Sunday, 24 July 2016

Kal Sastry, 1942-2016

Kal Sastry, a University of California Berkeley Emeritus Professor died on July 15th, aged 74.
Known for his contributions to research in mining and mineral process engineering, particularly in iron ore processing, Sastry, who was raised in India, received his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1970, supervised by Prof. Doug Fuerstenau, before moving to Minnesota to further his research in mining. He became a campus professor in 1975 and retired in 2000.
Prof. Sastry’s main interest was in the mathematical modeling of particulate processes and he taught a graduate course in this area. His undergraduate teaching in the Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering was a course on mineral and particulate materials processing and a lower division course on Fortran programming. Many persons in various parts of the world may have taken one of the numerous short courses that he taught concerned with modeling mineral processing operations. Starting from his doctoral research, he developed a worldwide reputation in the field of agglomeration and pelletizing.
After his retirement and until late last year, Kal Sastry continued to teach a campus freshman and sophomore seminar called “The Berkeley Experience,” which introduced new campus undergraduates to opportunities in both UC Berkeley and its surrounding area. Sastry would also encourage the students taking the seminar to write out plans for their future.
Prof. Sastry is survived by his wife Vizia Sastry, his children Jaya Sastry and Suresh Sastry, his daughter-in-law Anitha Sastry and his grandchildren Anjuli Sastry and Aakash Sastry.


  1. It is indeed a sad news. I know him personally, visited him in U,S.A. and interacted on many occassions. I always found him to be very communicative and full of enthusiasm to talk on mineral processing. His pioneering work on column flotation would remain as a bench mark.
    My sypathies to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.

  2. I have also received the sad news from Professor Som and Professor Doug Fuerstenau. It is really a shocking news. I did not know that he was so unwell and had to undergo a lung transplant. I convey my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Sastry and all the members of the Sastry family.

    Professor Sastry was my teacher at Berkeley. He taught me modeling of various mineral processing unit operations at UC Berkeley. He had joined UC Berkeley as a young faculty member around the same time (in fact, in the same year if I recall correctly) as I joined there as a graduate student in Professor Fuerstenau's group in 1975. Kal Sastry taught us Mineral Process Engineering and Population Balance Modeling. I recall I had taken all the courses offered by him at Berkeley including an undergraduate course on computational techniques in engineering and another one on process control. I was closely associated with him when he developed an undergraduate lab course on particle technology. Professor Sastry was extremely passionate about Mineral Process Engineering and he taught us with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication. He is of course well known for his work on pelletization and agglomeration. Professor Sastry also worked on column flotation and dewatering at Berkeley. I recall that my contemporaries at Berkeley who worked with Professor Sastry for PhD include Cetin Hosten (dewatering), VP Mehrotra (pelletization) and Dr. Ebaadi (column flotation).

    I returned to India in 1981 but continued to remain in touch with Professor Sastry. I recall he had spent sometime at IIT Madras and I recall going there to meet him. Professor Sastry had also visited us in Hyderabad when I was there working at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in the early 80's - he was a member of the US delegation who had come for an Indo-US workshop held at Udaipur. Later he visited our centre in Pune, Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC) and delivered invited lectures on mineral process engineering. He has also delivered invited lectures during our International Conference on Mineral Processing (MPT) organized by IIME. We used to meet off and on in India during his visits, but our meetings became less frequent lately I guess, after his superannuation from UC Berkeley. My last meeting with Professor Kal Sastry was in Salt Lake City during the SME- IMPC symposium organized by SME, in honour of Professor Fuerstenau's outstanding contributions to the field, a few years back.

    I have spent many memorable evenings at his home, not far from Berkeley in the company of Mrs. Sastry, Jaya and Suresh. I am really sad to learn that he is no more. I shall miss him. I shall cherish pleasant memories of our several intense discussions and close interactions with him on several occasions on various topics including life in general.

    With my heartfelt condolences to the Sastry family
    Currently Vice President (Technology at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Pune, India

  3. I regret very much the departure of a friend. He was a great help in organizing IMPC in San Francisco in October 1995.
    Fathi Habashi, Laval University, Canada

  4. Very sad to hear the demise of Prof.Kal Sastry. I had an opportunity to associate with him in conducting three workshops for the working engineers of ESSAR STEELS, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. I learned few things from him even as a resource person. We used to discuss several things before we start the workshop. My association with him is very memorable.
    My heartiest condolences to Prof.Kal Sastry family
    Retired Associate Professor
    Department of Mineral Beneficiation
    SDS Autonomous College, Garividi, A.P., India

  5. Outstanding husband, father/grandfather, dedicated educator and number one friend. You will be greatly missed.
    John A Herbst, Chair of Mining, WVU,USA


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