Professor Agrawal Earns Purdue’s Highest Career Achievement Award

Dr. Rakesh Agrawal
Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, was selected as a recipient of the 2014 Morrill Award at Purdue University. The award honors faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and engagement.

Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, was selected as one of the recipients of the 2014 Morrill Award at Purdue University during the 2014 Faculty Awards Convocation on April 24.

The Morrill Award is Purdue’s highest career achievement recognition for faculty. It honors individuals who have excelled at all facets of the professoriate and have demonstrated synergies in their roles as teachers, scholars and engagement.

The award selection committee was especially impressed with Dr. Agrawal’s research in renewable energy and its impact on society. Two important thrusts of that research include how to fabricate low-cost solar cells based on nanotechnology and how to efficiently convert biomass to liquid.

The committee also saw clear synergies between Dr. Agrawal’s roles of teacher, scholar and engaged professor. His has been able to effectively combine teaching with research and his research group includes a phenomenal 22 graduate students and four undergraduate students.

Dr. Agrawal holds 119 U.S. patents, nearly 500 non-U.S. patents and has authored over 122 technical papers. In 2011 he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama, which is the highest honor for technological achievement in the United States. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was recently elected in the National Academy of Inventors.

The Morrill Award is awarded only to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus faculty at the rank of professor for outstanding career achievements. The Office of the Provost named the Morrill Awards for Justin Smith Morrill, the Vermont congressman who sponsored the 1862 federal Morrill Act, which allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges and universities like Purdue. The award comes with a $30,000 prize.