Prof. Rakesh Agarwal, after graduating from IIT
Kanpur in Chemical Engineering in 1975, did his M.S.
from the University of Delaware (1977) and Sc.D. from
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (1980). Prof.
Agarwal is Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor,
School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
In 2011, Prof. Agarwal was named by President Obama
to receive the National Medal of Technology and
Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the US
government on scientists, engineers and inventors. He
was awarded the medal with citation of an
extraordinary record of innovations in improving the
energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas
liquefaction and separation.
Prof. Rakesh Agarwal has worked at Air Products and
Chemicals Inc. where he rose to its highest technical
position of Air Products Fellow. He is inventor on one
hundred eighteen U.S. patents and his ideas have been
applied in over one hundred plants with total
expenditures in multibillion dollars. He invented
several novel gas separation and liquefaction processes
that have been used to produce the world's largest
natural gas liquefaction plant, ultra high purity gases
such as nitrogen, oxygen, argon, ammonia, nitrogen
trifluoride (NF etc. for the electronic industry and
several highly energy efficient gas liquefaction plants.
At Purdue University, Prof. Agrawal is creating
solutions for a future based on solar energy as well as for
transition from the current fossil resource based
economy. His group is developing new energy system
models, novel biomass to liquid fuel processes with
high yields of liquid fuel, nanocrystal ink based
printable thin film solar cells, and highly energy
efficient separation processes.
He has published over one hundred technical papers
and has given over 125 invited lectures explaining the
concepts underlying his inventions/research and some
of these fundamental concepts in separations are
included in Chemical Engineering textbooks and taught
in classrooms. Prof. Agarwal has received several
awards including, J&EHall Gold Medal from the Institute of Refrigeration (UK), Presidential Citation
for Outstanding Achievement from the University of
Delaware, Industrial Research Institute (IRI)
Achievement Award, C. K. Murthy Memorial
Lecture (IIChE), and from the American Institute of
Chemical Engineers (AIChE): Gerhold, Excellence in
Industrial Gases Technology, Institute Lecture,
Chemical Engineering Practice, Fuels and
Petrochemicals Division and Founders awards. He
was a Regents Lecturer at University of California,
Los Angeles. He has served as a Director on the
AIChE's Board and is currently on the Technical
Advisory boards of the Dow Chemical Co.
Genomatica, Weyerhaeuser, and ATMI. He is also a
member of theUSNational Academy of Engineering
and a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National
The Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian
Institute of Technology Kanpur is conferred on Prof.
Rakesh Agarwal for his outstanding contributions to
research and development in Chemical Engineering.