Dr.  N. Purnachandra Rao, Chief Scientist and an AcSIR Professor at the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, has been selected for the Prestigious National Geoscience Award by the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India for the year 2016 in  the field of Geophysics.

Dr. Purnachandra Rao holds a Ph.D. degree from the Osmania University, Hyderabad, and a D.Sc. degree from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is the first recipient of the ONGC-AEG Best Ph.D. award in 1997. He is also an Alexander von Humboldt fellow of Germany, a Raman Research fellow at the University of California, San Diego, USA and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan.

Dr. Rao has made significant contributions in the field of Earthquake studies towards understanding the geodynamics of the Indian plate margins, particularly the Burma-Andaman arc, the Himalaya-Tibet region and the diffuse Indian Ocean deformation zone. He has brought in application of new techniques like seismic moment tensor inversion and seismic ambient noise correlation to the Indian region.

In India’s first detailed Seismic Microzonation study which was carried out for the Jabalpur city, Dr. Rao was the Principal Investigator from NGRI and played a crucial role in bringing out detailed seismic hazard and risk maps of the region.

Dr. Rao was the Project Leader of the "Scientific deep drilling program for earthquake studies” a prestigious mega-project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. Apart from several contributions in this region, he has proposed a new model of earthquake genesis in the Koyna-Warna reservoir triggered seismic zone.