“His fondest memories are associated with Hostel 6, friends in the hostel and my classmates. He also cherishes the IIT hockey team, the practice sessions and his interactions with coach Appaji and other Gymkhana staff. He also appreciates the mentorship of late Professor R. Y. Soni during his undergraduate studies” —Prof. Praveen Kumar. After completing postdoc at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Prof. Kumar joined as a faculty at University of Illinois in 1995. His research deals with Hydrocomplexity, the quantitative understanding and prediction of emergent patterns of form and function that arise from complex nonlinear multi-scale interactions between soil, water, climate, vegetation and human systems, and how this understanding can be used for innovative solutions to water and sustainability challenges. He has made extensive, deep and signature contributions pertaining to biosphere-hydrosphere interactions, multi-scale variability of hydrologic processes, hydro-geomorphology and hydroinformatics. Prof. Kumar has published 125 peer reviewed articles, coauthored or edited 3 books, contributed 10 book chapters and made over 200 presentations.
Prof. Kumar also serves as the Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation funded Critical Zone Observatory for Intensively Managed Landscapes, which is part of a national and international network. From 2002-2008, he served as a founding Board Member for CUAHSI, a consortium of over 110 universities for the advancement of hydrologic science. From 2009-2013, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Water Resources Research, the leading journal in the field with about 500 published articles per year. Prior to that he also served as the Editor of Geophysical Research Letters, a leading journal for inter-disciplinary research.
Prof. Kumar has been an Associate of the Center for Advanced Studies, and two-times Fellow of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman (Non-Resident Honor) Award 2017 by the NRI Welfare Society of India. He has also received the Xerox Award for Research and Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising.