Full Name: Tamaphur Sridhar
Original Appointment at Monash: Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering
Date of Commencement: 1979
Tam Sridhar’s first impression of Monash University was that it was ‘extremely pretty’. He arrived at Monash in March 1974 to undertake his PhD in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Owen Potter. Sridhar had earlier completed a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in Chemical Engineering at the University of Madras in South India. He then went on to complete a Masters at the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, before seeking to undertake a PhD overseas. He applied to Monash University on the recommendation of a colleague and in December 1973 was offered a PhD fellowship.
After completing his PhD Sridhar took up a senior teaching fellowship at Monash for the following two years. When it became clear that teaching places at universities in Australia were being reduced under the Fraser Government and jobs were increasingly hard to secure, Sridhar decided to accept a teaching position at the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. He stayed there for two years, until Owen Potter, on a visit to the USA, asked him to return to Monash as a Senior Lecturer to continue the work they commenced during his PhD years. Sridhar reflected ‘it was very, very gracious of him’. So Sridhar returned to Monash as a Senior Lecturer and after about five years was promoted to Reader.
When Potter retired in 1992, Sridhar successfully applied for a professorial position within the Department of Chemical Engineering and became Head of the Department for the following eleven years. After Michael Brisk stepped down as Dean of Engineering at the end of 2002, Sridhar – with encouragement – applied for the position. He remains the current Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.
Sridhar has had a distinguished career as an academic engineer, and is an outstanding scholar with an international reputation in the area of polymers. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) and the Australian Academy of Science. He was made an Honorary Fellow and awarded the GP Kane Award by the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers. Sridhar was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science and the ESSO Energy Award for outstanding contribution in the field of chemical engineering. In 2004, he was Chair of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (Australia) and during his career he has served as a member of the ARC Panel on Engineering.
Sridhar has an outstanding record of research, with over 140 publications. He has been awarded individually, or as co-investigator, approximately 44 competitive research grants and has supervised more than 22 PhD candidates. Sridhar is the founding co-editor of the Korea-Australia Rheology Journal.
Tam Sridhar is also highly regarded as a consultant on chemical engineering matters, both nationally and internationally. He has made a significant contribution to Monash University through many years of distinguished service in research, teaching, community service and administration.