Professor Bharat Bhushan awarded Tribology Gold Medal for 2020

date: 06.01.2021

In recognition of his outstanding achievements in Tribology, with five decades of distinguished and continued contributions to the advancement of Tribology as a prolific author and internationally recognised expert at the nano-to-microscales. His research contributions have significantly extended the interdisciplinary areas of biological and material science and he has pioneered the tribology of magnetic storage devices, bio-/nanotechnology, cosmetics and biomimetics, nanotribology and green tribology.

Professor Bharat Bhushan was born in a small town, Jhinjhana, India. He received a B.S. (Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India. At the age of twenty, in 1970, he left his native country to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, to pursue an advanced degree in Tribology. He took the first course in Tribology from Professor Ernest Rabinowicz, who was the 1998 Gold Medal winner and a student of the pioneer, Professor David Tabor, the first Gold Medal winner in1972. He received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1971. This was followed by an M.S. in Mechanics and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, in 1973 and 1976, respectively, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, NY, USA in 1980. Over recent years he has been awarded five honorary degrees: Doctor Technicae from the University of Trondheim, Norway in 1990, Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland in 1996, and Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the National Academy of Sciences, Gomel, Belarus in 2000, the University of Kragujevac, Serbia in 2011, and the University of Tyumen, Russia in 2019. He is at present an Academy Professor at The Ohio State University, USA. During 2013-14, he served as the ASME/AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, United States Congress, Washington, DC.

His research interests include fundamental studies in the interdisciplinary areas of bio/nanotribology, nanomechanics, nanomaterial characterisation, scanning probe techniques, magnetic storage, bio/nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, bioinspired liquid repellency, self-cleaning and water harvesting. He is considered as one of the pioneers of the tribology and mechanics of magnetic storage devices, nanotribology, ‘green’ tribology, cosmetic tribology, and biomimetics. Indeed, he introduced the word ‘nanotribology’ in a title of a Nature paper in 1995 and ‘green tribology’ in 2010. He is a very prolific author. He has authored 10 scientific books, 100+ book chapters, 900+ scientific papers and 60 technical reports. He has also edited 50+ books and holds more than 25 U.S. and foreign patents. He is one of Google Scholar’s ‘Highly Cited Researchers in All Fields’, with a ‘h index’ of 130. He is the Fourth Highly Cited Researcher in Mechanical Engineering and an ISI Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science and in the Cross-field Category. He has given more than 400 invited presentations in six continents and more than 400 keynote/plenary addresses at major international conferences. He delivered the TEDx 2019 Lecture on ‘Lessons from Nature’.

He has received more than two dozen awards from professional societies, industry and U.S. Government Agencies, including the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK, ‘Global Award’ for bioinspired surfaces. He received NASA’s ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ to recognise the critical tasks that he performed in support of President Reagan’s Commission investigating the Space Shuttle ‘Challenger’ Accident. He is also the recipient of various international fellowships including the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize for Senior Scientists, the Max Planck Foundation Research Award for Outstanding Foreign Scientists and the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. He is Foreign Member of the Russian International Academy of Engineering, the Belarusian Academy of Engineering and Technology, and the Academy of Triboengineering of Ukraine, an Honorary Member of the Society of Tribologists of Belarus and STLE, Fellow of ASME, IEEE, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and Member of ASEE, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi. His proud tribology moment was to teach a Tribology Course in 1999 as a faculty-appointed Guest Professor at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK - the home of the Tribology Pioneers: F. P. Bowden and D. Tabor.