2020 International Tribology Gold Medal Laureate Bharat Bhushan
Post: 2021-01-12 15:13  View:1858

Tribology Gold Medal Award is annually given by International Tribology Council (ITC), for lifetime outstanding and supreme achievements in the field of tribology. It is considered the world’s premier award in tribology. The nomination for the award requires strong support from at least five eminent tribologists from five different countries, and the nomination can be made by a prior medal winner or an ITC Executive. The selection is made by an independent Awards Selection Committee, consisting of eminent scientists from across various scientific and engineering disciplines.

The Tribology Gold Medal was established and first awarded in 1972. It has been awarded to 49 individuals from 18 different countries. In 2020, the award was given to Dr. Bharat Bhushan, an American Tribologist/Scientist. He is the 11th American to be honored, the first since 2013, and the 4th living laureate.

Award Ceremony will take place at UK Embassy in Washington, DC, to be hosted by British ambassador to the US.


In recognition of his outstanding and supreme achievements in Tribology, with five decades of distinguished and continued contributions to its advancement as a prolific author and internationally recognized expert at the nano-to-microscales. His research contributions have significantly extended to the interdisciplinary areas of biological and material science and he has pioneered the tribology of magnetic storage devices, bio-/nanotechnology, cosmetics and biomimetics, nanotribology and green tribology.

Executive Summary:

Dr. Bharat Bhushan was born in a small town, Jhinjhana, India. He received a B.S. (Hons.) in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India. At age 20, he left his native country to join Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA to pursue an advanced degree in Tribology on Aug. 26, 1970. He tookthe first course in Tribology from Prof. Ernest Rabinowicz (1998 Medal winner and a student of a pioneer, David Tabor) commenced on Sept 14, 1970. He received an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the MIT in 1971. It was followed by an M.S. in mechanics and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973 and 1976, respectively, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, NY in 1980. After having earned five college degrees, he was awarded five honorary degrees: Doctor Technicae from the University of Trondheim, Norway in 1990, Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland in 1996, Honorary Doctor of Science from the National Academy of Sciences, Gomel, Belarus in 2000, University of Kragujevac, Serbia in 2011, and University of Tyumen, Russia in 2019. He is a registered professional engineer. 

He is presently an Academy Professor at The Ohio State University. He has served as an Ohio Eminent Scholar and The Howard D. Winbigler Professor in the College of Engineering, Director of the Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- & Nanotechnology and Biomimetics (NLB2), and affiliated faculty in John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. In 2013-14, he served as ASME/AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, United States Congress, Washington, DC. He has served as an Expert Investigator on IP related issues in the U.S. and International Courts. His research interests are in Fundamental studies in the interdisciplinary areas of Bio/nanotribology/nanomechanics, Nanomaterials Characterization, Scanning Probe Techniques, Magnetic Storage, Bio/nanotechnology, Nanomanufacturing, Bioinspired Liquid Repellency, Self-cleaning and Water Harvesting, and Science and Technology Policy. He is an internationally recognized expert of bio/nanotribology and bio/nanomechanics using scanning probe microscopy, and biomimetics. He is considered by some one of the pioneers of the tribology and mechanics of magnetic storage devices, nanotribology, green tribology, cosmetic tribology, and biomimetics. He had introduced the word “nanotribology” in a title of a Nature paper in 1995 and “green tribology” in 2010.

He is one of the most prolific authors. He has authored 10 scientific books, 100+ handbook chapters, 900+ scientific papers, and 60 technical reports. He has also edited 50+ books and holds more than 25 U.S. and foreign patents.He is one of the Google Scholar’s 1494 Highly Cited Researchers in All Fields, living and deceased (h>100).Citation indices include Google Scholar h-index - 135+ with 82k+ citations, i10-index - 800+, Web of Science h-index - 100+, and Scopus h-index - 110+. He is Fourth Highly Cited Researcher in Mechanical Engineering, ISI Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science since 2007 and in Biology and Biochemistry in 2013, ISI Top 5% Cited Authors for Journals in Chemistry in 2011, and Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher in Cross-field Category since 2018. His research was listed as the Top Ten Science Stories of 2015. He is co-editor of Springer NanoScience and Technology Series and co-editor of Microsystem Technologies. He has given He has given more than 400 invited presentations including 300+ keynote/plenary addresses at major international conferences on six continents.He delivered a TEDx 2019 lecture on Lessons from Nature.

His biography has been listed in over two dozen Who's Who books including Who's Who in the World. He has received more than two dozen awards for his contributions to science and technology from professional societies, industry, and U.S. government agencies including International Tribology Gold Medal and Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) Global Award for bioinspired surfaces. He received NASA’s Certificate of Appreciation to recognize the critical tasks performed in support of President Reagan’s Commission investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. He is also the recipient of various international fellowships including the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize for Senior Scientists, Max Planck Foundation Research Award for Outstanding Foreign Scientists, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. He is foreign member of the International Academy of Engineering (Russia), Byelorussian Academy of Engineering and Technology and the Academy of Triboengineering of Ukraine, honorary member of the Society of Tribologists of Belarus and STLE, fellow of ASME, IEEE, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and member of ASEE, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi.

He is an accomplished organizer. He organized the First Symposium on Tribology and Mechanics of Magnetic Storage Systems in 1984 and the First Int. Symposium on Advances in Information Storage Systems in 1990, both of which are now held annually. He organized two international NATO institutes in Europe in 1996 and 2000. He found an ASME Information Storage and Processing Systems Division in 1992, and served as founding chair during 1993-1998.

He has previously worked for Mechanical Technology Inc., Latham, NY; SKF Industries Inc., King of Prussia, PA; IBM Corp., Tucson, AZ; and IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA. He has held visiting professorship at University of California at Berkeley, Cavendish Lab at University of Cambridge, UK, Vienna University of Technology, Austria, University of Paris, Orsay, ETH Zurich, EPFL Lausanne, Univ. of Southampton, UK, Univ. of Kragujevac, Serbia, Tsinghua Univ., China, Harbin Inst. of Technology, China, and KFUPM, Saudi Arabia.

In closing, his proud tribology moment was to teach a tribology course in 1999 while serving as a faculty appointed guest professor at the Cavendish Lab., Univ. of Cambridge, UK - home of Tribology pioneers: Francis P. Bowden and David Tabor.

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