INDIA: Senior scientist Nallathamba Kalaiselvi goes on to be the first woman to head a consortium of 38 research institutes across the country. She has been elevated to the position of Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Known for her work in lithium-ion batteries, Kalaiselvi is currently the Director of the CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute at Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu. She started her career from the same institute.
She replaces Shekhar Mande, who retired in April. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary of the Ministry of Biotechnology, was given additional charge of CSIR after Mande’s retirement.
Kalaiselvi will also serve as Secretary of the Scientific and Industrial Research Department.
Her appointment is for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of office or until further orders, whichever comes first, an order from the Ministry of Personnel said on Saturday.
Kalaiselvi rose to prominence at CSIR and broke the proverbial glass ceiling by becoming the first woman scientist to head the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI) in February 2019.
Hailing from Ambasamudhram, a small town in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, Kalaiselvi attended a Tamil medium school, which she said helped her understand science concepts in college.
Kalaiselvi’s more than 25 years of research work is primarily focused on electrochemical energy systems and in particular the development of electrode materials and the electrochemical evaluation of in-house prepared electrode materials for their suitability for assembly of energy storage devices.
Her research interests include lithium batteries and other lithium batteries, supercapacitors, and waste-to-wealth fueled electrodes and electrolytes for energy storage and electrocatalytic applications.
She is currently involved in the development of practically viable sodium/lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors.
Kalaiselvi has also contributed significantly to the National Electric Mobility Mission. She has more than 125 research papers and six patents to his credit.