Rahardi Ramelan is a former Minister of Industry and Trade, Minister of Research and Technology and Head of the Bureau of Logistics of the Republic of Indonesia, serving in the 1990s. His first degree was obtained in 1964 in Mechanical Engineering from the Czechoslovak Technical University Praha-CVUT, Czechoslovakia. His professional background began in aviation working at the Indonesian Air Force and subsequently at the Directorate-General of the Aviation Industry under the Department of Industry in the 1960s, before joining the aviation industry in Germany in the 1970s.
Upon his return to Indonesia in 1975, he established the Advanced Technology Division at Pertamina. Following this, he held various important industry and technology-related positions and responsibilities in government, including as Deputy Chairman of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) before his appointment as a government minister. In 1994, he was awarded the Prof Hybl Memorial Medal from Prague Technical University, Czech Republic, and obtained Doctor Honoris Causa from Monash University, Australia in 1997 and Northeastern University, Boston in 1998. He was also a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between 2000 and 2002 and has been guest lecturer at the Sloan School of Management – MIT, RWTH Aachen, TU-UHH and NIT Hamburg and TU Berlin in Germany.
In recent years, his focus has shifted to the crafts sector of Indonesia. He is Chairman of the Council of Experts of Yayasan Batik Indonesia (Indonesian Batik Foundation) and was a speaker and moderator of the symposium at the inaugural Jogjakarta International Batik Biennale in 2016 and 2018 respectively. He is also a regular juror for the INACRAFT Awards in Jakarta and initiated the ASEPHI Emerging Awards in 2018 for which he was a curator in 2018 and 2019 (also a jury member in 2019). In addition, he is an active advocate for the use of natural dyes and is a member of the Board of Advisors of WARLAMI (the Natural Dye Association of Indonesia).