Prof. Waghmare has used first-principles (non-empirical) physical theories, modeling and computer simulations effectively in obtaining fundamental insights into microscopic mechanisms that govern multi-scale behavior of a wide range of materials and their technologically important properties. These include smart multi-functional materials, nanomaterials and topological insulators, which have applications in sensors, actuators, computer memories, energy conversion and storage, and catalysis of reactions for clean environment. Taking into account most realistic aspects of a material, his work leads to prediction of material-specific phenomena ranging from sensitive ferroelectricity to mechanical properties of super-alloys used in blades of a jet engine. It involves strong interactions with experimentalists and has transcended the boundaries of physics, chemistry and engineering, with focus on materials. He regularly contributes to organization of short-term schools and workshops for training students in computational materials science. Through active involvement in Science Outreach activities, he has reached out to broad spectrum of people ranging from school children in remote villages of Uttarakhand to graduate students in Africa.
Prof. Waghmare is a recipient of the Infosys prize in Engineering and Computer Science in 2015, a JC Bose National Fellowship in 2014, India Citation Award in 2012, S S Bhatnagar prize in Physical Sciences in 2010, IBM Faculty award in 2009, DAE Outstanding Researcher Award (2009), BM Birla prize in Physics and an MRSI Medal in 2005, DuPont Young Faculty grant award in 2004. He has been elected to the fellowship of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad and Indian National Science Academy, Delhi.