Hometown: Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
Marital Status: Married
|Real name/Full name||Nallathamby Kalaiselvi|
|Known for||Being appointed as the first woman director general of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) — India’s premier public sector R&D organisation on 8 August 2022|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Fellowship Programs||• 1999: Selected for INSA visiting fellowship [within INDIA] for the year
• 2003-04: Brain Pool Fellowship Program of South Korea
• 2009-10: Raman Research Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, USA
• 2011: Selected under INSA-NRF exchange Program of Scientists and visited KERI, Changwon
|Awards||• 1999: INSA Visiting fellowship (INSA, India)
• 1999, 2000, & 2001: Young Scientist Seminar Award of CECRI (3 times)
• 2003: Brain Pool Fellowship of Korea (South Korea)
• 2006: Citation in Marqui’s who is who in Science and Engineering in Asia
• 2007: Top 100 Scientists of the year 2007 and International Scientist of the year
• 2007: Reviewer (Elsevier, IOP, Wiley, RSC and ACS journals)
• 2008:Citation in Special 10th Anniversary Edition of Marqui’s Who is Who in Science and Engineering
• 2009: Raman Research Fellowship (CSIR, India) to visit the University of Texas at Austin, USA
• 2011: INSA –NRF Exchange Program of Scientists (INSA, India) to visit KERI, South Korea
• 2015: Materials Research Society Medal (MRSI, Bangalore)
• 2019: C V RAMAN MAHILA VIJNANA PURASKARA at Twelfth National Women’s Science Congress held at Mysore
|Birthplace||Ambasamudhram, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu|
|Hometown||Ambasamudhram, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu|
|College/University||Annamalai University in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu|
|Educational Qualification||PhD from Annamalai University in Chidambaram Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
Father– Name Not Known (teacher)
Mother– Name Not Known
|Siblings||She has two elder brothers. The Times of India|
Some Lesser Known Facts About N. Kalaiselvi
- Nallathamby Kalaiselvi is an Indian senior electrochemical scientist who became the first woman Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISR) on 7 August 2022. On 22 February 2019, she was appointed as the Director of the CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI) at Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu. Upon her appointment, an order of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions stated,
Kalaiselvi has been appointed for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.”
Newly-appointed CSIR director general Dr N Kalaiselvi with MoS (Science and Tech) Jitendra Singh
- Dr N Kalaiselvi began working as an electrochemical scientist at CECRI in 1997, and in 2019, she became the director of the institute and the first woman scientist to hold this position.
- Before joining CECRI in 1997, N Kalaiselvi was an organic chemist and did not have a background in electrochemistry. She was teaching as a professor at a private college for three years soon after completing her PhD from Annamalai University in Chidambaram.
- Reportedly, N Kalaiselvi’s father was a teacher who raised her like a boy. Another former colleague of N Kalaiselvi stated in a media interview that she enjoyed playing boys’ games in her childhood.
- According to some media sources, N Kalaiselvi did not have a background in electrochemistry when she joined CECRI. She was an organic chemist and had taught the subject for about three years at a private college after completing her PhD from Annamalai University in Chidambaram. N Kalaiselvi received her entire education at government schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu. In a media conversation, she talked about her interest in the teaching field. She said,
I loved teaching. But, I was also aching for research. CECRI provided me an opportunity to do both.”
Nallathamby Kalaiselvi while speaking at a college
- N Kalaiselvi is known for her work in the field of lithium-ion batteries. She invented some new materials, which are used as electrodes in lithium-ion batteries for improving their storage capacities. In August 2022, she was also given an additional charge as secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research where she is involved in the development of practically viable Sodium-ion/Lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors. In a media conversation, her former colleague, Dr T Prem Kumar stated that N Kalaiselvi had a great interest in electric mobility. Dr T Prem Kumar said,
Electric mobility… that is something very close to her heart, and that needs improved batteries. Also, wider utilisation of renewable energies like wind or solar.”
- According to one of her former colleagues, N Kalaiselvi is a very powerful public speaker and used to participate in several public speaking platforms such as AIR. He said,
Kalaiselvi was a very active participant, and participated in some of these at the local All India Radio station. This has made her a formidable public speaker.”
