Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Growth is a very profound experience. We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. Well, this has been rather avouched by our Alumnus Dr. Samir V Kamat, whose sense of purpose evoked metamorphism in Defence applications for our country and led to the advanced development towards the service of the nation.
Dr. Samir V. Kamat, an Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur has been appointed the Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development (R&D) and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) by the Appointments Committee of the cabinet on August 25, 2022. Dr. Kamat has been conducting cutting-edge research and development on materials for various defence applications for the past three decades and has been bestowed the Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT Kharagpur for the year 2018. As a Distinguished Scientist and Director General, Naval Systems and Materials, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), he is posted at Visakhapatnam.
Dr. Kamat completed his B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering in 1985 from IIT Kharagpur and was a recipient of the Institute Silver Medal as department topper. A Ph.D from Ohio State University, USA in Materials Science and Engineering in 1988, he did his Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Washington State University, Pullman, USA. and joined the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), DRDO in 1989 as a Research Scientist. He was appointed the Outstanding Scientist & Director, DMRL, DRDO, Hyderabad in 2015 before taking up his current position at Visakhapatnam.
In his role, first as Director, DMRL, and now as Director General, Naval Systems and Materials, DRDO, Dr. Kamat has provided leadership and direction to several critical materials and naval systems programmes and has played a key role in enhancing the interaction of cluster laboratories with academic institutions as well as industry. He has taken steps to align the programmes of the cluster laboratories with the long-term integrated perspective plans of the Services.
“Appointment of Dr. Samir V. Kamat, Distinguished Scientist and Director General, Naval Systems & Materials as Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO from the date of his assumption of charge till he attains the age of 60 years or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” said a statement from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Dr. Kamat’s contributions in the area of microstructure-mechanical property correlations in advanced materials, such as particulate reinforced metal matrix composites, ceramic matrix composites, aluminium-lithium alloys, high strength aluminium alloys and titanium alloys, have led to their development for various defence applications. These include development of Samarium-Cobalt magnets for gyros used in guidance systems of missiles and BLDC motors used in torpedoes, DMR-1700 ultrahigh strength steel for rocket motor casings, titanium alloys for aeronautical applications and advanced functional materials such as piezoelectric, magnetoelectric and magnetic materials for sensor, actuator and energy harvesting devices.
Dr. Kamat has also been responsible for setting-up state-of-the-art experimental facilities at DMRL such as Thin Film Lab, Small Length Scale Mechanical Testing Lab and Stress Corrosion Cracking test facility. His work on stress corrosion cracking (SCC) behaviour of ultrahigh strength 250 grade maraging and DMR 1700 steels has resulted in the development of a three-layer coating system for protection of these steels against SCC failure in marine environment. After generating significant contributions to the development of Rare Earth Permanent Magnet (REPM) Technology in DMRL, a MoU was initiated by him between DMRL, BARC, IREL and ARCI to launch a Mineral-to-Magnet programme that aims to make the country totally self-reliant in this critical REPM technology.
Dr. Kamat has been part of several committees of national importance and has contributed to the drafting of the National Strategic Materials Policy. Recipient of the DRDO Young Scientist of the Year award twice, he was awarded the Swatantryaveer Savarkar Smarak Award for Science in 2016.
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