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Balu Balachandran

Argonne Distinguished Fellow/Group Leader, Ceramics & Covetic Materials


Dr. Balu Balachandran is an Argonne National Laboratory Distinguished Fellow and the Group Leader for the Ceramics and Covetic Materials group in the Applied Materials Division. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering in 1980. He has been doing research in the area of electronic materials for about 40 years. His research areas include nano-carbon infused metals/alloys for high-performance conductors, capacitors for power electronics in electric drive vehicles, fuel cells, ceramic membranes for gas separation, ethylene, oxygen and hydrogen production, natural gas conversion, and high-temperature superconductors. He has been an invited speaker at 117 conferences in several countries. He is a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society (1999) and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2006).


  • 2014, Argonne Distinguished Fellow
  • 2014, Distinguished Alumni Award, National Institute of Technology, India
  • 2006, Fellow, Institute of Physics (FIntP)
  • 1999, Fellow of the American Ceramic Society
  • 1996, University of Chicago’s Distinguished Performance Award

R&D 100 Awards – Four Awards (The R&D 100 Awards are internationally recognized as the Oscars of Innovation.” They have been awarded for the best high-technology inventions in a given year since 1962).

  • 2011, R&D 100 Award for the development of advanced ceramic capacitors for power inverters
  • 2004, R&D 100 Award for the development of hydrogen transport membranes
  • 1995, R&D 100 Award for developing dense ceramic membranes for natural gas conversion
  • 1993, R&D 100 Award for developing an efficient new production process for high-Tc powders

Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer – Two Awards (Awards given by FLC for transferring technology to industry)

  • 1996, FLC Award for Excellence in Tech Transfer for transferring the process to manufacture phase-pure high-Tc powders to industry
  • 1995, FLC Award for Excellence in Tech Transfer for transferring membrane technology to industry

FLC Awards of Merit – Two Awards (Awards given by FLC for transferring technology to industry)

  • 1994, FLC Award of Merit for transferring the superconductor powder process
  • 1992, FLC Award of Merit for transferring the cryogenic current lead technology


Authored/coauthored 275 papers in peer reviewed international journals, 167 papers in conference proceedings, edited 23 books (conference proceedings/transactions), and holds 47 issued patents.  Authored/coauthored over 500 abstracts submitted for presentation at scientific conferences.  Delivered 117 invited talks at conferences in several countries.

Professional Societies/Activities

  • Fellow, American Ceramic Society (1999)
  • Fellow, The Institute of physics, FInstP (2006)
  • Member, TMS (Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society)
  • Member, Materials Research Society
  • Member, International Microelectronics & Packaging Society (IMAPS)
  • Program Committee Member - Electronics Division, American Ceramic Society 1990 - 2002
  • Board Member, International Cryogenic Materials Commission (ICMC) 1994 - present
  • Board Member, Applied Superconductivity Conference, Inc. 1998 – 2010
  • Vice-President, Applied Superconductivity Conference, Inc. 2004 – 2006
  • President, Applied Superconductivity Conference, Inc. 2006 – 2008
  • Member, Editorial Board, Superconductor Science & Technology 2001 - 2009
  • Overseas Coeditor, Journal of Materials Transactions, The Japan Institute of Metals 2000 - present
  • Member, Editorial Board for Journal of Materials Physics and Mechanics 2001 - present
  • Member, IEEE Council on Superconductivity, Advisory Committee 1998 – 2010