Richard Fernandes

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy
  • Liquid and Plastic Crystals
  • Phase Transitions
  • Optical and Electronic Instrumentation
  • Science Education


I have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur. I did doctoral research at the Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bengaluru. I followed that with post-doctoral work at the University of Louisville and subsequently worked at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore till 1990.

In 1990, I teamed up with a group of interested educators and co-founded Centre for Learning, an​“alternative” school in Bengaluru where I designed, developed and implemented laboratory-based curricula for learning Physics.

I have also designed and executed a wide range of automation projects for industries and research laboratories, primarily in the areas of supervisory control, data acquisition and robotic positioning systems over a period of 25 years.

I believe that physics is best learnt by doing and I enjoy building experimental apparatus from material found in scrap yards or cannibalised from discarded instruments. 

I reject the​“black box” approach to laboratory experiments and encourage students to assemble their experimental apparatus.

I enjoy woodworking and machining. I am an avid do-it-yourself (DIY) fan and I have many unfinished projects at home.



Journal Articles

Chapter in Edited Book

  • Dupré, D.B., Fernandes, J.R. (1985). The Determination of Elastic Constants in Weakly Birefringent Liquid Crystals. In A. Blumstein (Ed.), Polymeric Liquid Crystals (pp. 415 — 422). Springer.