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RUSTUM ROY

1924–2010

Elected in 1973

“For contributions to the development of the modern science and technology of non-metallic materials.”

BY L. ERIC CROSS

RUSTUM ROY was one of the world’s leading materials scientists but also a major moving force in the fields of national and international science policy and of constructive interaction between science, technology, and religion. A very strong advocate of interdisciplinary and integrative learning, he was a brilliant teacher, immensely popular with students and younger faculty, but often regarded with suspicion and even some hostility by senior administrators as a strong force for change that might endanger some of their local bases of power. He was an inspiration to many seeking change to benefit humanity and his passing is a great loss to both science and society.

Rustum was born in Ranchi Bihar province in India on July 3, 1924. The family was very well connected, and an early meeting with the great Mahatma Gandhi left a very deep and lasting influence on Roy, which helped embed his lifelong dedication to molding scientific endeavor to benefit the needs of society. Rustum took a Cambridge School Certificate from Saint Paul’s School Darjeeling, then a B.Sc. (Honors) and an M.Sc. in chemistry at Patna University in 1944, followed by a Ph.D. in ceramic science from the Pennsylvania State University in 1948. He joined the Penn State faculty as a research associate in 1950 and then as an assistant professor in 1951, rising rapidly



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