Dr. Tarun Kant currently occupies the position of an Institute Chair Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Bombay and has been teaching and performing research for 48 years. He was a visiting professor at University of Wales, Swansea (1979-’82), University of Cambridge (1993) and University of California, Los Angeles (2005). Dr. Kant received his BSc degree from the University of Allahabad in 1962, his BTech (Hons) in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) in 1967 and MTech in civil engineering with specialization in structural engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) in 1969. He spent about one and a half year in a consulting engineering firm in Mumbai before joining IIT Bombay on 20 January1971 as a Lecturer. He earned his PhD degree while working as a Lecturer from IIT Bombay in 1977. He was selected as an Assistant Professor in 1978 and a Professor in 1986. He has held the positions of the Department Head (2000-2002), the Dean (Planning) of the Institute (2001-2003), the Chairman of the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-1998) and the Chairman of the Central Library (1995-1999) with great distinction. The Institute appointed him as an Institute Chair Professor from 31st December 2009.
Professor Kant was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) in 1999, a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (IASc) in 2004, a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in 2007 and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) in 2011. He is the first and only civil engineer in the country to get elected to all the four national academies. He is a recipient of the Burmah-Shell Best Paper Prize. He was awarded the 1979 Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust (U.K) Scholarship and the 1992-’93 European Commission (EC) Senior Faculty Exchange Fellowship, both by the Government of India. IIT-Bombay, on 13 March 2007, conferred the 2006 Professor H.H. Mathur Award for Excellence in Research in Applied Sciences in recognition of his outstanding work in the area of Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures. He also received the 2009 Khosla National Award for his life time achievement in the field of engineering. He is also a recipient of the 2010 IIT Bombay Research Paper Award. IIT Bombay, on 4th April 2012, conferred on him the 2011 Life Time Achievement Award. ICCS17 (17th International Conference on Composite Structures, Porto, Portugal, 17-21 June 2013) honoured him by calling him a legend and recognized him as a pioneer in initiating a new direction in mechanics of composites. Very recently he received the APACM Senior Scientist Award of the Asia Pacific Association of Computational Mechanics (APACM) on 12 December 2013 during APCOM2013 in Singapore and the ICCES (International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences) Lifetime Achievement Medal in Reno, Nevada, USA on 20-24 July 2015 for making seminal contributions to composite materials and to the education of generations of students in India.