Jamshedpur : Dr. Bal Raj Nijhawan, the first Indian Director of CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur, passed away at an age of 98 in Florida (USA).
Dr Nijhawan was a legend, a visionary and an inspirational leader who laid the foundation of R&D at NML. In an occasion during his last visit to NML, Jamshedpur, Dr. Nijhawan said, “I have been privileged and honored to have lived long enough to be a small part of the history of India, and to have been one of the members of this leading and prestigious international institution.
To say that I am proud of my association is an understatement….I am humbled to have had the opportunity as a young man to have experienced the joy and inspiration of the founding fathers of India, and the founding visionaries of the laboratory. NML has been my life and joy”.
Dr. Nijhawan was known for his vision, especially pilot scale research, for example on mineral processing, low shaft iron making furnace, ferro-alloys, manganese, aluminizing, etc., which helped towards establishing of new plants and /or industrial problem solving in India. His efforts fostered the Indian foundry industry.
He developed alloys with the use of indigenously available metals including nickel free austenitic stainless steels based on Cr, Mn and N systems. He had been internationally recognized for his work on armour plate development and armour failure and related fields and on control of austenitic grain size of steel.
Several research publications, technical reports, patents, books, etc. will always remain to his credit. Many Honours and Awards including Padma Shri (1958) and Bhatnagar Prize (1964) had been conferred upon him.
S. Srikanth director and all the staff of NML condole the sad demise of their beloved guide and philosopher Dr. Nijhawan. May His soul rest in peace.