Ravi B. Grover is an Indian nuclear scientist and a mechanical engineer. He is the founding vice chancellor (during initial years he was designated as director equivalent to vice chancellor) of the Homi Bhabha National Institute, a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and World Academy of Art and Science. He was the president of the Indian Society of Heat and Mass Transfer for the period 2010–2013. He has been awarded Padma Shri by Government of India in the year 2014.
He retired from his previous position as Principal Adviser, Strategic Planning Group, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), in February 2013. Following retirement, he was appointed to DAE’s Homi Bhabha Chair for a period of five years. Concurrently with his position in the DAE, he conceptualized setting up of Homi Bhabha National Institute and led it from 2005 to 2016. Presently he is Emeritus Professor, Homi Bhabha National Institute. His prior positions include Director of the Knowledge Management Group and Associate Director, Technical Coordination & International Relations Group at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He represented BARC training school in the World Nuclear University in 2003.
Education and academic career
Ravi B. Grover completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Delhi College of Engineering in 1970 and joined the staff of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. He completed a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1982.
He was awarded Dhirubhai Ambani Oration Award by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2008, Distinguished Alumnus Award by Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association in 2009, Distinguished Alumnus Award by Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association in 2011. In 2016, Delhi college of Engineering Alumni Association bestowed him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
During first 25 years of his career, Dr. Grover worked as a nuclear engineer and specialised in thermal hydraulics. He worked on fluid to fluid modelling techniques for two-phase flows, reactor fuel and core thermal hydraulics, safety analysis and process design of reactor systems and equipment. Post 1996, he took up managerial responsibilities including technology transfer, human resource development and extramural funding.
On 15 January 2013, the Prime Minister of India conferred on him the Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2011 for his outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear engineering, towards national initiative to open international civil nuclear trade, further development of framework for governance of nuclear power and human resource development. The citation for the award stated, “During a career spanning four decades, Dr. Grover has distinguished himself as an academic, research and development engineer and a science administrator. His knowledge of nuclear engineering and nuclear law has earned him the title ‘nuclear diplomat’.” Citation says, ” He played maximum role in all steps taken by the Government of India towards opening international civil nuclear trade.” Citation also acknowledges his role during negotiations in 2005 aimed at India joining ITER and he has been leading the Indian delegation to ITER Council since its inception.
In 2014, he was conferred India’s fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. In 2016, Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association presented him a lifetime achievement award for his continued high level involvement in professional activities.
Support for Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy
Ravi Grover is well known in India as a proponent of nuclear energy as can be seen from his publications related to nuclear energy. He is an editor of the International Journal of Nuclear Knowledge Management.
Dr Grover along with his colleagues formulated a scenario for growth of electricity demand in India by taking into consideration economic growth, population growth, and improvement in energy intensity of GDP and formulating a possible supply mix considering India’s fuel resource base to delineate niche area for nuclear energy. This was the first such long-term forecast of electricity demand in India and firmly established the role of nuclear energy in India’s electricity mix. Based on a very simple logic, in an article published in The Hindu, he explains why India needs nuclear energy. He has been writing in media about issues related to India’s electricity needs and have been highlighting the importance of nuclear energy.
He has worked on details of India’s regime on civil liability for nuclear damage and is credited with explaining fine detail regarding Supplier’s liability.
Setting up of Homi Bhabha National Institute
Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) was accredited as a deemed to be university in 2005 and Ravi Grover was its first Director. He played a lead role in setting up the Institute. To comply with the new regulations, his title was changed to Vice Chancellor. He was head of HBNI from 2005 until February 2016 and has brought it to the stage of one of the leading research universities in India. Ravi Grover has written a brief history of the Institute in an article published by him on the website of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has also written an article in Current Science (10 October 2019) explaining the rationale for setting up the Institute.