Alumnus of IIT-KGP, Dr. Mani Lal Bhaumik is a physicist, internationally bestselling author, celebrated lecturer, entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. Most importantly, he is an inventor who understands the impact of innovation on people’s lives. His early contributions to laser technology are exemplified in the development of the excimer laser. As the leader of Northrop Grumman’s Research and Technology center, Dr. Bhaumik conducted pioneering research in high energy lasers and new laser systems. He invented the successful and the world's first efficient excimer laser in May 1973. Subsequently, it found extensive use as the type of laser that made possible the immensely popular Lasik eye surgery, eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction.
Being both an inventor and a philanthropist, and most importantly being a Kgpian, he seeks to help KGP to become a driving force in creating a culture of innovation in the eastern region of India through establishing leading edge R&D facilities and initiatives. His foundation has a 15 acre land in the heart of Kolkata which he would like to donate to IIT-KGP to create a world class research center to make an impact in the region. Creating such an R&D center of scale and focus requires help from stakeholders like central government, state government, leading researchers, corporations and funding agencies. Dr. Bhaumik, with the help of KGP, is willing to engage stakeholders to make his vision a reality.
Based upon Dr. Kakodkar’s report on IITs to next generation of progress, the government of India is positioning older IITs to become research oriented educational institutions. This transformation requires different set of people and resources. Being a pioneering IIT, KGP could take a lead in establishing needed R&D infrastructures within the educational institution framework. Establishing a focused R&D center at a major metropolitan area not only expands KGP’s reach but also provides access to international researchers as well as its students to participate.
The proposed R&D center will foster post-graduate research, granting master and PhD degrees in accordance of curricula of IIT-KGP. The research personnel of the center will interact with the faculty and students of IIT-KGP. The R&D center will cultivate global collaboration and exchange programs with the relevant institutions as an integral part of its activities. The R&D center will also promote close collaboration with the industrial sector.