Nallathamby Kalaiselvi during a public speaking conference
- From 2007-2009, 2011-2013, and 2013-2015, N Kalaiselvi served as the Board of Studies Member at Karunya University, PSG Institute of Technology, Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore; Serfoji College of Arts and Science, Tanjore; and Sri. GVG Visalakshi College for Women, Udumalpet.
- In 2011, four of her research papers were selected under “HIGHEST CITED TOP 25 HOTTEST ARTICLES” by Elsevier. She was appointed as the editor of “Ariga Ariviyal” – a Monthly Scientific Periodical issued in Tamil for popularising Science in Tamil to rural students.
- From 2012 to 2017, N Kalaiselvi served as the Nodal Scientist for Multifunctional Electrodes and Electrolytes for Futuristic Technologies (MULTIFUN), a Rs 68.54 crore twelfth five-year plan of CSIR.
- Soon after completing her college education, N Kalaiselvi joined CSIR-CECRI and began her career in research as an entry-level scientist.
- In 2019, N Kalaiselvi began working as a Theme Director of the Renewable and Non-renewable energy and devices of CSIR and the Chairperson and Member of the Administrative and Technical Committees of CSIR-CECRI. She was given the additional charge as the Chairperson of the SAC (Student Academic Committee) of CECRI.
- Till 2022, Kalaiselvi has experience of more than 25 years in the field of electrochemical power systems primarily in the development of electrode materials, and electrochemical evaluation of in-house prepared electrode materials for their suitability in energy storage device assembly.
- In January 2022, N Kalaiselvi inaugurated the fast-track construction of a low-cost toilet unit using CSIR-CECRI’s technology in Chennai.
Kalaiselvi (in blue saree) during the inauguration of a fast-track construction of a low-cost toilet unit using CSIR-CECRI’s technology in Chennai
- N Kalaiselvi is the key contributor to the National Mission for Electric Mobility. Over 125 research papers and six patents are credited to her name till August 2022.
- According to the official website of CSIR, N Kalaiselvi’s research interests include lithium batteries, supercapacitors, waste-to-wealth driven electrodes, electrolytes for energy storage, and electrocatalytic applications.
- In July 2022, CSIR-CECRI (Central Electrochemical Research Institute) and Hyderabad-based Godi India announced that were entered into a public-private partnership (PPP) under the guidance of Kalaiselvi to operate and maintain a lithium-ion cell producing unit in Taramani, Chennai.
Dr Kalaiselvi, Director, CECRI; Dr Shekhar C Mande, Former Secretary DSIR and Former Director General, CSIR and Mahesh Godi, Founder and CEO, Godi India in July 2022
- Till August 2022, 8 research scholars had received their PhD. Degrees and 6 researchers were pursuing their PhD under her guidance.
- According to N Kalaiselvi, she studied in a Tamil medium school in childhood. In a media conversation, she stated that studying science as a subject in her mother tongue had never been a hurdle for her. N Kalaiselvi added in the same discussion that moreover, it helped her in grasping the science concepts more easily in her college. She recalled,
In fact, it has helped me in quick grasping of science concepts and I built on that foundation when I joined college.”
Nallathamby Kalaiselvi while inaugrating a new research project
- In December 2000, N Kalaiselvi visited Singapore and Malaysia to attend 8-ACSSI, which was held at Langkawi. From November 2003 to November 2004, she was pursuing the Brain Pool Fellowship Program at KERI (South Korea). In August 2007, she attended a two-month Technical Discussion held at Hanyang National University (South Korea). In June 2009, N Kalaiselvi pursued the Raman research fellowship Program at the University of Texas at Austin, USA for five months. In August 2011, she visited KERI (South Korea) under the INSA-NRF Exchange Program of Scientists for two months. In November 2019, N Kalaiselvi attended the CSIR-DAAD Exchange Programme in Germany.
- N Kalaiselvi is a member of the Editorial Board at the International Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. She is a member of the Task Force Committee of CSIR for the “CSIR Integrated Skill Initiative and Jigyasa” Programme. N Kalaiselvi is associated as a member of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell of Alagappa University, Karaikudi.
Nallathamby Kalaiselvi posing at a batteries manufacturing plant
|↑2||The Times of India|