G. Venketeswara Pai obituary

Photograph of G. Venketeswara Pai.

We are saddened by the passing of our colleague, G. Venketeswara Pai, known to his friends as Venkat. He died on 1 June, 2018, at the age of 46. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and was being treated for it.

Venkat was a condensed matter physicist, and joined the faculty at HRI in 2009. He graduated with a Ph. D. from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in 2003, and went on to post-doctoral fellowships at Trieste, Dresden, and Haifa, before coming to HRI.

He was an outstanding student, having stood first in his B. Sc. examination at the University of Kerala. He was also awarded for his performance in the M. Sc. programme at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Later, he won the best Ph. D. thesis award at IISc.

At IISc, Venkat worked first with T. V. Ramakrishnan, and then with H. R. Krishnamurthy, and formulated an independent microscopic model for manganites. This l-b (localised-band) model was a remarkable piece of work, and comprised Venkat's thesis. Over the years, he also explored the quantum Hall effect, quantum wires, correlated bosons, and the physics of electron-phonon systems.

He had a broad interest in physics, well beyond his specialisation. He was also a keen, and sometimes demanding, teacher. Besides the courses that he taught at HRI, he also gave courses on statistical physics and correlated electron systems at colleges in Kerala. He co-organised several schools at HRI. Saurabh Pradhan, a student at HRI, completed his Ph. D. in 2017 under his guidance. Several other students at HRI worked on shorter projects with Venkat.

If you knew Venkat, and would like to share a condolence message that will be displayed here, please write to Dileep Jatkar <dileep@hri.res.in>.

Govinda Venketeswara Pai, condensed matter physicist, born 11 May, 1972, died 1 June, 2018