Chair Professorship in Chemistry Department - Prof. P. T. Manoharan


About the cause
Prof. P. T. Manoharan was a distinguished chemist of international acclaim. He was an excellent teacher, researcher, mentor, and institution-builder. He was born in Tirumangalam, Tamil Nadu on June 12, 1935. He obtained his B.Sc. in 1955 and M.Sc. in 1959 from Madras University and Ph.D. in 1966, working with Harry B. Gray at Columbia University, New York, USA. He had his postdoctoral training with Max T. Rogers at Michigan State University, USA during 1966–69.

On his return to India in 1969, Prof. P. T. Manoharan joined the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur as an Assistant Professor. In 1972, he moved to the Department of Chemistry at IIT Madras as an Associate Professor and served as Professor of chemistry during 1973–95. Prof. P. T. Manoharan was the founder of the first Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre (RSIC) at IIT Madras, established in 1974, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. RSICs were renamed as Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facilities (SAIFs) subsequently, providing research/analytical services to scientists from all fields of research, a concept that has been appreciated worldwide. Today there are 18 SAIFs spread over the length and breadth of the country. Prof. P. T. Manoharan was the Head of RSIC at IIT Madras intermittently till 1995. He was the first Dean of students at IIT Madras and in 1995 he became an emeritus professor at IIT Madras. he was the founder of Green Canopy, an environmental organization at IIT Madras.

In 2005, he took up the Raman Chair Professorship of Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi (until 2007). Concurrently, he was a Raja Ramanna Fellow at IIT Madras and an Honorary Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru. He was a Distinguished Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi as well.
Prof. P. T. Manoharan published close to 200 papers in journals of international repute. He guided 36 students for their Ph.D. and trained 24 postdoctoral fellows, all of whom are well-placed either in academia or corporate research.

In IIT Madras, he used to love teaching undergraduate students. He was instrumental in improving the curriculum for M.Sc. and Ph.D. chemistry degrees in theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy. He was a meticulous organizer of academic conferences, symposia, and workshops. He conducted more than a score of summer and winter schools on a variety of spectroscopic topics, often coordinating and preparing excellent teaching materials which have helped many research scholars and teachers in universities and colleges.

He was a distinguished scientist and a pioneer in the field of spectroscopy. He was a good academician, able administrator, excellent leader and a strong motivating force in the field of education. He was and will remain a role model for many generations to come.

Professor Manoharan will be remembered as the champion of providing easy access to sophisticated scientific instrumentation for the needy, through the concept of RSICs, now known as SAIFs funded by the Department of Science and Technology, a vision that seeded and encouraged experimental chemical research in institutions across the country.

Prof. Manoharan passed away on March 6, 2019.

This appeal is to raise funds for setting up a Chair and Endowment Lecture Series in the memory of Prof. P.T. Manoharan.

How the money will be used

The endowment returns will be deployed towards operational expenses associated with the Chair and Endowment Lecture Series.

Chair Professorship in Chemistry Department - Prof. P. T. Manoharan

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