Dr D.K. Tuli has extensive experience in the bioenergy segment, spanning both industries and research and development (R&D). He has done research in the biofuels and bioenergy space for more than 12 years and has various patents and publications to his credit.
After completing his doctoral studies in synthetic organic chemistry in 1977, Tuli went on to get a postdoctoral degree at the Robert Robinson Labs, Liverpool. After a short tenure in teaching, he joined Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) R&D centre as a research officer in 1982, and then went on to obtain another postdoctorate in protein chemistry. While serving as chief manager in IOC R&D, Tuli was appointed chief executive officer, Indian Oil Technologies Limited, in 2008.
He superannuated as executive director of IOC R&D in 2012 and headed the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)-IOC Centre of Advanced Bioenergy between 2012 and 2017. In 2017, he was offered the chair of DBT Energy Biosciences at the DBT-IOC Centre for Bioenergy Research, and he continues to hold the position till date. In the past, he has also served as adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia and Deakin University.
In his present role, Tuli looks after DBT’s Mission Innovation programme and also advises the DBT centres on advanced bioenergy-related projects. The most memorable assignment of his career till date has been setting up India’s first pilot plant for producing 2G ethanol from agricultural residues.
According to him, the bioenergy segment in India is constrained by a number of issues relating to cost and technology. He feels there is a need to reduce capital costs and focus on scaling up technology along with proper mechanisms for collecting and storing biomass to give a boost to the segment.
A firm believer in teamwork, Tuli likes to keep his team involved by trusting them with work and giving them both responsibility and credit when due.
In his spare time, he likes to read technology-related books and takes time out to travel whenever he can. He loves spending time with his young grandson, and also supports the education of a few financially weak students.
He has an interesting list of goals that he would like to accomplish. This includes a visit to Africa, writing a book on enzymes as well as doing an in-depth study of the Bhagavad Gita.