Dr. Umakant Choudhurywas born on 2nd January 1959 in Orissa. He obtained his B.Sc. Engg.. in Electrical Engg. (with Hons. and 1st position) from R.E.C. Rourkela in 1980. He joined BHEL, Corp. R&D Division, Hyderabad  in 1981. He was awarded  Ph.D. in Electrical Engg. by Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur for his  research work on the “Design of Magnetic shield and analysis of superconducting generator using field approach”.  

         He has been involved in the development and commercialization of a series of constant speed and variable speed brushless exciters for synchronous generators and VFD synchronous motors. He has also developed a series of permanent magnet generators (PMGs) and motors  for various applications, He has worked in the area of transient studies of synchronous machines, 3-phase short sudden short circuits, voltage dip and load switch on studies.  He was associated in the development work of magnetic bearing and fault monitoring system for induction motors. He was also associated with I.I.T Kharagpur for the development Superconducting Magnet Energy Storage programme. At present, he is involved in managing innovation and technology development at BHEL. He has published number of technical papers and has more than 30  patents/copyrights to his credit. He was conferred with “Best Young Engineer” Award in the area of Electrical Engineering by CBIP in the year 1992. He has attended the programme on “Management of New Product Design & Development for India arranged by AOTS, Japan”. Presently, he is working as Executive Director, Corporate Technology Management, BHEL, New Delhi.  


Valérie Kelleris a senior scientist at ICPEES in Strasbourg. She received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and Catalysis from the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg in 1993. In 1996 she returned to Strasbourg and was appointed as researcher in CNRS, where she is now responsible of the Team “Photocatalysis and Photoconversion”. Her main research activities concern photocatalysis for environmental, energy and health applications, and the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for photoconversion purposes. She is the author of over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 85 oral communications in international conferences and symposium. She is also the author of 15 patents. In 2013 she was awarded the 1st Price of the Strategic Reflection (awarded by the French prime Minister).

Prof. Vinu has been working as a full professor of Nanomaterials and ARC Future Fellow at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia since October 2015. Before moving to University of South Australia, he was working as a full professor at the University of Queensland from September 2011 to September 2015. Prior coming to Australia,  he had been working as a senior researcher and research group leader at the national institute for materials science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Japan since 2006 after he successfully completed two years of the ICYS fellowship at the same institute and a few years of research at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK), Germany. During these 15 years of research, Prof. Vinu has made a tremendous contribution in the field of nanoporous materials and their application in sensing, energy storage, fuel cells, adsorption and separation, and catalysis. The quality of his research has been recognised with several international awards including Scopus Young Researcher Award 2014, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel award by the Humboldt Society (2010), JSPS Senior Invitational Fellow for the year 2014, Australian Future Fellowship (Professorial Level) for the year 2010, Indian Society for Chemists and Biologists award for excellence for the year 2010, Catalysis Society of India Young Scientist award for the year 2010, Chemical Society of Japan Award for the Young Scientist for the year 2008, Laureate of Khwarizmi International Award 2008, Asian Excellent Lectureship Award, and ICYS fellowship. Prof. Vinu is honoured with the fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, FRSC (UK) and Foreign Fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences, FFMAS. His contribution in the field of nanoporous materials is also clearly reflected by his international ranking by Science Watch as one of the top 15 researchers in the field and has led to ca. 315 papers in high impact factor journals with ca. 13,000 citations and a H-index of 59. His research has been published in top journals like Angew. Chemie, Nano Letters, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Mater, Adv. Funct., Mater. Chem., Eur. J., Chem. Mater., etc. with an average of 750 citations per year. At least 35 of his papers have been cited more than 100 times (14 papers have been cited more than 200 times) and 65 papers have been cited more than 50 times. The innovative nature and commercial potential of his research is evidenced in the 26 national and international patents he has been awarded for novel mesoporous carbon, silica and carbon nitride materials. He has also been invited to write several chapters by respected publishers including Wiley, Elsevier and American Scientific. This numerical data reveals the high quality of his research, innovative ideas and creativity. He is the Editor of Science of Advanced Materials and Australian Editor of Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and recently, was invited and appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Advanced Porous Materials by the American Scientific Publishers for a period of five years. He has been recently appointed as the Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports, a Nature Publishing Group and Chemical Record, a Wiley Journal for three years. Professor Vinu is also in the Editorial board of several journals namely Journal of Nano Science and Nanotechnology, Current Science, etc. His research has attracted worldwide attention and he has been invited to deliver presentations at numerous international conferences, workshops and seminars and chaired sessions of several international conferences. Professor Vinu has visited institutes in more than 40 countries to deliver lectures and gave ca. 215 lectures including 30 plenary and 26 keynote lectures at international conferences as well as ca. 158 invited talks. Because of his outstanding performance and collaboration activities, he was offered honorary professor position from leading universities including Hokkaido University, Japan, Yonsei University, South Korea, Kyungpook National University, South Korea, Fudan University, China, Jilin University, China, Mangalore University, India, and Anna University, India, and Adjunct Principal Researcher from Korean Research Institute for Chemical technology, Daejeon, South Korea. Professor Vinu has a network of collaborations with researchers in 15 countries.