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Ashok K. Batra holds a Masters of Technology and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. With more than 24 years of experience in the diverse areas of solid state physics/materials and their applications, he is presently a Professor of Physics/Materials Science. His research experience and interests encompass ferroelectric, pyroelectric, and piezoelectric materials and their applications; the design, fabrication, and characterization of pyroelectric, piezoelectric, photothermal, and photovoltaic devices; nonlinear optical organic crystals; organic semiconductors; crystal growth from solution and melt; microgravity material research; nanocomposites; pyroelectric IR sensors; and chemical sensors.
He is currently engaged in research related to the development of ambient energy harvesting and storage devices, nanoparticle-based chemical sensors, organic flexible force sensors, and organic photovoltaic solar cells. He has obtained various research grants as the principal or co-investigator from the U. S. Army/SMDC, NSF, DHS, and NASA (the NASA grant was related to the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1) experiment flown aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery).
A recipient of a NASA Group Achievement award and the Alabama A&M University School of Arts and Sciences Researcher of the Year award, he has published over 180 publications in various areas of materials science, including two books, book chapters, proceedings, review articles, and NASA TMs. He is a member of SPIE, MRS, AES, and AAS.
Mohan D. Aggarwal is a Professor and Chair of the Physics Department at Alabama A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Calcutta University in 1974 and completed his post-doctoral work at Pennsylvania State University in solid state devices. He then became a research associate for a NASA Spacelab-3 space flight experiment on the growth of infrared crystals in microgravity at Alabama A&M University. He has extensive experience in the bulk crystal growth and characterization of a variety of nonlinear optical crystals (such as bismuth silicon oxide, barium titanate), piezoelectric materials (such as PMN-PT), and scintillator materials (such as lanthanum bromide) using melt growth techniques.
He served as the NASA Administrator’s Fellow at NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center from 2006 to 2007. He is the author or co-author of more than 219 publications, including book chapters on the crystal growth of photonic crystals, Czochralski melt growth, and microgravity growth of crystals in The Springer Handbook of Crystal Growth (2010), He is a co-author of the SPIE Press monograph Pyroelectric Materials (2013). He is a member of many societies, such as the American Physical Society, American Vacuum Society, and SPIE.