IIT Hyderabad Professor Wins NASI Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award 2017

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Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad Professor Chandra Shekhar Sharma has been chosen for the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award 2017.

Prof. Chandra Shekhar Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, has been recognized for contributing significantly in the areas of electrospun nanofibers, nanostructured carbon materials and nature-inspired functional surfaces. They have a wide range of applications in important domains such as energy storage, environmental remediation and healthcare.

The NASI is the oldest science academy in India, established in the year 1930. As part of its Platinum Jubilee Year in 2005, the academy constituted the NASI Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award to recognize outstanding scientific contributions of young scientists (under the age of 35 years) in the areas of Physical/Chemical and Biological Sciences. This year, this award was given to 17 young scientists across the country. Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma is one of the three awardee this year for Engineering Sciences

Prof. Chandra Shekar Sharma and along with his team has recently developed electrospun nanofibers- based female hygiene product using biodegradable polymer. Commercial sanitary napkins add non-biodegradable petroleum-based superabsorbent polymers (SAP) into their absorbent core, which can have adverse health hazards apart from environmental problems in safe disposal of sanitary pads after use. Prof. Chandra Shekar Sharma’s team have eliminated the use of these SAPs by using material which has properties like high surface area and porosity for nanofibers.

Currently, the team is gearing up for field trials for this product and is looking forward for the successful commercialization of this technology in near future. Another interesting use of electrospun nanofibers in the research group is for controlled drug delivery. Through micro-patterning or sandwiching multiple fabrics helps in achieving control and sustained release of drugs up to 24 hrs. For this project Prof. Chandra Shekar Sharma and his team is collaborating with Prof. Saptarshi Majumdar, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad and Prof. Mudrika Khandelwal, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad. They have also received a new research grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, under its Nanomission Program.
Prof. Chandra Shekhar Sharma along with his team has also designed a novel way of using candle soot derived carbon nanoparticles as anode materials for Li ion batteries for electric vehicles. This is most inexpensive way of fabricating electrodes ever reported. Recently, we have received grant from MHRD, Govt. of India under its IMPRINT project scheme to develop a prototype Li ion battery based on this novel idea of candle soot. Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, GoI is also partially funding this project which is in collaboration with ARCI, Hyderabad. With Nano structuring of carbon materials, IIT Hyderabad aims to develop cost effective and high performance rechargeable Lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors.

The award will be presented to Prof Chandra Shekhar Sharma during the 87th annual session of National Science Academy of India at Savitribai Phule University, Pune from December 8-10, 2017.

Speaking about achieving the prestigious NASI Award, Prof. Chandra Shekar Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering said “I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious award. This award is another recognition of our scientific contribution made in last few years. I thank to my Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for introducing me to the research world. I also express my gratitude to my Institute Director Prof. U.B .Desai for his continuous support and encouragement. A special thanks to my students for their hard work to make this possible. Last but not the least, I thank to all my friends and family member for their unconditional support.

Major Latest awards won by Prof Chandra Shekhar Sharma:

1. SERB Indo-Us Research Fellowship 2016
As a part of this fellowship from Indo-US Science & Technology, Forum (IUSSTF), New Delhi, I am currently doing research for six months (March-August 2017) at University of Akron, Ohio, USA.
2. Institute of Engineers, India (IEI) Young Engineer Award in Chemical Engineering Division 2016
3. Selected as Member for five years (2017-21) in Indian Young Academy of Sciences (INYAS).
4. Recipient of DST-INSPIRE Faculty Award in 2014
. Our group has won Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award in two consecutive years, 2014 and 2015, This award is given by National Innovation Foundation.