Bhubaneswar:7/3/23: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday expressed deep condolences at the passing away of eminent Odia scientist Prafulla Kumar Jena.
In his message, Naveen said that the Padma awardee was a genius, who encouraged, inspired scientific research, especially in metallurgy. “With his sustained research, he has pioneered new waste management processes as well as metal value recovery processes from industrial and mining wastes. He was instrumental in popularising science among students and played a key role in establishment of several institutions of science and technology in Odisha,” he said.
Stating that his demise is a great loss for the state, the CM conveyed his deep sympathies for the bereaved family members.His mortal remains will be consigned to flames with full state honours, he added.
Jena realised the prospects of sponge iron industries in India and introducing R&D work in production of sponge iron. He also developed the processes for production of high valued metals like niobium, tantalum, vanadium, tungsten and molybdenum in India.
He served as senior scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Head of the Department of Metallurgy at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Director, Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi and First Distinguished Professor of the Tata Chair in Metallurgical Engineering at IIT, Kharagpur.
As Founder Chairman of Institute of Advance Technology & Environmental Studies (IATES), Bhubaneswar, he has guided a number of projects related to waste management in sponge iron plant, water resource development programme and EIA/EMP studies at different mines of India.
For his outstanding contribution to science and technology, Jena was conferred with National Metallurgist award in 1969, Padma Shri in 1977 and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries award in 1982.He was a guest columnists with Odisha Bytes and contributed several articles on metallurgy and related topics.