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Guest of Honour

Engineers’ Day - 2017

Padmashri Hon. Er. Ravi B. Grover

Homi Bhabha Chair, Member, Atomic Energy Commission

Born in 1949, Dr. R. B. Grover completed a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Delhi College of Engineering in 1970 and a Ph.D. in the faculty of engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1982. At present, he occupies Homi Bhabha Chair, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Dr. Grover is a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He concurrently held several responsibilities in the DAE and prior to superannuation from the Government in 2013, he was Principal Adviser, DAE

During the period 1971 to 1996, Dr. Grover worked as a research and development engineer in the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) specializing in nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics and safety studies. He has worked in the areas of fuel and core thermal hydraulic analysis, process safety and plant dynamic analysis, process design of primary systems & equipment & studies related to growth in energy requirements in India.

Post 1996, he took up managerial responsibilities including technology transfer, human resource development, international cooperation and extra-mural funding. As the first head of the Technology Transfer and Collaboration Division, BARC, he streamlined the process of technology transfer from BARC. As Scientific Secretary, Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), he initiated several schemes to increase collaborations with the universities. He continues to be a member of the Board of BRNS.

Looking into the future, a Strategic Planning Group was set up in the DAE in December 2000 with Dr. Grover as its first Director. This group became the focal point for planning of all activities in the department, international collaborations, evolving framework for governance of atomic energy and above all engagement with international community for opening of international civil nuclear trade with India. His role in negotiations leading to opening up of international civil nuclear trade was very significant. He was a part of the team that negotiated the agreement of cooperation with the USA and led the team in most other cases. He was the lead negotiator for discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This work involved a deep study of nuclear law, an emerging discipline requiring knowledge of nuclear science as well as nuclear law. Some of the topics covered under this discipline are non-proliferation, export controls, nuclear security, civil nuclear liability, safeguards and a host of international treaties and conventions. As a result of these efforts, the regime governing civil nuclear trade has been adjusted to facilitate civil nuclear trade with India and this has been achieved in a manner that doesn't impact India's strategic programme. In fact, it has been described as a diplomatic triumph for India.

Role played by Dr. Grover was summed up by Mr. M K Narayanan, who was National Security Adviser when the civil nuclear initiative was being negotiated, in a function in Goa on 29 May 2010 when he said, “And today when we talk about 123 agreement, one other name should be mentioned by everyone of us – the great Dr. Grover – of the atomic energy establishment, who [worked] painstakingly and with great amount of skill of not merely [an] atomic scientist, not merely a diplomat, but also a legal wizard.”

    As in-charge of international collaborations in the DAE, he nurtured collaborations with several countries and organizations particularly France, USA and CERN, Geneva. He was the key member of the team that negotiated India's entry into the ITER project in December 2005, which is the largest scientific project involving seven parties namely China, EU, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the USA. He is leading India's delegation to the ITER Council since 2006.

He played a lead role in conceptualizing and the setting up of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) – a deemed to be university. He led HBNI since its accreditation as a deemed to be University from June 2005 until end-Feb. 2016 & brought it to the level of one of the best research universities in the country. This has enabled DAE to expand doctoral programmes, increase intake of students in post-graduate and super-specialty medical programmes & start several new academic programmes.

In view of his wide experience, Dr. Grover is invited to participate in national and international platforms. Particular mention may be made about the invitation received by him in 2003 from the Director General, IAEA to be a member of the expert team to examine Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

Dr. Grover was conferred with a Padma Shri in 2014 and has been honoured by all institutions where he has studied or worked. During a career spanning four and a half decades, Dr. Grover has distinguished himself as an academic, research and development engineer and an institution builder.

Awards and honours

  • Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999);
  • Fellow, Maharashtra Academy of Sciences (elected in 2001);
  • Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science (elected in 2013);
  • Padma Shri in 2014;
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016 by the Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association;
  • Lifetime achievement award – 2011 by the Department of Atomic Energy;
  • Distinguished alumnus award – 2011 by the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association;
  • President, Indian Society of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2010-2013;
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award– 2009 by the Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association;
  • Dhirubhai Ambani Oration Award – 2008 by the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers;
  • Indian Nuclear Society Award –2006 for Nuclear Reactor Technology, including Nuclear Safety;
  • Gold medal for outstanding performance in the BARC Training School: 1971;
  • Second position in Delhi University in B.Sc. (Mech. Engg): 1970.