Em. Prof. Kandachar, P.V.

Professor of Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Technology
Industrial Design Engineering


Prabhu Kandachar is Professor of Industrial Design Engineering with focus on Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Technology. He was till Jan 2012 Chairman of the Department of Design Engineering, at our faculty. He is born and educated in India, with Masters and PhD degree in Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.  Later at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, he worked for a period of 5 years at Delft from 1975, on environmentally friendly technologies. Between 1980 and 1995, he worked at Fokker Aerospace, near Amsterdam in various technical & management positions involving aerospace design. Since 1995, he is with the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at Delft University of Technology. Since Jan 2012, he is an emeritus professor at our university.

His teaching and research interests at IDE are focussed on concretizing design ideas and concepts to artefacts. Also termed Embodiment Design, his attention in this phase of the design process is, among others on, materials and manufacturing technology related to product design, integrating technology and materials selection in design, etc. He is also Chairman of the Natural Fibre Composites Design Platform at the Netherlands.

Additionally Prabhu Kandachar is extensively involved in projects involving students and businesses to identify opportunities as well as to design & prototype products and services for the Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP). Issues covered include sustainable materials, water, healthcare, energy, housing, etc., in countries like India, Indonesia, China, Brazil, Ghana, Tanzania, Honduras, Philippines, Pakistan, Madagascar, etc.

Recently a book with a collection of selected BoP student projects has been released: Designing with Emerging Markets – Design of Products and Service (2011), Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. (ISBN 978-90-5155-077-1). Such “Putting People First” activities on BoP have also led to a multi-step project on enhancing the knowledge domain around BoP with the following results: 

  • A special issue of "Greener Management International (GMI)”, edited by Prabhu Kandachar, released in June 2007, coinciding with:
  • A BoP Session during Greening of the Industry Network Conference 2007, which served as a platform for:
  • The book Sustainability Challenges and Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid: Business, Technology and the Poor, edited by Prabhu Kandachar and Minna Halme, (August 2008), www.greenleaf-publishing.com coinciding with:
  • International Conference on Sustainable Innovations at the Base of the Pyramid, Helsinki, September 26–27, 2008, and
  • a Workshop on Wellbeing in Low-Income Communities on Dec. 15, 2008 with Professor Martha Nussbaum as keynote speaker, both at Helsinki School of Economics, Finland. http://www.hse.fi/bop Prabhu Kandachar talked about Dilemmas during Design Interventions in this event. 

He has given talks at several International events including  on (1) Sustainable Innovations at/for Emerging Markets during Conference on Joint Actions on Climate Change, Aalborg, Denmark, June 2009 (2) Design & Business in Emerging Markets:-Focus on India at Manipal BoP Summit, India, Dec 2009 (3) Designing for Global Sustainable Solutions- Challenges and Opportunities, at Sustainability in Design: NOW! Conference, Bangalore, India, September 2010 (4) Sustainable and Inclusive Innovations at Helsinki (Jan 2011)(5) On Innovations, Sustainability and Responsibility, at Tilburgh, The Netherlands (Sept 2011) (6) at the Conference on BoP with focus on impact at Delft (Nov. 2009). Till recently he was also chair of the Advisory Board of Aalto University BoP Network, Helsinki, Finland, etc.

Prabhu Kandachar continues to direct research work both on materials and on inclusive innovations with emerging markets and developing countries. This includes designing and developing medical devices for rural China [PhD work by Mr. Jiehui Jiang] investigations on up-scaling grass roots innovations [PhD work by Ms Ann Keersmaecker], applying the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum to technology, engineering and design [PhD work by Ms.Annemarie Mink]. 
See also this site on Nature-Inspired Design Strategies (NIDS), with a focus on Bio-mimicry and Cradle to Cradle [PhD work by Ms. Ingrid de Pauw] and on Materials Scarcity [PhD work by Mr David Peck]. Prabhu Kandachar has also about 100 publications on these topics. 

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