Rakesh Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. He received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, an M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware and an Sc.D. in chemical engineering from MIT.
His research includes novel processes for the fabrication of low-cost thin-film solar cells, energy systems analysis, biomass to liquid fuel conversion, synthesis of efficient multicomponent separation processes using distillation, membranes and adsorption, and basic and applied research in gas separations and liquefaction. Agrawal has published 199 technical papers and has given over 250 invited lectures. He holds 125 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 served on technology and engineering advisory boards of a number of companies.
Agrawal has received dozens of awards and honors, including Purdue’s Shreve Award for teaching excellence and the Morrill Award for excellence in research, teaching and service. From the AIChE he has received Gerhold award in separations, the Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, the Chemical Engineering Practice Award, Alpha Chi Sigma and the Founders Award. He received Award in Separations Science and Technology from the ACS. He delivered Peter V. Danckwerts Lecture at the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering.
He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Agrawal received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2011.