The Scindia School aspires to nurture scholars with a quest for self-exploration and societal development, imbued with courage, conviction, and confidence. Dr Punit Boolchand‘s life is an impressive timeline of these attributes spread across all his endeavors. He currently holds the coveted title of Distinguished University Research Professor of STEMM at the University of Cincinnati since 2017. STEMM title emerged from an annual competition held at UC across the faculty in the disciplines of Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine. It is the highest Research recognition the University bestows on a faculty member.
Dr Boolchand joined the school in 1954 in Jayaji House and spent 07 years on campus. While in school, he was the House Prefect, and in 1961, was awarded the President’s Medal for the best boy in Academics by Dr S Radhakrishnan on Founder’s Day.
He completed his M.S. (Physics) from Punjab University, Chandigarh in 1965 and then left for the US for further studies. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Case-Western Reserve University in 1969. He joined the University of Cincinnati (UC) the same year as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Physics. Over the past 52 years at UC, he has distinguished himself with a remarkable professional career in Condensed Matter Physics, with expertise in Materials Science, and has generated an impressive body of original research work widely published and recognized.
He pioneered work on Topological Phases of Network Glasses in identifying their molecular structure origin. He is recognized for the discovery of a new phase of disordered condensed matter, titled, ‘The Intermediate Phase’ which is widely documented in the archival literature as the ‘Boolchand Intermediate Phase’. This led to the prestigious Stanford Ovshinsky Award to Dr Boolchand in 2003. The theory has revolutionized glass science and technology, leading to the development of ‘Gorilla Glass’, which is used extensively in the audiovisual instrument industry such as flat screen televisions and smart mobile phones, to name a few. He was also nominated for the Oliver Buckley Prize, considered the American equivalent of the Physics Nobel Prize. Nevertheless, he has received several other awards of the same stature.
We are honored and privileged to have him amongst us this evening as a stellar example of the ideals of scholarship, exquisite precision, and experimental innovation. Needless to mention, Mr J L Dar would have been very proud of the achievements of a boy whom he taught physics 60 years ago at The Scindia School!
The Scindia School feels honored to confer the prestigious Madhav Award on Dr Punit Boolchand for the year 2021 for his unflinching commitment, outstanding achievements, and enormous contribution in the field of research.