Prof. Pulickel M. Ajayan (Group Advisor) with wife Poornima and daughters Anakha and Ahi
Professor Ajayan earned his B. Tech in metallurgical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1985 and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 1989. After three years of post-doctoral experience at NEC Corporation in Japan, he spent two years as a research scientist at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Orsay in France and nearly a year and a half as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung, Stuttgart in Germany. In 1997, he joined the materials science and engineering faculty at Rensselaer as an Assistant Professor and was the Henri Burlage chair Professor in Engineering until he left RPI in 2007. He joined the mechanical engineering and materials science department of Rice university, as the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering from July 2007.
Professor Ajayan's research interests include synthesis and structure-property relations of nanostructures and nanocomposites, materials science and applications of nanomaterials, energy storage, and phase stability in nanoscale systems. He is one of the pioneers in the field of carbon nanotubes and was involved in the early work on the topic along with the NEC group.
He has published one book and 370 journal papers with more than 32,000 citations and an h-index of 89. He has given more than 250 invited talks including several keynote and plenary lectures in several countries.
Ajayan has received several awards including the Senior Humboldt Prize, MRS medal, Scientific American 50 recognition, RPI senior research award, the Burton award from the microscopic society of America and the Hadfield medal for the outstanding student metallurgist in India. He has been elected as a fellow of AAAS, to the Mexican Academy of Sciences and has been elected honarary member of MRS India . He is distinguished Guest Professor in the school of Materials Sciences at Tsinghua University, China and distinguished Visiting Professor of Shinshu University, Japan.
He was also visiting professor at ISIS, University of Louis Pasteur in 2003. He is on the advisory editorial board of several materials science and nanotechnology journals and on the boards of several nanotech companies. He has been part of two Guiness Book of World records, one for the creation of the smallest brush and the other for creating the darkest material.