Prof. M. K. Surappa, born on 5th Dec. 1951 in an agricultural family in Mirle, in Mysore District. He completed his school education in Mirle in Kannada medium Government. schools. He obtained BSc degree (1970) from Yuvaraja's College of Mysore University. He joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1970 and received BE degree in Metallurgy in 1973, M.S and Ph. D degrees from the faculty of Engineering in 1976 and 1980 respectively.
Prof. Surappa joined then newly established Regional Laboratory, Trivandrum in 1979 as senior scientist and worked there for two years. During 1981-87, he was Research Associate/Engineer at Drexel University (USA), Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (UK) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland). He returned to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, as an Assistant Professor in 1987 and rose to the position of Professor in 1998. He was Honorary Secretary of Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology during 2004-09. He was Visiting Professor to Sir M. Visveswaraya Chair, University of Mysore (2003-04). He has served as Founder Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar for a period of six years (2009-15). He served as Dean, Faculty of Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science during the year 2016-2017. He assumed the post of Vice Chancellor of Anna University on 12th April 2018. He is also Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science.
Prof. Surappa has made outstanding R&D contributions to the Science and Technology of Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs). For over three decades, he has pursued many innovative investigations on synthesis, processing-microstructure-property correlation and application development of MMCs based on light alloy matrices. These include : (a) Development of "Stir Cast Process" for the fabrication of aluminium matrix composites. Process developed by Prof. Surappa at the Indian Institute of Science is often hailed as an Indian Innovation by MMC producers across the world. (b) Development of innovative technique for synthesis of metal-ceramic nano composites by in-situ pyrolysis of polymer pre-cursors in the liquid melt. He has carried out all his research work entirely in India. Prof. Surappa has published 100 research papers in International journals and presented nearly 150 papers in national and international conferences and has authored a book. He has secured one US and 3 Indian patents.
Prof. Surappa nurtured IIT Ropar as an Institution of Excellence in Research and Governance. In the 2016 National Ranking of Institutions, IIT Ropar stands number 9 amongst top 100 Engineering Institutions. It is very heartening to note that IIT Ropar ranked number one in two parameters used in ranking exercise, namely (a) Teaching, learning and Resources (TLR) and (b) Graduation Outcome (GO) amongst 16 IITs. This is testimony to the inspiring, dynamic and visionary leadership of Prof. Surappa.
Professor was bestowed with Sir. M. Visvesvaraya award for his Life time contributions in Science and Technology from the Government of Karnataka for the year 2015. Prof. Surappa is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). In the year 2015, Karnataka State Open University honored him by awarding him Honorary degree of Doctor of Literature (D.Litt). He received Suvarna Karnataka Rajyotsava Award by the Government of Karnataka in 2006 and Prof. Rustum Choksi Award for Excellence in Research and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 2007. He received AMULYA Award for Innovation in 2012 by the Government of Karnataka. He has been bestowed with Metallurgist of the Year award for the year 1998 by the Government of India. He is the recipient of MRSI Medal for the year 1997 from the Materials Research Society of India.