CNR Rao is certainly a legend ... for those even remotely familiar with material science and engineering. He has been actively involved in research for over 50 years, and is probably the single biggest contributor to science in India, since Sir C.V. Raman. Author of over 1200 papers, he currently holds the positions of Linus Pauling Research Professor and Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. In addition, he is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to the innumerable academic achievements, he has also been Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.
His contributions were recognized earlier this week when he was awarded with the $1M Dan David prize (awarded by the Tel Aviv University) for his oustanding contributions to materials science. What makes it even more sweet is the outstanding company he shares the prize with. MIT's Robert Langer and Harvard's George Whitesides, both of whom have had some incredible scientific achievements, simply too numerous to list. All 3 have contributed immensely to their respective fields and made advances that have changed the scientific landscape. Their academic contributions can be gauged by the number of PhDs graduated - and the successes achieved by their students as well. I have had the honor of listening to Bob Langer and CNR Rao speak to audiences and they are very impressive. I am sure the same can be said of Whitesides too.
According to Rao, "This is the highest prize an Indian scientist has received at least in the last 70 years, since C V Raman’s Nobel". Congratulations to Prof. Rao - certainly a proud moment for all Indians!