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PANELISTS

The following esteemed panelists have graciously agreed to contribute their valuable time to shortlist and select the Best Chemistry Teacher of 2011.
Dr. Murali Sastry - Panel Chairperson
Dr.Sastry is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Tata Chemicals Innovation Centre. He has an M.Sc. and Ph.D. (thin film technology) in Physics from IIT Madras (now Chennai, 1987). Postdoctoral Fellow, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste Italy (1988-1991); Visiting Faculty at CNRS, Orsay (France, 2001-2003) and University of Maryland at College Park (USA, 1998-99) and Federation Fellow at RMIT Melbourne.

Dr. Sastry is counted among the world's top 10 nanobiotechnologists and brings with him close to 25 years research experience in the field of materials chemistry with a focus on nanotechnology. An interdisciplinary scientist, he moved to TATA Chemicals as Chief Scientist at the Innovation Centre from Sept. 2005 after creating a Centre for Nanotechnology funded by the Department of Science and Technology at NCL Pune. Author of over 350+ international publications, 10 chapters in books and inventor in 15 Indian and US patents, Dr. Sastry has a number of national and international awards to his credit including India's most prestigious award in science, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Chemistry (2003). He serves on the International Advisory Board of 7 leading chemistry journals and has served at various times on Advisory Boards for the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Presidential Nanotechnology Committee and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. He currently India's representative to the UNIDO Committee on 'Nanotechnology, Sustainability and Developing Economies in the 21st Century'

Dr. Sastry's current research interests include interfacing biologicals with inorganic nanomaterials; understanding biological process at nanodimensions; developing new industrially relevant renewable materials and green processes and ethical issues in application of nanomaterials.

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Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya
Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya is a scientist working in the area of semiconductor optoelectronics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. With a B.Tech degree from IIT-B and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he researches novel semiconductor materials and devices.

In the past few years his work has focused on III-nitride semiconductors, in particular synthesis of new materials via organometallic vapour phase epitaxy. Arnab has over 50 publications in various refereed journals and over 100 presentations at international conferences. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Crystal Growth and a senior member IEEE, and has previously held visiting positions at the Ferdinand Braun Institute in Berlin, and the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin.

Arnab also enjoys talking about science and demonstrating science experiments to all audiences, particularly school and college students, and is presently the chair of TIFR's Science Popularization and Public Outreach Committee.

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Dr. K. Guruswamy
Dr. K. Guruswamy is a chemical engineer (B. Tech. IITB 1994; MS/PhD California Institute of Technology, 1996, 2000). After postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Guru joined the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune in 2001 and has been there since. Guru is a member of the Complex Fluids and Polymer Engineering group in the Polymer Science and Engineering Division, and is interested in self assembly in polymers, surfactants and colloids. Guru's research has been recognized by the CSIR Young Scientist Award in 2005. Guru is actively involved in science outreach to school students, and is among the founders of the Exciting Science Group (www.excitingscience.org).
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Prof. V. Srinivasan
Prof. V. Srinivasan is the Professor of Physics and Consultant, Instruments Maintenance Department, Aravind Eye Hospital & Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai. His educational background includes The American College, Madurai (University of Madras, India) (B.Sc Physics), Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, India (M.A Physics) and University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon USA (M.S Physics).

He is the recipient of the Fulbright fellowship for travel and studies in USA during 1970 - 71. He has also received the first Rev. Fr. Mathias award of the All India Association of Christian Colleges (AIACHE), New Delhi for research work carried out with Undergraduate Physics students at The American College.

He is the author of several text books and his articles have been published in many scientific journals and magazines in India and overseas. He has widely travelled all over India and the world and brings his vast experience and insights to this project.

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Dr. S. Chandrasekaran
Dr. Srinivasan Chandrasekaran teaches as an Honorary Professor, Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He has done his MSc and PhD from the University of Madras in 1967 and 1972 respectively. He has also been a research associate at Harvard University and Syntex Research. Among his many teaching stints he has been Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, (1978-80), Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT, Kanpur, India (1981-85), Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT, Kanpur , India (1985-1989) and Professor, Dept.of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,(1989-2011).

Prof Chandrasekaran is an active member of several institutions such as Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, The Third World Academy of Sciences, Italy ,IUPAC Committee on Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry and many more. He is currently the President of the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI). His research interests include Development of New Synthetic Methodologies; Organometallic Chemistry; Synthesis of Natural Products; Catalysis; Organic Materials.

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Dr. S. D. Samant
Dr. S. D. Samant teaches as Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai. Prof. Samant has done his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Mumbai University in 1976 and 1980 respectively. He has been teaching and doing research in the field of Organic Chemistry since the last 35 years. His past experience includes stints as Lecturer in Chemistry, Ramnarain Ruia College, and then since 1982 as Reader in Organic Chemistry, followed by Professor of Organic Chemistry, in the Institute of Chemical Technology (formerly known as UDCT). He was Head of Dept. of Chem. and Dean (Academic Programmes) in the ICT.

