Australian National University Distinguished Professor Chennupati Jagadish has been named as the next president of the Australian Academy of Science. Jagadish, a world-renowned physicist and nanotechnology expert, will serve a four-year term.
Jagadish was born in humble circumstances in Andhra Pradesh, south-eastern India, and was largely educated there. He grew up without electricity and studied in front of a kerosene lamp until his first year of high school, when maths teacher Chaganti Sambi Reddy recognised young Jagadish’s potential, and invited him to live with the Reddy family so he didn’t have to walk six kilometres each day to attend high school.
After completing a post-doctoral research fellowship in Canada, Jagadish moved to Australia to take up a position at ANU in 1990.
“I never imagined when I came to Australia with a two-month-old baby and two-year contract thirty-one years ago, that one day I’d be elected a Fellow of the Academy and then go on to lead the organisation,” he says.
Outgoing Academy President Professor John Shine said he was delighted by Jagadish’s election, adding that Jagadish is “highly regarded as a scientist and understands the importance of Australia’s international scientific engagement, having research collaborations in 30 countries around the world himself”. The Academy also announced the election of new Fellows to the organisation’s council, who will commence their roles alongside the new president in May 2022. They include professors Frances Separovic, Lyn Beazley, Colin Raston, Julian Gale and David Bowtell.