Prof. S. K. Mehta, Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) is the Vice Chancellor of University of Ladakh, UT and Professor at the Department of Chemistry. He was the Ex-Chairman, Chemistry and Ex-Director SAIF/CIL/UCIM, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He is among World's top 2% scientists declared by Stanford University in 2021.As Coordinator, Chandigarh Region Innovation Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC), Local coordinator MHRD initiative GIAN and Coordinator UGC CAS at Panjab University, Chandigarh, he did exceptional work. He is credited with 2 patents and more than 376 publications in international journals of repute with h-index of 54, Citation Index 9852, i10-index 234 and is an author of about 25 books/chapters. He has been nominated as member of several DST, CSIR and UGC national committees. He is recipient of renowned DAAD and JSPS fellowships, Bronze medal from Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI), Authors award by Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), Haryana VigyanRatna award, Prof. W.U. Malik Memorial Award of Indian Council of Chemists (ICC) and STE award for his outstanding contribution in research. He has been a visiting scientist to UK, Germany, Japan, USA and France and has guided 15 post-doctoral, 48 Ph.D. and 50 Master students and handled 20 Research projects. He has completed/completing 5 DST; 5 CSIR; 6 UGC, Indo-German, Indo-UK and Indo-Japan Research/Exchange projects and workshops.
Prof. Mehta has made noteworthy contributions in the field of Chemistry which range from indulging in the basics to applicability for societal needs. He is actively engaged in deciphering the dynamics of "Colloidal Chemistry" and "Nanochemistry". Initially he immersed himself in the field of soft assemblies such as metallosurfactants, emulsions and inclusion complexes. He made valuable contribution in understanding the intricate framework of these complex systems along with thermodynamic/physical aspects. He was successful in concocting an anti-tuberculosis drug 'Rifampicin' in non-amphiphile aggregate with enhanced solubility, stability and bioavailability. These types of formulations are expected to create a sound basis for the better management of the disease, making the directly observed treatment (DOTs) more viable and affordable. Recently different biocompatible soft assemblies have also been synthesized and optimized for the delivery of anti-cancerous nutraceuticals to overcome the problem of low solubility for enhanced therapeutic value for use in the medical sector.
Beside the field of metallovesicles, he explored the arena of nanoparticle synthesis which hold great promise for a wide variety of applications in engineering and chemistry. He fabricated various nanosized semiconducting and metallic nanoparticles of versatile characteristics using polymers or colloidal templates employing environmentally benign precursors. Further, he developed nanoparticle-based electrochemical sensors and novel Schiff bases for environmental remediation such as sensing/removal of mutagenic and neurotoxic hydrazine, diazo dye, Congo red, cyanide, picric acid and metal ions. He is also interested in exploration of renewable feedstock such as corn starch and rice husk,making sustainable moieties for removal of hazardous effluents.
Prof. Mehta has garnered appreciation and respect among the members of the research fraternity by virtue of his contribution to research for more than 38 years. Nevertheless, he explores various ways to contribute back to society through chemistry. During these crucial pandemic times, he came up with development of copper based anti-viral coatings in masks for Covid protection. The technology was developed and transferred to MD Next life sciences for practical implementation. Similarly, Prof. Mehta played a momentous role in the manufacturing of anti-viral spray 'VOX' which was significantly potent against viruses. This small brief clearly depicts his dedication and love towards his work, constantly driven with a purpose for the betterment of the society.