Dr. Smita Lele
Professor of Biochemical Engineering and Controller of Examination
Institute of Chemical Technology
Dr. Smita Lele is a technologist with industrial, academic and research experience of over 3 decades in varied fields of Biochemical Engineering and Food Technology. She is currently a Professor of Biochemical Engineering and Controller of Examination in Institute of Chemical Technology, (ICT – formerly known as UDCT/ UICT), Mumbai. She was Heading the Food Engineering and Technology Department for the last 4 years.
After graduation in chemical engineering from the then UDCT in 1977, she was the first woman engineer to join Hindustan Lever Research Centre. Later, she was consultant to Alfa Laval – Tetra Pak (India) in 1996 and a visiting researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, USA (1998). She has published 65 international papers in refereed journals, has 7 patents to her credit. She has supervised 17 Doctorates and over 90 Master’s students. She has received several awards and accolades; to name some, Fellow Biotech Research Society of India (BRSI- 2010), and Dr. Bains – AFST life time achievement award for woman Food Scientist (2010).
Dr. Lele has successfully handled several sponsored projects worth few crores. The most recent and largest individual funded project is by Rajiv Gandhi Commission for S & T, Govt. of Maharashtra. Under this, a 100 kg vegetable dehydration demo plant was set up at Baramati, Maharashtra. The dry-mix vegetable-products are marketed under Justsip brand.
Currently she is the President AFST (I) Mumbai and Member of Board of Governors, BRSI, Trivandrum. She is a member of several important National Committees such as FSSAI, DST, DBT and at Universities like SNDT Mumbai, Goa University and Pune University.
In addition to professional achievements, Dr. Lele is also known for her contribution on the social front. She has been active for three decades in popularizing science and as a career counselor. She has conducted several Science Quizzes, made educational films, write ups, TV and Radio interviews and conducted National Science Day for High School students for the past 16 years. She is also actively involved in Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) .