Prof. Dr YBG Varma Institute Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering


About the cause

Dr. Y B G Varma graduated in Chemical Engineering with the ‘Sir Arthur Cotton Gold Medal’ at Andhra University. He received his M.Tech from IIT Kharagpur. He was awarded his  Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1966 from IIT Madras, the very first Ph.D. in Engineering awarded by the institute. !He served IIT Madras as a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering for 35 years. From 1978-1981 he was the Head of the department.

Dr. Varma worked with Professors Kirschbaum, Rumph and Pichler as a DAAD scholar at the Technical University, Karlsruhe. Later he worked with Prof. Brauer. as an Alexander-von-Humboldt fellow at Technical University, Berlin. He had the distinction of being the coordinator along with Prof Brauer for Indo-German Joint Research programs in Chemical Engineering consecutively for two terms. He has authored a book. ‘Air Pollution Control’, published by Springer-Verlag, NY.

He taught several courses including Multiphase flow, Heat and Mass Transfer, Chemical reaction engineering and Chemical plant design. He was adjudged as the best teacher in Chemical Engineering by the institute. After superannuation he served briefly as  Principal of an engineering college at Vaniyambadi in Tamilnadu, inspiring many students to excel in higher education and realize their potential.

Most of Professor Varma’s research was conducted on pilot-scale equipment resulting in the design and development of multiphase chemical process equipment covering single and multi-stage fluidized beds, gas-liquid down-flow trickle beds, gas-liquid up-flow packed bubble columns and reciprocating plate columns. The emphasis in research was the fundamental studies on fluid-particle distributions and interactions, residence time distributions, modeling, film and overall coefficients, interfacial area etc., all of which are of primary importance in the design and development of chemical process plants. He supervised 28 Ph.D. Scholars and numerous M.S students. He published more than 90 research articles in reputed journals like AIChE, I&EC fundamentals, Powder Technology, Canadian Journal of Chem. Engg., and Chem. Engg. Science. In December 2019, Prof. Varma was honoured with the Dr. B P Godrej Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to Chemical Engineering by the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE) at its annual session held at IIT Delhi.

All of his Ph.D. students hold very high positions today in both academic and research organizations in India and abroad. Many equipments developed during his research are presently being adopted in industrial practice. Prof. Varma has to his credit a number of sponsored and consultancy projects from industries including ITC, L&T, Hindustan Lever, IGP Engineers, UCAL Fuel Systems and Engineers India Ltd. Click here to see the words of his colleagues.

The Institute wishes to establish the Y.B.G. Varma Institute Chair in Chemical Engineering in honour of Prof. Varma’s key role in the growth of the Department of Chemical Engineering into one of the globally top 50 departments. The first occupant of the Chair will be Prof. S. Pushpavanam (BT/CH/1984).

An Institute Chair requires an endowment of Rs 1 Cr, the returns from which will be used to sustain the chair. We appeal to all of you to join hands with the department of chemical engineering in this endeavor and contribute generously. Thank You.

Prof. Dr YBG Varma Institute Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras

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