By Tina Abraham
Professor P. Somasundaran was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award at an International Engineering Congress at its Banquet in Quebec City in Canada on September 12. Attended by about 1500 attendees, the award presented by Prof. James Finch, Chairman of the International Engineering Congress and its president Dr Cyril O’Connor.
Dr. Somasundaran is currently the La von Duddleson Krumb Professor, Director of Langmuir Center for Colloids & Interfaces, and Director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center at Columbia University Author of 15 books and 700 scientific publications, Somasundaran is a 1985 inductee of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction that can be conferred to an engineer at that time, and later to the Chinese National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and the Balkan Academy of Mineral Technology Sciences. More recently he was the sole Foreign Fellow elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2010. His list of professional awards include SME Antoine M. Gaudin Award, Mill Man of Distinction Award), AIME Publication Board Award, Robert H. Richards Award, Arthur F. Taggart Award best paper award, Distinguished Achievement in Engineering” award from AINA, Distinguished Alumnus (1989 sole award)from the Indian Institute of Science, Engineering Foundation’s Aplan award , AIME Mineral Industry Education Award , MEANA Engineer of the Year Award , Fellowship of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers .
In addition, he was awarded the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” in 1990. In March 2010, the President of India awarded him the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honors. He was appointed to the EPA Board of Scientific Councilors in 2014 and chairman of its Chemical Safety and Sustainability committee as well as Hazardous risk committee. More recently he was awarded the National Science Foundation Alex Schwarzkopf award for Technical innovation and the Columbia university “World-class Scholarly Achievement award” from Raj Center of School of International and public affairs. He has worked on many problems in collaboration with Indian scientists at IISc, IIT, TCS/TRDC, NCL etc. He has been serving in the Board of the “Volunteers in Service to Education in India” to assist needy students.