For all young women looking for role models in STEM, here’s one to be really proud of. Indian professor Shobhana Narasimhan has carved her place in the list of International Honorary member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences which also included scholars and leaders like Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela.

Dr Narasimhan is from the Theoretical Sciences Unit (TSU) of the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR). A recipient of Stree Shakti Samman Science Award, Narasimhan heads the Computational Nanoscience Group at JNCASR. She has been elected as the International Honorary Member of  American Academy of Arts and Sciences that recognizes the distinguished work of scholars and leaders in the field of art, science and humanity and public life.

Her Life At A Glance

Born on August 16, 1963, Prof. Narasimhan is a B.Sc graduate from St. Xaviers College, University of Bombay. She completed her master’s degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. At Harvard University, she pursued her PhD in Physics under the supervision of Prof. David Vanderbilt. Later, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher, first at Brookhaven National Lab in New York, USA and then at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany. Prof. Narasimhan joined the JNCASR in 1996. She was formerly the chair of Theoretical Sciences Unit and the Dean of the Academic Affairs at JNCASR.

Her Contribution as a Woman Of Science

Prof. Shobhana Narasimhan’s most significant area of research is the design of nanomaterials in which she examined how the decrease in the dimensions and size affect the material properties. Her work is applied in the use of nanocatalysts for clean energy, magnetic materials for memory storage and other applications.

She is the recipient of the Fellowship of National Academy of Sciences in India in the year 2011. She was also honoured with Kalpana Chawla Woman Scientist Award of the Government of Karnataka in 2010.

Also Read: Indo-American Ritu Raman Among L’Oreal USA Women In Science Fellows

Played a role in encouraging and developing women scientists

Prof. Narasimhan has actively involved in the development programs that encourage women to be a part of the sciences. She has supported the promotion of women in STEM in India and abroad. She also became the member of two committees set up by Government of India – the National Task Force on Women in Science, and the Standing Committee on Women in Science and advised the government on how it can support the cause of women scientists.

Since 2013, she has also been co-organising the Career Development Workshops for Women in Physics at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in  Trieste, Italy and ICTP-EAIFR in Kigali, Rwanda.

“A science career requires many skills, such as networking, negotiating, projecting yourself, writing cover letters, replying to referee reports, preparing good slides and so on,” said Prof. Narasimhan told The Hindu. “Most men have mentors who in a friendly chat will guide them on these matters. At our workshops for early-career women from all parts of the developing countries, we deal with these aspects.” She believes that apart from her career in condensed physics, her role in the development programs for women scientists has also got her elected as the Honorary Member of the Academy.

Also Read: Women aren’t failing at science — science is failing women

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