Saroj Chaturvedi and Family in Honor of Dr. Ram P. Chaturvedi

Saroj Chaturvedi and Family in Honor of Dr. Ram P. Chaturvedi

Dr. Ram P. Chaturvedi, Distinguished Service Professor, lived and worked in Cortland for over 45 years. A native of Chandikara, India, Dr. Chaturvedi earned scholarships that enabled him to attend Agra University in Agra, India, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics, chemistry and math, as well as a master’s degree in physics. He joined the faculty there as a lecturer in physics from 1955-59. In 1963, he received his Ph.D. with distinction in Nuclear Physics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Chaturvedi then returned to India for a year to supervise and teach graduate students as an assistant professor at Punjab University in Chandigarh.

Dr. Chaturvedi came to the U.S. on a fellowship in 1964 to conduct post-doctoral research at SUNY Buffalo. The next year, he joined the newly-created SUNY Cortland Physics Department in 1965 as an associate professor, the first year that freshmen were admitted to the program. He was granted tenure the following year. Dr. Chaturvedi and his wife, Saroj, were the first couple from India to settle and to raise their family in Cortland.

For decades, Dr. Chaturvedi was involved in faculty governance on campus and within SUNY and active in college life. He chaired the Physics Department from 1981-88 and in 1999. He served on the SUNY Faculty Senate’s Graduate Academic Programs and Research Committee, the Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies Committee, the Program and Awards Committee, and the University Operations Committee. He twice chaired the College’s Faculty Senate. During his time at SUNY Cortland, he arranged nearly one hundred scholarly lectures at Cortland by scientists of international renown, including several Nobel laureates.

Science was his passion. Dr. Chaturvedi pursued research interests during his sabbatical leaves and summer work at Cornell University, Henan Normal University in Xinxiang, China, T.W. Bonner Laboratories at Rice University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The recipient of grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and SUNY Research Foundation, Dr. Chaturvedi co-authored more than 20 scholarly papers published in national and international journals. He presented more than 70 papers at professional meetings. He also conducted research on the history of nuclear power’s development and applications in India.

Dr. Chaturvedi received numerous awards and recognition throughout his career. Promoted to professor in 1970, Dr. Chaturvedi was awarded the title of Distinguished Service Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees in 1988. In 1986, the Cortland College Student Association presented him with its Outstanding Faculty Member Award. A past president of the state chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, he advised the Society of Physics Students for more than 15 years and, in 1987, Dr. Chaturvedi was named the region’s Outstanding Chapter Advisor. The former campus chapter president of the Sigma Xi scientific research society, Dr. Chaturvedi received the Cortland College Student Association’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award in 1987. In 1991, he received the State of New York and United University Professions Excellence Award.
In his free time, Dr. Chaturvedi was an avid gardener and an animated bridge, tennis and ping-pong player. He was also known and loved by family and friends for his story-telling and infectious laughter.