Dr Siddharth Mitra-Ghosh

PhD in Physics, MPhil in Mechanical Engineering, and BEng in Biotechnology.

At OAR: Director and Cofounder, Project Leader and Web admin.

Research interests: Light-matter interactions, Atomic-scale Mechanics and Fluidics, Computational Quantum Chemistry, Biomolecular interactions, Statistical Mechanics, and Nanolithography.


Sid is a German Research Foundation/DFG Fellow at the Maxwell Centre and Centre for Misfolding Diseases, University of Cambridge. He is also a St John's College Research Associate by Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Researcher at the Leiden Institute of Physics and High Field Magnetic Lab, Nijmegen. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Leiden Institute of Physics. During his postdoctoral stay at Utrecht in the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science OAR was conceived. He strongly believes on a quote from Walter Lewin 'Teachers who make Physics boring are criminals'. He understands this problem not only because he has encountered uncountable bad teachers but also for getting an opportunity to grow up in a school which was made with Tagore's philosophy of learning from the nature where hardly any competitive exams existed. He met some great teachers at school and some outstanding ones at the university level. These made him to love teaching instead of considering it as a daily boring task. He had supervised undergraduate theses which were considered to be the excellent at the university level. During his PhD, he had co-founded the 'Third Infinity: A Conference on Complex Systems' which was co-organised two times by him and continued to be a biennial conference organised by the next generation of PhD students in Goettingen, Germany. He was also a student representative for more than 450 PhD students which enables him to be a part of the board members of the graduate school. He published his first peer-reviewed article immediately after his undergraduate study. He has been reading and trying to understand Rabindranath since his unconventional Tagorian schooling at Patha Bhavan, which has been deeply motivated him to start Open Academic Research.

Dr Moumita Ghosh

PhD in Nanoengineering for Integrated Systems and BEng in Instrumentation and Electronics.

At OAR: Director and Cofounder, Project Leader and Treasury.

Research Interest: Nanoscale ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity, Charge transports, Atomic defects in nanocrystals, Nanomechanics, Nanocrystal growth, Energy harvesting, Control systems, Analog/digital electronic systems design, and Firmware programming.


Moumita is a Research Scientist at the Advanced Technology Group of FEI Electron Optics, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Eindhoven (earlier Philips Electron Optics). She has a rare and exceptional position of independently designing advanced scientific research at the interface of Thermo Fischer Scientific and the Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons, Jülich. She was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Utrecht University. She was a Research Scientist in the University of Goettingen. She received her PhD in Nano-engineering for Integrated Systems from the Instrumentation and Applied Physics Department in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, immediately after her BEng in Instrumentation and Electronics. Her expertise and exposure to interdisciplinary scientific research motivate her to encourage the young minds to bridge between the academic course works and their applications in the research and developments. She is an open minded engineer as well as scientists. She always considers engineering and science with great care instead of neglecting or ignoring one from other.

Dr Abhilash Asok

PhD and MSc in Physics.

At OAR: Cofounder, Project Leader and General Secretary.

Research interests: Light-matter interactions, Plasmonics, Nano-optics, Optical imaging, Imaging through scattering media.



Abhilash is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Twente. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2016. During PhD, he worked as a teaching assistant for BTech, MTech and MSc students of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. In the past, he has also taught high school students for six years and this helped him identify the flaws of the current curriculum. He has given coaching for national level entrance exams (like JEE and AIEEE). He is an active member of the Optical Society of America's student chapter in Utrecht. He is also an active organizer of CREATE Gurukula project.

Pritam Pai

MSc Physics

At OAR: Cofounder, Project Leader and Location Manager.

Research Interest: Complex photonics and Imaging Through Scattering Media.


Pritam is a Physics PhD candidate at the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is a co-founder and the Vice President of the Optical Society of America's student chapter in Utrecht. Pritam was brought up in an exceptional academic system (Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry, India) where conventional examination schemes did not exist to evaluate a student. He has a strong interest in physical fitness and different sports. Sports enable him to perform everyday at the fullest. Pritam is also good at magic tricks.

Jaishankar Hebballi

MSc in Computer Science.

At OAR: Project leader and IT admin.

OAR Wild Card Member and Entrepreneur


Jaishankar had a wild card entry in OAR. He is one of the key intellectual contributors in the OAR 2017-18. His primary and undergraduate schooling was together with Pritam Pai at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry. He went to Symbiosis for his masters in computer science. He has co-founded a startup business.

Jintu K James

M.S in Aerospace Engineering

At OAR: Location manager and Public Communicator

Research interests: High-speed aerodynamics, Wind tunnel testing, Experimental gas dynamics, Wind turbines, and Wind energy.


