Speakers - Sustainable Sciences

Faculty Alumni Network
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

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

April 2019

Speakers Profiles: Sustainable Sciences

R. Murugavel
Session Convener
Professor, Department of Chemistry
IIT Bombay

Education Qualification:
  • Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • M. Sc., University of Madras
  • B. Sc., University of Madras


Prof. Murugavel’s group works on several aspects of inorganic and materials chemistry, viz. synthesis of soluble models for silicate and phosphate materials, design of porous solids through soft-chemical routes, MOF and COF Chemistry, understanding the coordination chemistry of sparsely studied s-block divalent ions, and structure and bonding in main group.

Recent achievements include
(a) isolation of first ever molecular species that exists in D8R form,
(b) design and synthesis of a single ion magnets with large barriers (Ueff) and blocking temperature (TB),
(c) synthesis of only soluble silicophosphonate that bears free hydroxyl groups,
(d) development suitable thermally unstable molecular precursors for ceramic phosphates, and
(e) generation of functional secondary building units of zeolites.

In addition his group is actively engaged in unraveling structure and bonding related problems among unusual main group compounds through carefully chosen experiments. Specific areas include:

  • Single-Molecule and Single-Ion-Magnets with emphasis on 4f ions
  • Synthesizing soluble models for silicate and phosphate materials and building designer zeolites through a hierarchical synthesis protocol Developing synthetic strategies for thermally unstable precursors for ceramic phosphates
  • Unraveling coordination behavior of heavier s-block elements
  • C3 Symmetric Organic Electron rich systems and COFs derived from them.

Prof. A. Q. Contractor
Session Chair
Retired Professor, Department of Chemistry
IIT Bombay

Educational Qualifications:
  • B.Sc., Bombay University, 1971
  • M.Sc., IIT Bombay, 1973
  • Ph.D., IIT Bombay, 1978


Prof. Contractor was an Institute Chair Professor at the Department of Chemistry in IIT Bombay. Prior to joining IIT Bombay in 1984, he was a Post-Doctoral research fellow at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and a Research Associate at Texas A&M University, College Station, USA. He is also the founding member of a company which produces portable sensor-based systems for testing drinking water and soil. His research work include understanding the electrochemistry of conducting polymers such as polyaniline, polypyrrole and polythiophenes. The application of conducting polymers in sensing and actuation. First report of a biosensor (glucose) based on polyaniline and subsequent work to show proof-of-concept for various biomolecules such as antigen-antibody, ssDNA and whole cell sensing (e.coli). He has almost 56 journal publications and four patents to his credit.
Ruchi Anand
Department of Chemistry,

Education Qualification:
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Chemistry, Miranda House Delhi University, India
  • M.Sc. Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur, India
  • Ph.D. Biophysical Chemistry, Cornell University, New York, USA
  • Post-Doc Research Work, Structural Biochemistry, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Prof. Ruchi Anand is a Professor at Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay since December, 2018. She had been the faculty of IIT-Bombay since 2008 and her expertise  liesin the fields of macromolecular crystallography, biophysics and biochemistry. She employs her knowledge on proteins and engineers them to both be used as drug candidates as well as to exploit them for technological applications. She is extensively working to solvetwo major problems; antibiotic resistance and water pollution. Both these areas are of grave importance both for Indian scenario as well as globally scenario.Her research focusseson antibiotic resistance follows a multiprong approach where she has tried to find new enzymes as therapeutic targets as well as dwelled on understanding the origins of antibiotic resistance itself. Her studies on antibiotic resistance includeelucidating structure and function  of efflux pump regulators in various conformational sates andin understanding mechanism of targeting in methyltransferases that alter the ribosome thereby inducing resistance. Towards tackling the problem of water pollution she has utilised bacterial protein and have engineered it to an invitro, thermostable, cost-effective, selective and sensitive biosensors for wide variety of aromatic pollutants. She has been able to translate the biosensor design to a nanoparticle coated chip based unit capable of real time detection of pollutants in contaminated water samples.

Prof. Ruchi is the recipient of numerous accolades for her immense contribution in field of science. She has been awarded with B.K Bachhawat international travel award (2019), National Women Bio-scientist Award, Department of Biotechnology, December (2018), Young Outstanding Researcher Award at International conference on recent trends in Material science and Technology (2018), Faculty Mobility Award for Faculty Exchange in Northwestern University (2016), Royal Society of Chemistry, Mumbai Chapter, Madam Curie Women Scientist Award (2012), Research Stay Award for collaborative scientific exchange at EMBL Hamburg via the DAAD exchange program (2011), Linus Pauling poster prize for exceptional scientific contribution at the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) Meeting, Chicago (2004).

She serves as a member of several committees such as International program committee for AsCA 2019, Executive Council of the Indian Biophysical Society for the Year 2019-22, Gender Equity and Diversity Committee of IUCr, Asian chemical biology Initiative (ACBI), PG Board of Studies in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Pondicherry University, 2018-2021.

