Dr.Ramaswamy Lakshmi NarasimhaIyengar took over as the Director of the Laboratory from Sri Harirao Navkal in January 1957. He did his M.Sc. (Physics) from the University of Mysore. He had the distinction of being the most brilliant student and was awarded merit scholarships and prizes during his educational career. He joined the technological laboratory as a research scholar on April 1, 1927 and worked under Dr. Turner, the director of the laboratory. Sri Iyengar was sent to Coimbatore centre to conduct special studies on variations in the properties of cotton fibres brought about by different genetic and environmental factor.
Madras University was very much pleased with his work, which was relatively new in nature, until then unexplored by the fellow scientists. In recognition of his extensive work in cotton development. he was awarded D.Sc. degree in 1943. Dr.Iyengar returned to Bombay in 1941 and was appointed to the post of Junior Research Officer. He was later promoted to the post of senior research officer in 1953 and ultimately was elevated to the post of the director in 1957.Dr.Iyengar has contributed immensely to cotton research all through his career, starting as a research scholar to the post of director. He took great interest in studying the fibre length variation along the surface of the cotton seed and other fibre properties. Among other things, his investigations on the strength of attachment of the cotton fibre to the seed has been widely acclaimed world over. Other studies being improvement in ginning, moisture relations of fibre yarns and fabrics.
It is interesting to note that he designed many instruments. Some may say they were very simple but when devised for the first time, they were widely accepted, The ginning percentage balance, the Leaf-vein toughness tester, the photo-electric mean fibre diameter tester, the strength tester and the impact tester are in constant use even today. Dr.Iyengar has conducted number of studies and published numerous research papers in Indian and International journals. He was deputed to London during 1965 by the Government of India as a member of the Indian delegation to the ISO meeting.Dr.Iyengar relinquished his office in October 1966. From 1967 to 1972, Dr.Iyengar was an Emeritus Scientist attached to the laboratory, and conducted studies on developing simple equations for predicting yarn properties from the chief fibre properties of cotton. As in the past, he guided students for post-graduate degrees of the Bombay University. His advice and keen interest in the activities of the CTRL continued till his death. He was responsible for the expansion program of the laboratory, which involved a sum of Rs 15 Lakhs.
He is also an author of a book, “Methods of test for cotton yarn fabrics,” along with Dr. V. Sundaram. Dr.Iyengar passed away at Bangalore on 18th September 1992.