Sathyamurthy is a theoretical chemist and founder director of the Indian Inst. of Science Education and Research, Mohali. He has made outstanding contributions to molecular reaction dynamics: Relating features of potential energy surface to dynamical outcome; utility of time-dependent quantum mechanics to reactive scattering; and fractals in chemical processes. He has also focused on determining stability and degradation of polysilanes; analysing state of water clusters in a confined nonpolar environment; shapes of boric acid clusters; roles of pentagon and hexagon motifs; and stacking interactions in aromatic systems. He is a fellow of IAS, Bangalore, and INSA, New Delhi. His honours include the INSA Young Scientist, Bhatnagar, Raman and FICCI Awards of India, he is JC Bose National Fellow, Dept. of Science and Technology, New Delhi, and hon. prof., JNCASR.