Dr. Amol A. Gokhale took over as Director of Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) in February 2013. Ever since he joined the DMRL (part of DRDO) in Hyderabad in 1985, Dr. Gokhale has been involved with the development of light alloys, metal foams and high temperature materials for aerospace and defense applications. He supported transfer of titanium sponge technology to public sector unit KMML in Kerala recently. He moreover, led collaborative projects with Russia and Belarus on advanced light materials.
Besides a B.Tech. Degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay, Dr. Gokhale holds an MS (1980) and PhD (1985) in Metallurgical Engineering, both from University of Pittsburgh, USA. During his second year at IIT Bombay, Dr. Gokhale was among the bottom 10% students of his class. However, good counselling and support from batch mates turned things around and he graduated with a second position in his class. A pep talk by Prof. G.S. Tendolkar on health management, during his IIT days, also made a lasting impression on Dr. Gokhale. “The stories of crocodiles in the Powai lake were making round, but never trusted till some of us came face to face with the aquatic tetrapod during one of the boating sessions! Friday night movies along with dinner and musical sessions on the terrace of H7 meant ultimate relaxation for us. The Mood Indigo of 1978 was another memorable event, when I played a little part as the Music Secretary of the Gymkhana. IIT Bombay was the first place where I ventured into singing in public. The hobby graduated to taking lessons in Classical Music,” he recollected. He also got into the habit of reading during this time.
Dr. Gokhale has 90 publications, 25 technical reports and one patent to his credit, and has given more than 50 invited talks in various forums. A book titled “Aluminum Lithium Alloys: Processing, Properties and Applications”, co-authored by him and published by Elsevier Publications was released in October 2013. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a National Council member of the Indian Institute of Metals. He has received the ‘Binani Gold Medal’ of the Indian Institute of Metals in 1993, the National Research and Development Corporation ‘Technology Innovation’ Award in 1994, the National Metallurgists’ Day ‘Metallurgist of the Year Award’ by the Ministry of Steel in 2000, the ‘DRDO Scientist of the Year’ award in 2008 and the ‘GD Birla Gold Medal’ from the Indian Institute of Metals in 2010.
Dr. Gokhale has forged strong links with IIT Bombay by promoting high quality research in Mechanical, Metallurgical and Chemical Engineering departments through collaborative projects related to advanced materials and process development. These interactions have proved to be mutually beneficial to the institute as well as to DRDO. He has several joint publications with faculty members of IIT Bombay to his credit. He played an important role in the initiation of two new DRDO-supported research projects in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Sciences (MEMS) Department. Besides these, several IIT students and DMRL scientists have been supervised or co-supervised by Dr Gokhale for their M. Tech. and Ph. D. thesis. “I have miles to go on this front, the possibilities of my contributing to the growth of my alma mater are endless,” he concluded.