Dr J Narayana Das, OS & CC R&D (NS & M)
Dr. J. Narayana Das, Outstanding Scientist is Chief Controller Research & Development at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) w.e.f. 1st Nov. 2009 for Naval Systems & Materials development projects.
Dr. J. Narayana Das, born in 1949, joined DRDO at Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in 1971 after completing his B. Tech from IIT, Madras. Subsequently, he completed his MS and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Madras. During his stay in DRDL (1971–1981), he was responsible for development of refuelling system for surface to air missiles and propulsion test facilities for rocket engines in addition to other research work on liquid rocket propellant. Later he moved over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi in 1981. At NPOL, he was actively involved in developing passive acoustic materials and acoustic transducer technology for sonar systems. He was instrumental in establishing Materials Science Division at NPOL and was heading Sonar Transducer Group from 1998 to 2003.
He took over as Director, Naval Materials Research Laboratory, Ambernath in November 2003. As Director, NMRL, transformed the laboratory into a major contributor of Products and Technologies, while still maintaining the scientific temper. Under his leadership major breakthroughs were achieved in Welding Technology for Ship-building Steel. Through an innovative project implementation strategy, multiple vendors were parallely developed for MMAW, SAW, FCAW and GMAW. The technology of alloyed wire known to the Russian practice has been successfully established. Indian Navy has inducted the materials and technologies. He has spearheaded the development of fuel cell technologies and an industrial version of modular 15 kW power station was provided for demonstration on Technology Day – 2008 at DRDO Bhawan. Under his leadership, NMRL was awarded Titanium Trophy – 2005 and DRDO Technology Spin-off Award - 2007.
He was instrumental in establishing the Materials Science Division at NPOL and was heading the Sonar Transducer Group from 1998 to 2003.
He was appointed chief controller R&D in Defence Research and Development Organisation headquarters in November 2009. As chief controller R&D at DRDO headquarters, he is spearheading the development of various projects on naval systems and technologies and material developments projects. He revamped the major sonar projects such submarine sonar USHUS, Towed array sonar, Nagan, Torpedo detection and defence system (Mareech) and made USHUS system operational on board three submarines. Other Sonar projects are advanced stage of development. Torpedo projects, ship launched heavy weight torpedo, are in users trials stage and lightweight torpedo is in sub-systems development stage. He leading the composite team constituted by DRDO HQrs on a major programme of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, based on fuel cell technology for submarine propulsion. In the field of materials development, high temperature materials for hypersonic vehicles, single crystal casting technology for turbine blades, high strength high toughness naval steels for submarine construction are under progress under his leadership.
He has played key role in preparing comprehensive 12th five year plan for naval and materials development projects.
Dr. J. Narayana Das is recipient of the coveted “Scientist of the Year” Award of DRDO in 1998 for innovative contributions in Naval System Technology, VASVIK Award for Materials Science & Engineering in 2004 and Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT, Madras in 2008.
Dr. Narayana Das has published more than 15 papers in International and national journals and holds more than 8 Indian patents and 4 international patents in materials technology. He is member of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, Materials Research Society of India, ISSS and FRP Institute.