Dr. Payasada (Paul) Kotrappa
It is with profound sadness that I am informing the radon community of the passing of one of the early “lions” of the radon industry. Dr. Payasada (Paul) Kotrappa passed away last night from complications associated with dengue fever that he contracted while visiting India with his wife last month.
Dr. Kotrappa was the “father” of the electret ion chamber, one of the founders of Rad Elec Inc., a perennial presenter at the AARST symposiums, and the author of countless publications on the measurement of radon and ionizing radiation. To say that Paul was an enthusiastic proponent of the
E-PERM system for the measurement of any form of ionizing radiation is an understatement. He published numerous publications on electret ion chamber technology, and the many ways in which it could be adapted. He received the Radiation Science and Technology Award from the American Nuclear Society for “pioneering work in the development of practical radiation monitoring systems based on electret dosimetry” in 1989 and was a co-recipient of the Gustav Akerblum Award from AARST.
Prior to coming to the United States, Dr. Kotrappa worked as a senior scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in India, and as an external professor of Physics at Bombay University where he guided students working for MS and PhD programs. In addition to working at Rad Elec, Paul held a position as a Visiting Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
He was a good friend, a trusted colleague, and will be missed by me, his family and friends, and by the radon community to which he felt so connected. With the exception of his family, radon was Paul’s life – and he was talking and thinking about radon until the very end. May he rest in peace.
Kevin M Stewart
This is indeed a tragic loss. My condolences to Dr. Kotrappa's family and to everyone at Rad-Elec. I'm sure Rick brought a smile to many with his "understatement" sentence. I do want to give a testimonial to Paul in that no opportunity to be of service was too small for him to undertake: He was of notable assistance to my son when he was doing a Rn/Tn science project when he was in high school.
Kevin M Stewart
My first job in the radon industry was working for Rad Elec and Dr. Kotrappa. He was a generous, patient and dedicated scientist who never hesitated to share his experience and knowledge. His energy was constant and his enthusiasm for E-PERMs, and radon research was truly unfettered. I am very proud that our Association recognized Dr. Kotrappa's achievements with the Akerblom Scott Award. It was a privilege to know Dr. Kotrappa. I extend my sympathies to his family and friends.
A very sad day. All our condolences to Dr. Kotrappa's family and to the family at Rad-Elec. He will truly be missed. He was for sure a pioneer in our industry.
Thank you, Paul, for your service to the cause. Your passing leaves a large void.
This is a sad day for me learning about Paul's passing. At every meeting with Paul I would be greeted with a big smile and a discussion about his recent work and interest in what I might be doing. The radon industry and AARST in particular has lost a piece of it's soul. I will miss him greatly.
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