Jintu is a Ph.D. candidate at Andong National University, Andong, Republic of Korea. He received his MS in Aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. During and after his masters he has worked as the project associate in ICSR, IITM in the projects funded by ARDB and ISRO. He is also a graduate member of The Aeronautical Society of India. He is open to gain and share knowledge from everywhere and enjoys the research activities at its most.

Dr Vijeesh Vijayan

PhD in Metallurgical Materials Engineering

At OAR: Project leader and Location manager

Research Interests: Welding metallurgy, Advanced high strength steels, Thermal analysis, Solidification studies.

He is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Dong-Eui University in Busan, South Korea. He received his PhD and MTech from National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India. He also has experience working as Assistant Professor in leading private colleges of Kerala, India. His other areas of interest are Cosmology, Historical Science and Religious Cosmology.

Dr Harish Sasikumar

MS in Electrical engineering, PhD in Nano Science and Engineering

At OAR: Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Project leader and instrumentation support.

Research Interests: Electronics, Optics and Bio-sensing.


Harish is received his PhD from the Centre Nano Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His area of work includes thin film and optical diffraction-grating based sensors for the detection of chemicals & proteins. He received his B.Tech. degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering and M.S degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Calicut & IIT Madras respectively. In 2013 he worked for John F. Welch Technology Center, GE Global Research as a consultant for Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy & FPGA implementation of lock-in systems.

Alok Shankar

MS in Medical Physics

At OAR: Project leader and Recruiter.

Research Interests: X-Ray Radiography, Fluoroscopy and Computed Tomography.

Alok is a doctoral candidate at Toshiba Stroke & Vascular Research Center, University at Buffalo, SUNY working in the area of Medical Imaging Physics, where he also earned a Masters in Medical Physics. At TSVRC he works on development and characterization of photon counting detectors for X-Ray Radiography, Fluoroscopy and Computed Tomography. Quantitative metrics for image quality assessment with various observer models and algorithms for 3D image reconstruction are also part of his research. Prior to this, Alok worked at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge working on observation of Magnetocaloric effect in hybrid Heusler alloys at room temperature for his Masters thesis. Alok also has been a TA at LSU for 2.5 years, instructed general physics courses for undergrads and served as a tutor. When not "re-searching", he does weight lifting, plays badminton, goes on treks or reads Saramago/Murakami (or the likes).

Dr Balasubrahmaniyam M

PhD in Physics

Research Interests: Emergent phenomenon

I did my PhD from IIT Madras and am currently a post-doctoral researcher at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Mostly I have worked on states of light mixed with matter, specifically on 1) on transport of these hybrid states of light and matter 2) how light get localised ( get stuck) in these systems.

I have also taught bachelor and master students of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. I have co-guided masters and PhD students in their research project. I have also been an active organizer of CREATE Gurukula project conducted by Prof. Jagadeesh madera.

I love finding and solving problems discussing, especially asgroup with young fresh minds.

Mukulika Jana Chatterjee

MSc in Physics

Research Interests: Astronomy and astrophysics, Nanotechnology for green energy.

At OAR: In sabbatical

Other interest: Adventure sports, Photography, Music and Playing with my son

I am a PhD research scholar in the department of physics, Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India. My current research topic is 'Carbon nanotube based conducting polymer composites for device applications'. I feel very much privileged to get chance to be in touch with science everyday. So I enjoy my research and always keen to know and let know others about various scientific innovations and discoveries.

Nikhil Hajirnis

M.Sc. in Biotechnology

At OAR: Director, Applied Science, Project leader and Incubation at CCMB, pHyderabad.

Research Interest: Epigenetics, Developmental Biology, and Molecular Biology

Nikhil is perusing his PhD from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. He has an MSc in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Developed UG mentoship program for undergraduates - The program was conceptualized by our science communicator for CCMB, Somdatta Karak. A team of 6 PhD students including me developed the program further. This is a program that motivates under graduate students to step out of their regular realms of textbook knowledge and help them understand scientific research articles. During the program they are encouraged to come up with their own set of questions for which we as a team design thought experiments. The program also includes a teacher from their curriculum to help bridge the gap and also to make sure that teaching community is equally aware of importance of latest research. Each mentor is given a group of 4 students + 1 teacher

Motivation to join OAR: Passion for teaching. Love to listen to and explore new ideas. Under existing education system, a student's curiosity is put to rest. This is something which I would want people (students, parents and teachers) to move away from and OAR is one such platform which I felt would help me do that.

Dr Lasitha P

PhD in Chemistry

At OAR: Project leader

Research interest: Study of the self-assembly of fluorescent organic molecules, sensing, host-guest chemistry, and organic electronics.

