Rakesh Agrawal is Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. Previously, he was an Air Products Fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., where he worked until 2004.
A major thrust of his research is related to energy issues and includes novel processes for fabrication of low-cost solar cells, biomass conversion to liquid fuel, and energy systems analysis. His research further includes synthesis of multicomponent separation configurations including distillation, membrane and adsorption based processes, basic and applied research in gas separations, process development, gas liquefaction processes and cryogenics. He is a member of the U.S. NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES). He was a member of the AIChE’s Board of Directors and also it’s Energy Commission. He has published 90 technical papers and holds 116 U.S. and more than 500 foreign patents. These patents are used in over one hundred chemical plants with total capital expenditure in multibillion dollars.
He has received several awards including, J & E Hall Gold Medal from the Institute of Refrigeration (UK), Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement from the University of Delaware, Industrial Research Institute (IRI) Achievement Award and from the AIChE: the Gerhold, Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, Institute Lecture, Chemical Engineering Practice, Founder’s Award and Fuels and Petrochemicals Division awards. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the AIChE. In 2010 he received the National Medal for Technology and Innovation from the President of the United States of America, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for Technology and Innovation.
Dr. Agrawal received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, in Kanpur, India; a M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware, and an Sc.D. in chemical engineering from the MIT.