Late Prof. N. R. Kamath & Mrs. Ruzena Kamath Memorial Lecture
ABOUT PROF. N. R. KAMATH :
Narayan Ragappa Kamath known to his close friends as NRK was born on 8th August, 1914 at Mulki in South Karnataka.
After early schooling at Mulki Village he studied at Mangalore. He joined St. Xaviers College at Mumbai and passed B.Sc. in 1934 with First Class Distinction, scoring 100% marks in Chemistry. A record it is said which is still not surpassed. He joined B.Sc. (Tech.) Course in Chemical Engineering at UDCT and again passed with Distinction. He then joined University College, London and subsequently Shelac Research Bureau, London. In the meantime war broke out and Laboratory was completely bombed, destroying all his experimental set-up. He however, continued work at the new premises in Edinburgh and with the help of his Research Guides published 18 papers on various aspects of Shelac.
Call to help Nation came to his mind and despite lucrative offers in U.K. he came to Mumbai in July, 1946 and joined UDCT as a Reader in Technology of Plastics, Paints and Varnishes. He was appointed Professor of Polymer Technology in 1958.
In 1960 he left UDCT and joined Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Mumbai as Dy. Director and Prof. and Head of Chemical Engineering Dept.
Late Prof. Kamath was a pioneer in establishing Plastic Technology Course in the country and he trained a large number of students, many of them have excelled in their professions. In recognition of his invaluable contributions, AIPMA awarded him an outstanding Service Award during his Silver Jubilee Celebration.
During his illustrations career, Late Prof. Kamath trained about 175 students in Specialized Disciplines & Research, published about 75 papers of International Standards in India and abroad, a rare distinction indeed.
On occasion of his 60th birthday, his UDCT Students honoured him by presenting a purse of individual personal contribution. The Felicitation Committee formed the Trust and collected additional amount and endowed handsome donations to organize Annual Memorial Lectures, to three Professional Societies viz.
1. The Colour Society
2. Indian Institute of Chemical Engineering
3. Indian Plastics Institute
He breathed his last and left for Heavenly Abode on 9th July, 1983 at Czechoslovakia.
His comrade in life since 1942 Mrs. Rozianna Kamath who was an ideal wife, worked hand-in-hand with him. On her demise, as per her wish, Trustees of her Will not only donated an handsome amount to the above referred three Institutions, but, created a new Endowment in the name of “ Prof. N. R. Kamath – Book Authors Award”at UDCT, Mumbai.
Prof. Kamath’s past students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai celebrated his 100 Birth Centenary on 6th September, 2014 with a Half-Day Conference on “Winds of Change in Chemical Engineering – NRK’s Vision and its Relevance Today. “ Further his past students at IIT has planned to create an Endowment of U.S.$ 1.0 Million at IIT, Mumbai for instituting a Post of Visiting Professor, by inviting world renowned Academicians every year to share his Teaching and Research Experience. A great honour indeed.
Late Prof. Kamath was a person of rare merits. He followed scholarly pursuits and possessed intellectual abilities. He was an excellent Teacher, a dependable friend and guide. He was bold and forthright in approach and straightforward in his dealings, honest and Nationalist to the core and above all, humble and human in behavior.
We pay our humble tribute to Late Prof. Kamath and pray almighty that may his humble contributions be remembered for generations to come.