Lasitha obtained her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Her PhD Thesis was based on the synthesis, self-assembly and emission behaviour of a few selected perylene and naphthalene diimides. Besides research, she is also interested in learning different languages and culture. She believes that everyone has to work towards bringing a positive change in society and every small step towards it has to be appreciated.

Dr Anjana SS

PhD in Chemistry

At OAR: Project leader

Research Interests: Bioinorganic chemistry, Coordination chemistry, Spectroscopy, and Single crystal X-ray diffraction.

Anjana is a postdoctoral fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. She received her PhD in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in July 2017. Her research work includes the structural and spectral studies of bioinspired coordination complexes. During PhD, she worked as a TA for BTech and MSc students for four semesters. As a researcher who is interested in academics, she feels that the science students lack fundamental understanding of the subject and expects that an initiative like OAR can bring a positive change.

Dr Kasthuri Kannan

PhD in Computer Science, MS in Mathematics, MSc in Mathematics, and BSc in Mathematics

At OAR: Project leader

Research Interest: Genomics, Computational biology, Tumor evolution and Developing algorithms.

Kasthuri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at New York University, School of Medicine. He has strong views on the current academic setting in India. He actively interacts with young scientists in several public forums where he has proposed several solutions to improve the research and academia in India. His science interest is diverse and includes cancer biology, formal logic, physical theories, computing, and mathematics. Currently he is directing two courses, one in data science and the other in biomedical informatics. His page can be accessed here:

Dr Tathagata Banerjee

PhD in Mathematics

At OAR: Project leader

Research Interests: My main interests lie in noncommutative spaces, which are encoded by the Gelfand Naimark theorem via C*-algebras. What I have worked upon is the notion of coarse geometry (or large scale geometry) for such spaces. The motivation came from Physics, where Quantum Mechanics approaches classical Physics at large scales, commonly termed as the classical limit. Notions about large scale geometry started with finitely generated groups, where choosing a different generating set do not change the large scale aspects of the word length metric though the metrics themselves are different. The generalization of large scale geometry to that for topological spaces was started mainly by John Roe and the language of coarse geometry is designed mainly to study the large scale aspects of the underlying topological structure. We encode coarse geometry for noncommutative spaces via unitizations of the given non-unital C*-algebra and my current research is mainly focussed at understanding the gap in our theory when restricted to commutative C*-algebras corresponding to some locally compact Hausdorff topological space.

Dr Anirvan Chatterjee

BSc in Genetics, Microbiology, Chemistry, MSc in Biotechnology, PhD in Applied Biology

At OAR: Associate Director and Project leader

Research Interest: Implementing genomic diagnostic platform for programmatic use in Tuberculosis national program in India; Comparing transmission of TB in slums and slum rehabilitation settlements in Mumbai; Designing scalable computational pipelines for Genomics and Metagenomics.

Anivan is a founder and CEO of HaystackAnalytics. He has a Tata Independent Grant for Education and Research (2018- ). Postdoctoral fellowship: IIT Bombay, 2015-2018, Postdoctoral fellowship: Technical University of Denmark, 2017, Postdoctoral fellowship: University of Oxford, 2014, PhD {Applied Biology}. March 2013. University of Mumbai. He has been to Denmark Technical University: Visiting postdoctoral fellow, Bioinformatics, Oxford University: Visiting researcher, Tuberculosis NGS genomics (Illumina and Nanopore), Modernising, Medical Microbiology: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute: Visiting Researcher, Bayesian Disease Mapping, University of Cape Town: Visiting Researcher, Tuberculosis genetic epidemiology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine.

During my research career spanning close to 15 years now, I have had the opportunity to publish all my papers with an Indian affiliation, despite having worked in several world class universities across several countries. To be able to pursue research wherein my own work also contributes to enriching the Indian research ecosystem, albeit in a very small way, has been a key driver of the way I have pursued my career. This has posed several financial, ideological and existential challenges, which I have navigated with some success.

By associating with OAR I believe I will be embarking on another seemingly impossible task, that of integrating research into mainstream consciousness of how education is perceived in India. My efforts will be primarily towards imagining the path of least resistance as we try to make our way into rooms full of scientists sitting in their high chairs with bigger egos. I want to ensure that we are able to on board those who do not see a value in OAR, along with those who wish us well.

Satyajit Mitra

At OAR: Managing Director

Interest: Goods and Services Tax, Financial Accounting, Statutory and Tax Audit, Internal Audit, Income Tax, Customs, Foreign Trade Policy and Promotion, Export Incentives, Foreign Exchange Management Act and Securities Exchange Act.


