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India-UK Excellence Award for OU research partnership

Dr Satheesh Krishnamurthy, a Senior Lecturer in Energy, along with his academic partner, Dr Amit Kumar Chakraborty from the National Institute of Technology (NITD) in Durgapur, India, has won the Mobility Award at the India-UK Excellence Awards.  Their project to develop low-cost solar cells has involved a researcher exchange programme which has fostered the skills of young academics working in this field.

The awards recognised the best international collaborations between HE institutes of India and the UK, as part of the UK-India Year of Education, Research & Innovation 2016, led by the British Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).  The awards ceremony was part of the high level delegation led by Prime Minister Theresa May and her team, which took in the UK-India Tech Summit.


Satheesh KrishnamurthyDr Kristhnamurthy said: “It’s wonderful to have the international reach and collaboration of this project celebrated in this way. Our research is designed in such a way to produce budding entrepreneurs, it is socially oriented research that will have direct import to society.  The most important ingredient in building a long lasting academic relationship is mutual scientific respect and clear strategic synergies.  We’ll continue to work together and we are thinking big.”

International collaboration and knowledge sharing

The two-year international project, called GALES (Graphene Assisted Low-Cost Energy-efficient Solar cell), has established international research track records in a diverse range of new advanced materials.

Four students from NITD spent time at The Open University in the UK as part of the project, getting involved in poster presentations, attending the NanoEnergy conference and spending time with associate partner Liverpool University. Dr Chakraborty delivered a short course to OU research students as part of his visit, which also included a presentation to the wider faculty.

Dr Krishnamurthy and three students from the OU spent time at NITD, with Dr Krishnamurthy delivering a lecture series through the Ministry of Human Resources Development India programme, Global Initiative Academic Network, and collaborating with other colleagues for further research. One of the students spent six months with NASA AMES in the US to develop the technology further.

As a result of the knowledge sharing, a number of journal articles have been published and are in preparation with authors from NITD, the OU and Liverpool.

The award was presented as part of the India-UK Tech Summit on Wednesday 9 November in New Delhi.

Dr. Krishnamurthy is also a principal investigator of Erasmus plus funded Development of Remote solar lab – and his current research work will feed into other European projects.


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About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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