Dr Thirumalachari Ramasami has been chosen as the winner of the prestigious IULTCS Merit Award for Excellence in the Leather Industry. 

Thirumalachari Ramasami

The IULTCS was founded for the purpose of encouraging the technology, chemistry and science of leather on a worldwide basis. It is therefore appropriate that we recognise the achievements of those of stature in our industry who have contributed significantly to our global understanding of the leather industry and its by-products. The IULTCS Merit Award is given biennially by the IULTCS Executive to an individual, whose past or current endeavours have had an extraordinary impact on our industry and provide an example for others to follow. Dr Ramasami fits this profile perfectly.

Dr T Ramasami is known for his significant contributions to the chemistry of chromium as a scientist and leadership to the Indian leather sector as a technologist and to science as a civil servant. Ramasami’s investigations focussed on mechanistic chemistry, industrial applications of chromium salts and ecological solutions to industrial environmental problems. Some of his major research contributions include demonstration of anomalous reactivity of chromium(III), stabilisation of unusual oxidation states of chromium, mechanistic insights into chromium induced apoptosis, understanding host guest interactions in biomolecular systems and development of technologies for improved tanning systems.

He developed a “Unified theory of tanning” by probing molecular level understanding of tanning systems. More than 12 technologies developed by his group are in commercial exploitation and several of them have been developed from first principles without international equivalents. He has guided more than 30 students for their doctoral research and authored more than 237 research publications, eight chapters in books, and numerous general articles. He holds more than 40 patents. In recognition of his contributions to leather research he was invited to deliver the John Arthur Wilson Memorial Lecture.