Satyajit brings financial and management expertise in OAR's growth. He has worked with M/s Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd, M/s Eliniar Enterprise and as a proprietor of M/s Tax Slayer & Services. He is also a direct and indirect consultant in M/s Ipsen Technologies Pvt Ltd, M/s Witzenmann India Private Limited, M/s Exide Industries Limited, M/s Goodrick Group Co Ltd, M/s Bethel Industries, M/s Albatross System, M/s Dongfang Electric (India) Private Limited, and M/s Wesman Thermal Engg Processes Private Ltd. He is also a management and financial Consultant at M/s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, M/s Shreeyam Power and Steel Industries Ltd, M/s Titagarh Wagons Limited, and M/s Stresstech Engineers Pvt Ltd.

Prof Jaideep Prabhu

At OAR: Head of Socio-economics

Interest: International business, marketing, strategy and innovation. Specific interests include: cross-national issues concerning the antecedents and consequences of radical innovation in high-technology contexts such as banking, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; the role of firm culture in driving innovation in firms across nations; how multinational firms organise their innovation activities worldwide; the forces that drive R&D location decisions and the factors that influence the performance implications of these decisions; the internationalisation of firms from emerging markets; and innovation in emerging markets.

Jaideep Prabhu is Professor of Marketing at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He has published in and is on the editorial board of leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing.

He has appeared on BBC News24, BBC Radio 4 and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and has been profiled in BusinessWeek, BBC World Service, The Economist, The Financial Times, Le Monde, The New York Times and The Times. He has consulted with executives from Bertelsmann, Barclays, BP, BT, GE, IBM, ING Bank, M&S, Pearson, Roche, Raymonds, Shell, Siemens, Unilever and Vodafone.

He is the co-author of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, described by The Economist as “the most comprehensive book yet” on the subject of frugal innovation. His follow up book Frugal Innovation: How to do More with Less was published in February 2015 and won the CMI’s Management Book of the Year Award 2016. His most recent book Do Better with Less was published by PenguinRandomHouse India in April 2019.

Dr Arjuna Sathiaseelan

Arjuna Sathiaseelan is the CEO and Co-Founder of GAIUS Networks Inc, a New York University spinout focussed on enabling a local content ad ecosystem for emerging markets. Before moving to the industry, Dr Arjuna Sathiaseelan directed the Networking for Development (N4D Lab) at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. The research group conducted research on novel Internet architectures for improving and reducing the cost of Internet access. He founded and chaired the IRTF Global Access to the Internet for All (GAIA) research group and was a member of the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). Through several projects he initiated he has connected more than half a million users to the Internet in emerging markets.

He was in the Access Advisory Panel of the United Nations Foundation's $75 million Digital Impact Alliance (funded by the Melinda and Gates Foundation, USAID and SIDA). He also built the world's first blockchain wireless mesh router with ARRA Networks ( He is an advisor to Ubuntu Power - a social enterprise focussed on providing affordable off grid energy and Internet to underserved communities and Ensemble- a social business incubator in Democratic Republic of Congo. He is in Board of Studies at Amrita University. He is also in the advisory board of the EU NETCOMMOMS project. He is a member of the Center for Science and Policy (CSaP). He is an External Expert Member on Board of Studies at Amrita University. He is also a member of the Cambridge Big Data initiative as a principal investigator interested in big data for development and understanding the interplay between users, networks and data for development and humanitarian crisis.

Dr Ronita Bardhan

At OAR: Group leader of Socio-economics

Interest: ‘Data-Driven Design Heuristics for Sustainable Built Environment'. She works in the niche sector of habitat design, health and well-being, energy decisions and gender equality for low-income housing. Her expertise include: Built-Environment modelling, Computational Social Science, GIS and data mining, Urban spatial Analysis. Active research study areas include Slum Rehabilitation Housing and Chawls in Mumbai, India, Social Housing in Indonesia and Kolkata, India.

Dr Ronita Bardhan is University Lecturer of Sustainable Built Environment at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UK and leads the Sustainable Design Group. She holds visiting position at Stanford University and is Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Dr Bardhan works on the niche sector of habitat design, energy decisions and disease dynamics in low-income housing of the Global South. Her tractable research informs demand-side design solutions which positively affects energy efficiency and, health equality while entailing fewer environmental risks. She believes that data-driven design of built environments can effectively address sustainability. Through her research, she seeks for the transdisciplinary collaboration where she soft-couples building design, engineering with social science. Ronita’s work has been extensively published in India’s leading news and print media. She has served as expert to government of India’s Housing for All in several public dialogues. Dr Bardhan is the recipient of The Building Energy Efficiency Higher & Advanced Network (BHAVAN) Fellowship 2016-2017, USA and Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship, UK in recognition of her work in building design and energy efficiency for low-income communities. Ronita has been awarded the Young Researcher Award 2012 and Exceptional Women of Excellence, 2019 by the Women Economic forum for her innovative contribution in the field of Sustainable Design and Urban Regeneration.

Header by Siddharth Ghosh