Ajayan elected foreign fellow of Indian National Science Academy

Rice researcher recognized for his pioneering work on engineered hybrid nanostructures and interface engineered nanomaterials.

Pulickel Ajayan standing in hallway

Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor of Engineering and founding chair of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University, has been elected a foreign fellow of the Indian National Science Academy.

The Academy recognized Ajayan, a leading researcher in the field of carbon nanotubes, for his “significant contributions to the understanding of electromechanical properties of such nanostructured materials and pioneering work in the template-assisted synthesis of engineered hybrid nanostructures and interface engineered nanomaterials.”

The Academy also cited Ajayan for his “pioneering work on nanocomposites, starting with carbon nanotube polymer composites, providing insights into multifunctional nanocomposite materials.” The appointment becomes effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Ajayan has published a book and more than 1,000 journal articles with more than 204,000 citations and an h-index of 217, according to Google Scholar. His research interests include synthesis and structure-property relations of nanostructures and nanocomposites, materials science and applications of nanomaterials, energy storage and phase stability in nanoscale systems.

Ajayan earned his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 1989, and worked for three years as a postdoctoral researcher at NEC Corp. in Japan, followed by two years as a research scientist at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides in Orsay, France and more than a year as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung in Stuttgart, Germany.

He joined the materials science and engineering faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in 1997 and the Rice faculty in 2007.

Ajayan has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the National Academy of Inventors  and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is an honorary member of the Materials Research Society of India and the Indian Institute of Metals.