Our future challenges in environmental, economical, and societal sustainability demand more efficient and benign scientific technologies for working with chemical processes and products. It demands the highest level of scientific creativity, insight and understanding from chemistry researchers towards achieving this goal. Meet Dr. Ravi Varala, Head of Chemistry Department and R&D Cell, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Basar Campus, Telangana, who has been recently honoured with Outstanding Scientist in Chemistry – 2017 Award by Venus International Research Foundation for his contribution, research excellence and accomplishments in the area of Chemistry.
Dr. Ravi completed his MSc in Organic Chemistry from Kakatiya University in 1999. He was always interested in research and he pursued his PhD at IICT (CSIR), Hyderabad, between 2000-2006. He also served as IICT-Research Associate for six months after his doctorate. Later on, he received Postdoctoral Fellowship from FCT University of New Lisbon, Portugal, during 2007-09. Apart from carrying out his own research activities, he also guided young scholars in their daily research work there.
After his postdoc, he took up corporate jobs between 2010-11 and worked in two private pharma companies in Hyderabad as a scientist. Being passionate about research, he was not satisfied with his jobs and so he quit his corporate life and decided to make a career in teaching and joined RGUKT in 2011. He is with the institute ever since.
During my corporate stint, I was not convinced with doing the things only as per client needs, with no adequate experimentation, just to meet the timelines. Being interested in R&D apart from teaching, I quit the corporate life at the cost of losing good pay and followed my conscience. Being in education field, I can be more dedicated in my research and think innovatively to do quality work.
Dr. Ravi Varala
Dr Ravi’s fields of interests include catalysis, green chemistry and organic synthesis. During his PhD, he focused on biological potential of phthalimide heterocyclic scaffold and related strategies. He believes the most important challenge to be met today is the search for heterocycles that will combat with life style disorders. Even today, he continues to look for novel, cost-effective ways for synthetic methodologies and green synthesis. Catalysis is another important area where he has done extensive work towards synthesis and evaluation of newer and inexpensive catalysts whose usage has the advantages of excellent yields, higher availability, lack of toxicity, shorter reaction time and being more environmentally friendly.
Currently, he is guiding two students for their doctoral degree from JNTU-H. He has collaborations in several state and central universities. He was also a Visiting Scientist at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a period of one year (2015-16). He has over 50 international research publications and 35 international / national seminars or conferences attended or presented, so far to his credit. He has got around 1600 citations in google scholar till date for his research work.
He is also the editor of books titled Scope of Selective Heterocycles from Organic and Pharmaceutical Perspective (2016, ISBN 978-953-51-2504-4) published by InTech, Croatia (EU) and Laboratory Manual – General Chemistry for graduates and pre-university students (2017, Print ISBN: 978-93-86256-96-6).
As per my experience, in the absence of a God Father, it becomes difficult to get your research work published in reputed international journals. Sometimes my papers of exhaustive work spanning multiple months got rejected by editors and the reasons I got weren’t convincing enough. But I persistently kept on trying and didn’t lose hope. Eventually, my paper got published in Tetrahedron Letters in 2007 – almost a year after my submission. My goal is to publish my research in journals of international repute like Angewandte Chemie International Edition / Journal of the American Chemical Society, etc.
Dr. Ravi Varala
As HoD of Dept. of Chemistry at RGUKT, he is credited with starting the Outreach programmes of the department that are still continuing. He regularly organizes departmental seminars apart from inviting speakers from reputed institutes for guest lectures. He was the convenor of the recently held three-day international conference on Advanced Functional Materials organised by RGUKT which was attended by around 200 delegates from over ten countries. As HoD of R&D Cell, he encourages students and faculty members in acquiring new updated scientific knowledge to design and develop novel methodologies and tools in the fields of sciences & humanities.
I love challenges, they make me stronger and result oriented. I want to continue what I like to do most – research and teaching, and make a mark in the field of chemistry.
Dr. Ravi Varala