Pioneering IVF Techniques and Revolutionizing Reproduction: IIT Bombay Alumna, Dr. Urmila Diwekar’s Trailblazing Triumph in IVF Innovation

IIT Bombay alumna, Dr. Urmila Diwekar (M. Tech., 1984 and Ph.D. 1988, Chemical Engineering) and currently a Visiting Professor in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at IIT Mumbai is the recipient of the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award by the Analytics Society of INFORMS.

The Innovative Applications in Analytics Award recognises the creative and unique application of analytical techniques and promotes the creative combination of analytics techniques in innovative applications to provide novel insights and create economic or social value. The award recognizes organisations for applications combining multiple analytics types – descriptive, predictive, or prescriptive – in novel ways to achieve meaningful results.

The Analytics Society of INFORMS presented Dr. Diwekar with their annual award for her groundbreaking work in the field of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

The success of IVF in large part depends upon successful superovulation, defined by the number and uniformly high quality of eggs retrieved in a cycle. Currently, superovulation requires frequent monitoring of follicular development using ultrasound and blood tests and is primarily driven by the physician’s experience and clinical judgment.

Dr. Diwekar’s group developed a novel mathematical procedure that can provide a personalized model of this stage for each patient by considering the change in the distribution of follicles due to the chemical interactions of the drugs used.

Unveiling Dr. Diwekar’s Journey of Excellence and Academic Accomplishments

Dr. Urmila Diwekar is the president of Vishwamitra Research Institute, USA, a non-profit research institute that she founded to pursue multidisciplinary research and development in the areas of optimization under uncertainty and computer-aided design applied to Energy, Environment, Sustainability, and Biomedical Engineering. She is also the president of Stochastic Research Technologies LLC, USA.

Over the years, she has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India,

She is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers, 17 book chapters, seven books, and three software packages, has given over 400 presentations and seminars, and chaired numerous sessions in national and international meetings.

Apart from her most recent Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, she has won several prestigious awards and accolades over the years. These include:

– In 2009, she was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

– In October 2011, she received the coveted Cecil Award for Environmental Chemical Engineering from the Environmental Division of AIChE.

– In November 2011, she received the Thiele Award for outstanding contributions to chemical engineering by the Chicago chapter of AIChE.

– In 2015 she received one of the most prestigious awards of AIChE (an Institute award) – the Energy and Sustainability award for leadership in research related to conventional energy, renewable energy, energy-water  nexus, carbon capture and environmental control for energy, pollution prevention, and sustainability.

– In 2018 she received the Clarence Gerhold Award for her pioneering work on batch distillation and green separations.

– Garaje Marathi selected her as amongst the top 60 Marathi Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from all over the world who have contributed to the enhancement of knowledge and/or society.

– In 2020, she received the best research award from ScienceFather International Research Award on new science inventions (NESIN) for her work in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

– In 2022, she received the Computing in Practice Award from AIChE’s Computers and Systems Technology division. For all four national awards described above, she was the first woman ever to receive the award.

IIT Bombay congratulates Dr. Diwekar on her latest award and her lifelong commitment to pursuing excellence. Undoubtedly, many more awards and accolades are coming Dr. Diwekar’s way in the future and the Institute cannot wait to celebrate them with her!