Published: 24th July 2017
'A Giant of a Person': the scientific community mourns the loss of Professor U R Rao
Scientists who worked with him share memories of the Professor who passed away on Monday
He was a guide and mentor for many and an inspiration to others. Professor Udupi Ramachandra Rao's demise is a great loss to the scientific fraternity, say researchers and academicians who worked with him in the past. Better known as Professor U R Rao, the researcher and scientist breathed his last early in the morning on Monday. Scientists who worked with him shared fond memories of learning from him.
Padma Bhushan Dr B N Suresh who worked with Professor Rao at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) remembers him as a person whose dynamism was infectious. "I was the Group Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre when he was the Chairman of ISRO. He was a giant of a person. His contribution to Launch Vehicle Development is remarkable," he said. Dr Suresh recollected that it was his relentless efforts that made ASLV a successful one. "It happened during his tenure. Working with him on this, we learn so many lessons," he added.
I was the Group Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre when he was the Chairman of ISRO. He was a giant of a person. His contribution to Launch Vehicle Development is remarkable
Dr B N Suresh, President, Indian National Academy of Engineering
Dr V Sambasiva Rao, a professor at PES University has seen the Professor Rao at a close distance. Having worked with him for a tenure spanning over three decades, he explains that he was a mentor for him. "He was the director when I joined ISRO. He was a fatherly figure for us. He would take care of each of us personally and teach us," he added. "We were working at the Peenya Industrial Area before relocating to Old Airport Road in the 80s. He was always open to discussion. We could approach him at any time for help," he said.
Dr S N Omkar, professor, IISc said that even as he shared no individual interactions with him, he has known him as a giant in the space world. "It is a great loss to the fraternity. I understand that he worked even on his last days. That shows his passion for work," he added.