He has guided 43 Ph.D. students and published over a hundred International and National research publications. His publications have also received over 1050 citations. His research has been supported by funding agencies DST, CSIR, IFCPAR, AERB, UGC. His research interests include mechanistic organic chemistry, catalysis, chemistry of surfactants, and new methods of organic synthesis. He has been a consultant to Chemical Industries. He is an active member in various organizations including Association of Chemistry, Indian Chemical Society, Catalysis Society of India, and many more. He has delivered a large number of lectures on various platforms. He has been contributing to the Chemistry Olympiad activities.

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Dr. Shrivallabh P. Kamat
Dr. S. P. Kamat is a Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Goa University, Goa. He got his M.Sc. & Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry of Mumbai University in 1974 & 1983 respectively. He is teaching Chemistry for the past 35 yrs. Started teaching career in 1976 and taught for XI & XII Sc. for 11 yrs. During this period worked as a Contributory Teacher, Institute of Shipbuilding Technology, Vasco, Goa from Aug 1981 to July 1987. Joined Goa University in 1987 as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, became Reader (1994) and Professor (2003). Visiting Faculty at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California USA, two times during June 1992 to Dec 1992 and Sept 1998 to June 1999. During this period taught in all 17 theory and laboratory courses at Undergraduate and Graduate levels.

Developed several Microscale Experiments in Chemistry at all levels starting from Std. VIII to M.Sc. using easily available inexpensive materials. Many of these experiments can be easily demonstrated even in a classroom while giving lectures. Also developed Microscale Kits which are inexpensive and user friendly. Conducted several workshops for Science and Chemistry Teachers and students all over India. Succeeded in introducing Microscale Techniques in all the Science Colleges of Goa since 1999.

Guided four and co-guided six students for Ph.D. degree. Working mainly in the area of "Synthesis of Natural Products and their Analogues". Participated and presented research papers in several National and International Conferences. Published several research papers in Indian and International journals.

Life member, Association of Chemistry Teachers, India; President Association of Chemistry Teachers, Goa from 2004 to 2008; Registered member of IYC-2011 and conducted so far 18 workshops on an average two per month beginning from Jan 13, 2011. Conferred Best teacher award by the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) on May 14, 2011 at NCL, Pune.

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Dr. Damodar V. Prabhu
Prof Dr D V Prabhu is Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry, Wilson College, Mumbai. He secured his M Sc (Physical Chemistry) and PhD in Chemistry from Mumbai University. His research interests are Reaction Kinetics of Organic Reactions,Catalysis and Environmental Chemistry.He is a recognised post-graduate teacher and research guide of Mumbai University. He has published research papers in reputed journals and presented papers in several National and International conferences.

Prof Prabhu is the author of 6 books in Physical and Analytical Chemistry. Dr Prabhu was honoured with the Best Teacher Award by the Chemical Research Society of India in 2006. At present he is the General Secretary of Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT),Secretary of Chromatographic Society of India and Member, National Steering Committee for Science Olympiads appointed by Department of Atomic Energy(DAE), Government of India. He served as the Head Mentor of the Indian team to the 33rd International Chemistry Olympiad held in July 2001 in Mumbai and as Delegation Leader of the Indian team to the 34th International Chemistry Olympiad held in July 2002 at Groningen ,The Netherlands.

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Dr. Brijesh Pare
Dr. Brijesh Pare, teaches at the Department of Post Graduate Chemistry, Madhav Science Post Graduate College, (affiliated to Vikram University), Ujjain. He is also the vice-president of the Association of Chemistry Teachers, India. He has been teaching graduate and post graduate level chemistry for the last 25 years and also works actively with Ph.D students. He has already guided 5 students to their Ph.Ds and is working with 10 more. He worked as postdoc during May 1999 to 2001 at the university of Durban- Westville, Durban.

Dr.Pare is very active in the field of chemical research in India and has published more than 55 research papers in various referred International and National Journals of repute. His research interests include Advanced Oxidation Processes and Green Techniques, UV and visible light assisted photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants utilizing TiO2, ZnO, BiOCletc, Synthesis and utilization of Nano zerovalent iron particles (nZVI) for reductive degradation and mineralization of organic pollutants. In the field of Chemical education is working on understanding and Identifying students' misconception and learning barriers in the concept of chemical bonding: Designing and assessing appropriate remedial measures. He is also a life member of Chemical Research Society of India, IISc, Bangalore and Indian Council of Chemists, Agra.

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Panel Chairperson:
Dr. Murali Sastry

Panelists:
Dr. S. Chandraseksaran
Dr. Shrivallabh P. Kamat
Dr. Guruswamy
Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya
Prof. V. Srinivasan
Dr. S. D. Samant
Dr. Damodar V. Prabhu
Dr. Brijesh Pare