Dr. Vijay Kumar Foundation  


Prof. Vijay Kumar
Founder Dr. Vijay Kumar Foundation
e-mail: kumar at vkf dot in
 
                Prof. Vijay kumar was  born  in  a  small  town Gangoh in district Saharanpur (U.P.) in a family of small business and agriculture. He grew up with great affection and love from parents. He consistently achieved distinction in school and got encouragement from father to continue higher education in spite of the difficulty his father faced to run his business and agriculture alone. Prof. Kumar continued to achieve distinction in University and received gold medal in M.Sc. Physics from University of Roorkee. His father wanted him to join Indian Administrative Service (IAS) but Prof. Kumar preferred to continue higher studies and did Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. S. K. Joshi at Roorkee. He made humble beginning in his career as a Lecturer in Physics in D.B.S. College, Dehra Dun and continued his research in spite of practically no research environment in College. In 1978 he got an opportunity to attend a Spring College on Physics of Modern Materials at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP ), Trieste, Italy – the “Temple of Knowledge” for the third world scientists, and this catalysed his research efforts further. It was a turning point in his career. He could have not expected that this beginning with ICTP would become a long association. He was selected as a Young Associate of ICTP and was invited again in 1979 to attend the summer workshop in condensed matter physics. In 1979 he was selected as a Humboldt  Fellow (Germany) and in the pursuit of continuing research he spent about 6 years at the Freie Universitat, Berlin and returned back to India in 1985 to join the Reactor Research Centre, now the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam where he made significant contributions in the area of quasicrystals - a newly developed subject at that time. He became an Associate of ICTP in 1986 and in 1990 he was invited to join the ICTP as a staff member and to coordinate the Diploma Course in Condensed Matter Physics - a new activity of ICTP. It was an opportunity to serve the Temple, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UNESCO. For him, it was heartening to see many young scientists from developing countries, their motivation to excel and the difficulties they faced in their countries. Added from his own experience he could see the problems. In 1993 he resigned from his job at the ICTP to return back to Kalpakkam. During his visits to ICTP he saw a revolution happening in the area of computational materials research which had roots in Trieste where Prof. Roberto Car and Prof. Michele Parrinello did their path breaking research on ab initio molecular dynamics and Prof. Kumar became a part of it.
                 He promoted Computational Materials Research in India and proposed creation of a subject group “Computer Aided Design of Materials” in the Materials Research Society of India (MRSI) and served as its Chairman for about 2 years. He received the MRSI Medal in 1996. Prof. Kumar also contributed very significantly to the formation of Asian Consortium for Computational Materials Science (ACCMS) and he was given the First ACCMS AWARD in 2004 in Russia "for his dedication to scientific research, his continuous help to the organization and many contributions to the establishment of ACCMS".

                  ICTP created a spark in his scientific career and he got opportunities to work in different parts of the world. He discovered silicon fullerenes and contributed very significantly particularly in the area of clusters and nanomaterials.  Inspired from it, he thought to develop a place which could create spark in the lives of people, contribute to quality education and make public awareness of scientific and technological advances for developing a knowledge based modern society.

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