo courtesy: V Ramachandran)

Kanishka Crash, 1985: How Metallurgy Helped Expose a Terrorist Attack

Former IISc metallurgist V Ramachandran helped establish that a mid-air explosion brought down the plane   V Ramachandran recognised the fragment from a stantion, one of the structural elements used to support the fuselage of the aeroplane. But it didn’t look normal: the aluminium tube had fractured and curled inwards by almost a full circle. […]

Helaine Selin on Happiness Across Cultures

Helaine Selin, a retired science librarian from Hampshire College, Massachusetts, USA, is an  author and an editor of several books, such as Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astronomy, and Childbirth Across Cultures: Ideas and Practices of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Postpartum. […]