Onkar Nath Srivastava (born 1942) is an Indian material physicist, an Emeritus professor of Banaras Hindu University and the vice president for India and South Asia of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, who is known for his contributions to the disciplines of nanotechnology and hydrogen energy. He is the author of two books and over 440 scientific papers and a recipient of several honors including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest Indian award in the science and technology categories. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2016, for his contributions to science and engineering.
Srivastava was born on the last day of the year 1942 in Varanasi, the temple town of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He secured his master's degree in Physics (MSc) in 1961 from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and followed it up with a doctoral degree (PhD) from the same institution, under the guidance of renowned physicist Ajit Ram Verma, in 1966. After doing his post doctoral research at Cornell University, USA, he returned to India to start his career as a lecturer at Banaras Hindu University where he served in different capacities as that of a reader, professor, head of the department of physics and the coordinator of the Centre of Advance Studies-Hydrogen Energy Centre. After his superannuation from service, he continues his association with the university as a professor emeritus and as an associate faculty member of Condensed Matter Experiment research program of the university.
Srivastava, a former member of the board of directors of The World Academy of Sciences,. is the vice president (India & South Asia) of the International Association of Hydrogen Energy, having been elected to the position in 2012, where he also serves as a member of their editorial board. Under his guidance, the Hydrogen Energy Centre of BHU is involved in advance research on the practical applications of hydrogen fuel, in association with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), of the Government of India. He has published two books, Crystallography Applied to Solid State Physics and Formation and phase stability of Al based quasicrystals: Quasicrystal and over 440 scientific papers. He has delivered keynote addresses in a number of science seminars and has undertaken several projects for various government agencies; Nanoscience and Technology of the Department of Science and Technology (2005–2010), Support to Hydrogen Energy Centre (2007–2012), Development & Demonstration of Hydrogen Catalytic Combustion Cookers (2007–2010), Development & Demonstration of Hydrogen Fueled three wheelers (2009–2012), Mission Mode Project on Hydrogen Storage Materials (Hydride) (2009–2014), all of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Synthesis Characterization and Properties of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (2009–2012) of the Defence Research and Development Organization are some of the notable ones. He has also been involved in organizing many science conferences and has mentored 57 doctoral students.
In 1988, The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) awarded Srivastava the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest Indian science award for his contributions on high temperature oxide superconductors, growth, characterization and application of hydrogen storage materials. He received the Goyal Prize in Physical Sciences and K. S. Rao Memorial Award on Renewable Energy in 2000 and two years later, the Indian Science Congress Association awarded him the 2002 Homi J. Bhabha Award in Applied Sciences. He also received the Material Research Society of India-ICSC Award in 2010. The National Academy of Sciences, India elected him as their fellow in 1989, followed by the Indian National Science Academy in 1994 and the International Association of Hydrogen Energy in 2010. He is also an elected fellow of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials, International Academy of Physical Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences.