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R. Lalit Chordia [1980/BT/CH], President & CEO, Thar Energy

Dr. Lalit Chordia received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1980. In 1985, he earned a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie–Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)

For the last 25 years, Dr. Chordia has pioneered R& D in, and commercial applications of, supercritical fluid technology, a green materials-processing technology. In 1982, Dr. Chordia co-founded his first company, Suprex Corp. and then served as Vice President of Engineering and R & D. The vision of Suprex was to commercialize the nascent technology of supercritical fluids, and it focused on small–scale analytical supercritical fluid systems. With eight years of process and equipment R & D experience, coupled with greater maturity in the market for supercritical fluid technology, Dr. Chordia left Suprex in 1990 to form Thar Technologies. Dr. Chordia’s move enabled him to exploit a growing market for larger-scale supercritical fluid systems and process development services.

Through his technological and commercial leadership, Dr. Chordia has taken Thar from one-employee to a global leader in its field with four technology groups in Pittsburgh and two international subsidiaries (including one in Chennai). Today, Thar offers a complete line of laboratory-through-process scale systems, research and development services, toll processing and technology licensing. Examples of Thar’s involvement in process and equipment development include: drug design and purification, spice and nutraceutical extraction, solvent removal, environmental recovery, electronics cooling and cleaning, smart components, self-sealing systems, high-efficiency processing and automated handling. Dr. Chordia is the holder of 12 patents and has 20+ pending patents.

Recognizing his accomplishments, the United States Small Business Administration Office named Dr. Chordia the 2002 U.S small business exporter of the year, an award he won in a competition against companies with up to 500 employees. In the same year, Thar, with Dr. Chordia as the primary investigator, also won a prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Technology Program Award to develop novel electronics cooling technology.

Dr. Chordia is a co-founder of the US-India forum, which promotes business and political cooperation between the USA and India, and an Adjunct Research Scientist at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie-Mellon University. He has been featured in several international publications, including Fortune. He is deeply involved in numerous civic and educational organizations in Pittsburgh.