Panellists - Sustainable Sciences

Faculty Alumni Network
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

The Indian FAN Symposium 2019 on New & Advanced Materials and Sustainable Sciences

April 2019

Panellists Profiles: Sustainable Sciences

Parasuraman  Selvam
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Head, National Centre for Catalysis Research
Indian Institute of Technology-Madras   

Educational Qualifications:

  • M.Sc.  (Analytical Chemistry), University of Madras, Chennai  
  • Ph.D.  (Physical Chemistry), Indian Institute of Technology-Madras
  • P.D.F.  (Condensed Matter Physics), University of Geneva, Geneva


Dr. Parasuraman Selvam is currently Head, National Centre for Catalysis Research, IIT-Madras, Chennai, and Professor in the Department of Chemistry, IIT-Madras, Chennai; Adjunct Faculty, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, and Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom.

Earlier, Prof. Selvam was a Faculty at IIT-Bombay, Mumbai and Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.  He was also a Visiting Associate Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, and an Eminent International Visitor, School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Australia.  Prior to these, Prof. Selvam was a Research Associate in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics, and Laboratory of X-ray Crystallography, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Prof. Selvam’s research work mainly involves in the development of novel synthetic procedures for the preparation of ordered nanoporous (zeolitic) materials such as silicas, aluminas, titanias, carbons, metallo-silicates,  meallo-aluminates,  and a variety of other metal oxides including ceria, zirconia, etc.  In addition, Prof. Selvam is also involved in the development of highly organised and hierarchically porous materials, size- and shape-controlled nanomaterials as well as supported metal catalyst systems.

Prof. Selvam’s research interests also include nanostructured materials, heterogeneous catalysis for green chemical routes, environmental remediation processes, and energy conversion (biomass, solar hydrogen) and storage (methanol fuel cell, lithium-ion battery) methods.

Prof. Selvam’s major contribution also includes in the design and development of novel heterogeneous catalysts for a variety of industrially important organic transformations which have received overwhelming response both from industry and academia.  Several industrial consultancies and sponsored projects that he has brought to the Institute has helped him to build a strong and vibrant catalysis research group at IIT-Madras.

Prof. Selvam held several visiting/adjunct faculty positions in various Universities/Institutes both in India and Abroad.  He has also been bestowed with several national and international awards and honours.  Prof. Selvam has published over 250 original research papers and co-inventor of about 20 patents.

Arun Venkatnathan
Associate Professor,
Departmentof Chemistry,
Indian Institute of ScienceEducation and Research, Pune (IISER Pune)

Educational Qualifications:
  • B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Chemistry), Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthinilayam, Andhra Pradesh, 1993 and 1995
  • Ph.D. (Chemistry), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 2001

Dr. Arun Venkatnathan did his postdoctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles (2001-2003); University of Utah (2003-2005) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington (2006-2008), U.S.A before returning to India in July 2008 as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, IISER Pune. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at the same department since December 2014.  Research in the group of Dr.Venkatnathanfocuses on quantum chemistry and Molecular Dynamics simulation methods to investigate various chemical properties of materials with relevance to alternate energy. Using state of the art computer simulations, his research group investigates charge, molecular transport and structure in various polymer electrolyte membrane environments for fuel cell applications; ionic liquidsas dopants for fuel cells and carbon dioxide capture, lithium and sodium ion battery electrolytes, and chemistry of clathrate hydrates. The research work of Dr. Venkatnathan has led to 42 publications in several peer reviewed journals with 1190 citations. He has graduated 4 Ph.D. students with 3 Ph.D. students who continue to work on ongoing projects. Dr. Venkatnathan’s group has fostered international collaboration with research groups in Temple University, Philadelphia, USA and Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. Dr. Venkatnathan is a member of the American Chemical Society, Society for Polymer Science India, Chemical Research Society of India and Indian Society for Radiation and Photochemical Sciences.
Kiran Shesh
Continuing Education Programme
IIT Bombay

Education Qualification:
  • B. Tech., Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay
  • MoM, SJM School of Management, IIT Bombay


Kiran Shesh is a business professional with over 25 years of experience mainly around Industrial products in manufacturing sector.  Prior to joining IIT Bombay in Executive Education field, he has successfully led business operations and expansion initiatives, including P&L responsibility. He has worked in MNCs like Sulzer, Monsanto and his last corporate position was Managing Director of Pall India and VP South East Asia. Pall India (now a part of Danaher Corporation) was a 100% owned subsidiary of Pall Corporation having global revenue of $ 2.7 Billion. Kiran also headed the newly found JV academy of IIT Bombay and Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, he is a consulting with CEP/IIT Bombay on the new market focused initiatives.

He started his career as sales professional and moved up the ladder developing other skills like Business Finance, Operations, Team Development leading up to General Management. He is a certified coach (PCC) from International Coach Federation (ICF) and brings in over 10 years of experience in the field of leadership and executive coaching. He has been also a board member of IIT Bombay Alumni Association.

Benudhar Punji
Principal Scientist and Associate Professor
CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory
Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pune India-411 008

Educational Qualifications:
  • M. Sc.,Chemistry, Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar, Sambalpur, Odisha, India. Emphasis: Organic Synthesis and Biochemistry
  • Ph. D., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India. Emphasis: Novel Phosphorus(III)-based Ligands with Hetero Functionalities: Synthesis, Transition Metal Chemistry and Catalytic Studies


Dr. Benudhar Punji is currently the principal scientist and associate professor at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India. After obtaining his Ph.D in the year 2007, he worked at the Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, USA, with Prof. Alan S. Goldman as postdoctoral fellow (2007-2010). He then moved to Germany and worked at the Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Göttingen, Germany, with Prof. Lutz Ackermann till 2011. Since Nov 2011, he is working at National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He is recipient of prestigious Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship-2011. He also received Young Scientist Award by Orissa Chemical Society (OCS), Odisha, India.

Dr Punji works in the area of organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. His primary focuses are the development of novel catalysts based on earth-abundant 3d metals, and their application for regioselective C-H bond functionalization and asymmetric hydrogenation to synthesize pharmaceutically relevant compounds. One of his major achievements is the development of an inexpensive nickel catalyst for the asymmetric synthesis of anti-diabetes drug, Sitagliptin.