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Tata Motors JLR CEO, Indian-origin Cambridge Professor elected Fellow of UK’s Royal Society

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Professor Sir Ralf Speth, the Chief Executive of Tata Motors’ owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Professor Vikram Deshpande from the Cambridge University have been elected as new Fellows of the prestigious Royal Society in the UK which recently added more than 60 exceptional scientists to its fold.

Active since 1660, the Royal Society is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. It is an independent scientific academy made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Past Royal Society fellows include Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Sepeth was recognised for his advocacy for UK research and development and his commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, JLR said.

Prof. Speth said, “I am honoured to have been elected to the Royal Society for activities that are close to my heart and fundamental to the society.”

“Mobility will see more change in the next 10 years than the last century. Through collaboration and continuous investment in research and development we can lead the transition into connected, seamless integrated private-public mobility systems. We will do this with a clear focus on our Destination Zero mission: zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion. Our ambition is to make societies safer and healthier, and our environment cleaner,” he said.

Indian-origin Professor of Materials Engineering, Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Prof. Deshpande is also among the Royal Society’s 2020 cohort of new Fellows.

Deshpande, a Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduate, becomes a Fellow for his seminal contributions in microstructural mechanics. His works include developing metallic wood’, sheets of nickel as strong as titanium, but four-times lighter thanks to their plant-like nanoscale pores.

“At this time of global crisis, the importance of scientific thinking, and the medicines, technologies and insights it delivers, has never been clearer. Our Fellows and Foreign Members are central to the mission of the Royal Society, to use science for the benefit of humanity,” said Prof. Venki Ramakrishnan, the Nobel-winning Indian-origin President of the Royal Society.

“While election to the Fellowship is a recognition of exceptional individual contributions to the sciences, it is also a network of expertise that can be drawn on to address issues of societal, and global significance.

This year’s Fellows and Foreign Members have helped shape the 21st century through their work at the cutting-edge of fields from human genomics, to climate science and machine learning,” he said.

The Royal Society’s Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process based on excellence in science.

There are approximately 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 70 Nobel Laureates.

Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 800 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.


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