A RESEARCHER from Durham University will be honoured by India’s oldest science academy.

Professor Jas Pal Badyal, in Durham’s Department of Chemistry, has been elected as a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), in recognition of his international standing in scientific research.

Professor Badyal is widely considered to be a leader in the field of surface science– the development of surfaces for use in everyday applications.

His work, together with that of his research group, has led to the invention of surfaces that can separate oil from water, kill bacteria and grow cells outside of the body. Their research has also led to the creation of bioinspired surface technologies to harvest clean drinking water in developing countries.

Professor Badyal becomes the second Durham University researcher to be appointed as a Foreign Fellow of NASI, after Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale, a former Astronomer Royal, received the same honour in the 1990s.

In 2017, Professor Badyal was also the first UK-born scientist to receive the Chemical Research Society of India’s (CRSI) International Medal.

Professor Badyal said: "It is a great honour to have been elected as a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India. This year, India has overtaken the UK as the world's fifth largest economy, and it has an expanding science base. Hopefully this recognition will further enhance the reputation of Durham University within India."

NASI was the first scientific academy in India and promotes scientific and technological research related to the problems of societal welfare. In electing Professor Badyal, NASI has recognised his “pioneering contributions” in the field of surface science and nanolayers, and the use of these findings in the electronics industry.

Durham University has strong links with India, which it plans to grow over the coming years.

The university is home to more than 200 Indian students and it partners with Indian institutions in a number of research projects including neglected tropical diseases, the response of cities to climate change and religious practice in the Indian Himalayas.

Professor Claire O’Malley, Pro Vice Chancellor (Globalisation) at Durham University, said: “Durham has always enjoyed a strong association with India and we are proud to partner with universities in the country to tackle global issues. As we seek to grow our partnerships in India, it is particularly pleasing that Professor Badyal’s truly transformative research has been recognised by this award from the country’s oldest science academy and I congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.”