She also serves as member of Technical Expert Committee, Energy, Environment and Biodiversity Conservation for North Eastern Region, Department of Biotechnology (2018), Executive Council, Royal Society of Chemistry West India Section (2018), Environmental Biotechnology, Task Force, Department of Biotechnology (2018), Women in Science, Task Force, Department of Science and Technology DST, Chemical Science (2016).

She was the Convener of Vigyan Jyoti, a three weeks program to enhance awareness of science and technology among high school girls which was organised in May, 2018. She has been inducted into Editorial Advisory Board “ACS Sensors” an American Chemical Society Journal, since April 2016 for her outstanding work in the field of biosensor.

Nitesh H. Mehta
Co-Founder & Director
Green ChemisTree Foundation
Mumbai, India

Educational Qualifications

  • B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, University of Pune
  • M.Tech., Chemical Engineering, IIT-Bombay.


Nitesh is the Co-Founder & Dircector of Green ChemisTree Foundation (GCF), which is a not-for-profit organization, engaged in expanding awareness about Green Chemistry amongst all stake holders of chemical industry. Through GCF’s activities, Nitesh along with his team of like-minded, have extensively contributed in expanding awareness of Green Chemistry’s potential and practices amongst various stakeholders including Govt. bodies and State Pollution Control Boards in India.

He is also, Co-Founder & Director of Newreka Green-Synth Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which is a company engaged in developing and commercializing Green Chemistry based solutions for chemical industry for the last 20 years. He and his team have developed a unique business model for scale-up & commercialization of innovative, green chemistry-based platform technologies & solutions.

His expertise is in process development, scale-up and technology implementation at commercial scales. He also has expertise in setting up recycle loops in plant i.e. recycle of effluent streams back in the process for various chemical processes.

His professional experience includes implementing more than 500 commercial batches with Newreka Reduction Technology, in more than 25 different products.

G. Mugesh
Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

Educational Qualifications
  • B.Sc.,1990,University of Madras
  • M.Sc.,1993, Bharathidasan University
  • Ph.D.,1998, IIT Bombay
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University, Braunschweig,2000
  • Post Doc.,2002, Scripps Research Institute


Prof. Mugesh’s research involves organic/organometallic synthesis, enzyme mimetic studies and chemical biology. He is an author of more than 140 publications in international peer reviewed journals and is a recipient of several awards/fellowships, which include: CRSI Silver Medal (2019); Prof. R. C. Mehrotra Commemoration Lecture Gold Medal, Indian Science Congress (2019), Prof. K. N. Ganesh Endowment Lecture Award, IISER Pune (2018); National Prize for Research on Interfaces of Chemistry and Biology (2017); Rajib Goyal Prize in Chemical Science by Kurukshetra University (2017); Bhagyatara Award by Panjab University (2017); JSPS Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan (2016); ISCB Award for Excellence (2016); J. C. Bose National Fellowship, DST, Government of India (2015); Prof. S.K. Pradhan Endowment Lecture Award, ICT Mumbai (2014); Asian Rising Star Commemorative Plaque, Asian Chemical Congress (2013); Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2012); AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award (2012); CRSI Bronze Medal (2011); CDRI Award for Excellence in Drug Research (2010); Swarnajayanti Fellowship, Government of India (2006-07); Ramanna Fellowship, DST (2006).

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, 2013), The National Academy of Sciences, India (2012), Indian Academy of Sciences (2012) and Indian National Science Academy (2016). He currently serves as Vice-President and Secretary General of the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI), President of the Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES) and Convener of the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), Government of India. He serves in the Editorial or Editorial Advisory Boards of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (RSC), ACS Omega (ACS); Bioorganic Chemistry (Elsevier)and Biological Chemistry (De Gruyter, Germany).

Vishal Rai
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal
Bhopal Bypass Road, Bhauri, Bhopal
Webpage: http://home.iiserb.ac.in/~vrai/

Educational qualifications

  • B.Sc. and M.Sc.: BHU, Varanasi. Specialization in Organic Chemistry.
  • Ph.D.: Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Emphasis: Asymmetric synthesis.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow: Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto.Emphasis: Peptide macrocyclization.
  • MITACS-Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow: Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto. Emphasis: Inhibition of biomolecular interactions.


Dr. Vishal Rai obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from IIT Bombay in 2008. He subsequently held postdoctoral position and MITACS-Elevate fellow position at University of Toronto,Canada (2008-2011).His contributions to peptide macrocycles created the platform for Encycle Therapeutics, a company operating from Toronto, Canada. Later, he joined the Department of Chemistry at IISER Bhopal in 2011. Other than research and teaching, he contributed towards the growth of IISER Bhopal as Head, Computer Center (2012-2018) and member of various administrative committees.

His research group is developing chemical technologies for precision engineering of proteins. Also, they are involved in the synthesis of homogeneous antibody-drug conjugates, protein immobilization, and analytical tools for peptides and proteins. His research team wants to contribute towards the Society by enabling directed therapeutics and making precision therapeutics possible in the future.

He is the Founder and Director of Plabeltech Private Limited, a company aimed at protein-engineering technologies propelled by the methods developed by his research group. He is the recipient of Ramanujan fellowship and DAE Young Scientist Award.