The Chairman and Managing Director of the world's largest forgings company, Mr Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander officially awarded the honour to Mr Kalyani at a special ceremony in his honour at the University's Waterfront Campus in Geelong last night.
Mr Kalyani is Chairman and Managing Director of the Kalyani Group, an Indian-based multi-national with high technology, engineering and manufacturing capability across sectors including engineering steel, automotive, industrial, renewable energy, urban infrastructure and specialty chemicals.
The Group includes Bharat Forge Limited (BFL), a multinational technology-driven global leader in metal forming, which in 2012 partnered with Deakin University through the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), to host students completing their PhDs.
Three PhD students are undertaking research at Bharat Forge Ltd in the areas of forging through DIRI, with another two students expected to begin their studies at the company soon.
Professor den Hollander said Deakin University had conferred the Honorary Doctorate in recognition of Mr Kalyani's distinguished services to global science and industry and strong support for community education.
"Mr Kalyani has enriched the Bharat Forge group through sound business governance and management practices in the face of a rapidly-changing marketplace," Professor den Hollander said.
"With business experience of over three decades, he understand that innovation is critical to the ongoing success of any business.
"One of the keys to a strong and enduring collaboration like this is local presence, whether in our University communities or longstanding tied with India.
"The success story that is the partnership between Bharat Forge and Deakin is a wonderful illustration of the relationship our University has had with India for more than 20 years."
In 1996, Deakin became the first Australian university to establish an office in India. Today, this wonderful country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
"Commitment at the most senior levels of our organisation, including the regular visits I have had the privilege of being a part, has been critical to the evolution of the Deakin-India partnership," Professor den Hollander said.
"Universities in Australia and in India must continue to build partnerships if we want to nurture students with a truly global mindset and help us get the most out of the collaborations we build."
Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials, Professor Peter Hodgson, said the partnership between Deakin and Bharat Forge Limited in 2012 was to explore the potential to establish an Academy or Centre of Excellence in metal forming technologies relevant to the company.
"This would leverage off the internationally recognised strengths of the two participants in the industrial practice of metal forming and the technical expertise related to physical metallurgy and thermo-mechanical processing of light metals and steel," Professor Hodgson said.
"Deakin has also built a partnership with the Kalyani International University, an initiative of Kalyani Group, which has provided an opportunity for us to develop research collaborations.
"All of our collaborations with India, and particularly with Mr Kalyani, will help create a pool of highly employable young people in India and contribute to the research that makes a difference to the communities that Deakin serves."