Karan Thanawala’s Defense

Karan Thanawala, a research scholar of the IITB-Monash Joint PhD program successfully passed his PhD defense viva on 13th February 2017 for his thesis titled ‘Development of Self-Healing Coatings’.

Karan worked on protection of metallic surfaces from corrosion, a destructive electrochemical process which leads to enormous losses in industry and infrastructure. Corrosion is a surface electrochemical oxidation of metals which takes place in presence of electrolytes and oxygen. Karan’s work focused on developing self-healing coatings for such metallic surfaces. These barrier coatings mimic the natural healing process, similar to the healing of damaged skin. The polymeric coating is embedded with microcapsules containing a healing agent. When mechanical damages to the coating layer occurs, the microcapsules readily rupture and the healing agent flows out to the areas of damage, filling them up and creating a protective film. The coatings are very attractive as they can assure durability of the coated components even after damage in the coating due to chemical or mechanical reasons. Additionally, the components of the microcapsules are biocompatible and non-hazardous in nature, which classifies them as green materials. Karan is confident that this breakthrough in the field of coatings research will go a long way in solving the problems of corrosion and its control using polymeric coatings, which, in turn, will ensure safer workplaces.

"The journey of my PhD has been extraordinarily adventurous and demanding. There were some hit's, some miss's, some up's and down's, however, the experience has been extremely satisfying and enriching. I would like to thank my supervisors, the Academy, friends, colleagues and Academy staff for always being so caring and supportive throughout this journey", said Karan.

Prof. A.S. Khanna, Karan’s IITB supervisor said, “The student gave a meticulous presentation. It was well structured and there was a thorough discussion”. Karan was jointly guided by Prof. A. S. Khanna (IIT Bombay) and Prof. Raman Singh (Monash University) for his project. He is the 54th graduate from the Academy. We wish him all success in his future endeavors’!