Varun Bhalerao

Introduction (for seminars etc)

Dr. Varun Bhalerao is an astrophysicist at IIT Bombay.

He obtained a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay, followed by a Ph.D. from Caltech in 2012. During his thesis, he worked on NuSTAR - the first focussing hard X-ray telescope - a Caltech / JPL / NASA mission. He also studied High Mass X-ray Binaries with optical and infrared telescopes to measure neutron star masses. As a Vaidya-Raichaudhury Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at IUCAA, Pune, he led the ground calibration of the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager on AstroSat - the Indian multi-wavelength space telescope. At IIT Bombay, his group works on the development of GROWTH-India - India's first fully robotic telescope. The group leads the Indian effort in the study of elusive electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources.

Varun Bhalerao is a recipient of the Vainu Bappu gold medal - the highest honour given by the Astronomical Society of India. He is also an associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences, and recipient of the DST INSPIRE faculty fellowship. He has been awarded the IIT Bombay Early Research Achiever Award (2019) and the Krithi Ramamritham Award for creative engineering (2019).

Research Interests:

  • Astrophysics

  • Electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources

  • Astrophysical instrumentation (X-ray telescopes, Robotic ground-based telescopes)

  • X-ray and optical studies of transient sources

  • Neutron stars and neutron star binaries