Senior Scientist and former Chairman of ISRO Vasant Ranchhod Gowarikar died after a brief illness in Pune, India on 2 January 2015. He was 82.
Chiefly known as the Father of the Indian Monsoon Model, Gowarikar was the first scientist to develop first indigenous weather forecasting model that predicted monsoon correctly. Between 1991 and 1993, he served as Scientific Advisor to late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.
He was Protégé of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, and was a part of the band of scientists who initiated India’s satellite research programme. Some other scientists in the team were A. P. J. Kalam, E. V. Chitnis, Pramod Kale, U. R. Rao and others.
His collaboration with Dr. F.H. Garner helped in creation of the Garner-Gowarikar theory, a novel analysis of heat and mass transfer between solids and fluid. It was under Garner’s supervision, he pursued his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK.
About Vasant Ranchhod Gowarikar
• He made valuable contributions in the fields of space research, weather forecasting and others
• He was associated with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as Chief and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre as Director between 1979 and 1985
• He had also served as Secretary to Department of Science and Technology
• In 1967, he joined the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Kerala as Head of Propellant Engineering Division. He pioneered solid propellant development
• He was Chairman of the Marathi Vidnyan Parishad between 1994 and 2000.
• Between 1995 and 1998, he served as the Vice-Chancellor of Pune University and was associated with several other varsities in different capacities
• In 2008, he along with his associates compiled The Fertilizer Encyclopedia that featured 4500 entries detailing the chemical composition of fertilizers
• He was born on 25 March 1933 in Maharashtra
• He also worked with the UK Atomic Energy Authority
• Awards conferred on him include
a) Padma Shri (1984)
b) Padma Bhushan (2008)
c) The Fie Foundation Award
Where: in Pune
What: died at the age of 82
When: on 2 January 2015