Rakesh Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on energy issues and includes novel processes for fabrication of low-cost solar cells, biomass and coal to liquid fuel conversion, hydrogen production from renewable sources and energy systems analysis. His research interests further include basic and applied research in gas separations, process development, synthesis of distillation column configurations, adsorption and membrane separation processes, novel separation processes, gas liquefaction processes, cryogenics, and thermodynamics. Dr. Agrawal holds 116 U.S. and more than 500 foreign patents. These patents are used in more than 100 chemical plants installed at a capital cost in excess of $1 billion dollars.
Before joining the faculty of Purdue University, Dr. Agrawal was an Air Products Fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., from 1980 to 2004. He chaired the Separations Division and the Chemical Technology Operating Council of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and also a Gordon Conference on Separations. He was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future Hydrogen Production and Use. He is currently a member of the AIChE and serves on its Energy Commission. Dr. Agrawal is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES).
Dr. Agrawal received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technologies, in Kanpur, India; a M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware; and a Sc.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.