Published on 09/04/2024
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Internationally renowned science leader to give Aston University’s annual distinguished lecture
Professor Raghunath Anant Mashelkar
  • Professor Raghunath Anant Mashelkar will be presenting the Aston University annual distinguished lecture on 22 April
  • He is a highly respected globally acclaimed scholar, including leading the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • His lecture is based on his career-long contributions to the world of science.

A world-renowned scientist and research leader will be presenting the 2024 Aston University’s annual distinguished lecture.

Professor Mashelkar is a leading international scholar with an outstanding career across science, industry and society, including leading the Indian National Science Academy, involving a vast network of scientific institutions across India. Professor Mashelkar is the former Director General of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Chair of the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research.

An iconic figure in India, he was the first scholar from the country to be elected as a Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors in 2017, and was the first scientist to win the USA Business Week ‘Stars of Asia’ award, in association with the former US president George Bush (Sr). He has been honoured three times with India's highest civilian awards in recognition of his outstanding impact. Professor Mashelkar drafted the historic Pretoria Declaration on ‘Global Knowledge Pool for Global Good’, which led to the formation of the Global Research Alliance (GRA), for whom he served as president for a decade. 

He has made pioneering contributions to rheology (the study of the flow of matter such as fluids and ‘soft solids’), non-Newtonian fluid mechanics and polymer reaction engineering. His work in mechanistic analysis, synthesis and some breakthrough applications of novel stimuli-responsive polymers has received worldwide accolades. 

Professor Mashelkar has served on some of the most important global scientific bodies, including on the Queen Elizabeth Prizes for Engineering awards committee in UK. He has received many global accolades including the TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize (2018), the highest science prize by the World Academy of Science, and carried out ground-breaking work on intellectual property rights in India; including successfully challenging the US patent on the use of turmeric for wound healing and the patent on Basmati rice. A former visiting professor at Harvard University, he served as the Director of the National Chemical Laboratory and President of the Global Research Alliance.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at Aston University, said: "I am delighted that Professor Mashelkar will be visiting Aston University this year to present the annual Aston Distinguished Lecture. 

“This prestigious annual event is a testament to our commitment to bring the best and brightest minds and globally renowned leaders to Birmingham and our campus to engage with our community and stakeholders on important issues that shape our world. 

“I look forward to Professor Mashelkar’s insightful lecture, based on decades of his experience in polymer science”.
Professor Mashelkar will be visiting Aston University on 22 April to give a talk Trapeze Artistry in Biomimetic Smart Gels, based on his world-class research in polymers.

His lecture will explore the use of synthetic polymeric gels which due to their physical properties have the potential to be used in a wide range of applications, from the food industry to agriculture to biomedical use. 

The distinguished lecture series was established by Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Aleks Subic in 2023. It brings influential speakers to the University to address major scientific breakthroughs, as well as social, cultural and policy issues. The first distinguished lecture was given by Nobel Laureate Peter Agre in 2023.

The lecture will take place on the Aston University campus. To attend the talk visit 

Notes to editors

About Aston University
For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.
Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.
Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.
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