Agrawal, Tawarmalani honored for computing advances in chemical engineering

Two Purdue University professors are being recognized for their research in chemical engineering computing.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Purdue University professors are being recognized for their research in chemical engineering computing.

Rakesh Agrawal, Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Mohit Tawarmalani, Allison & Nancy Schleicher Chair of Management, have been selected to receive the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award from the Computing & Systems Technology (CAST) Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the application of computing and systems technology in chemical engineering. 

Agrawal and Tawarmalani were cited for the development of innovative computational models, numerical algorithms, and physical insights leading to sustainable and energy-efficient distillation, membrane, and chemical processes with real-world applications. Their collaboration has produced 28 journal articles and seven published proceedings.

Agrawal joined the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering in 2004. His research group specializes in three main areas: solar energy (including fabrication of thin film inorganic solar cells), agrivoltaics, energy systems engineering, and synthesis of efficient separation processes. He has received several honors at Purdue, including the Morrill Award, the highest honor the university confers to a faculty member.

Tawarmalani joined the faculty of the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business in 2001, and currently serves as acting executive associate dean of faculty and academic director of the Krenicki Center for Business Analytics & Machine Learning. His research lies at the intersection of computer science, optimization, and operations research, with applications in both business and engineering, particularly in the areas of process design, networking, and pricing.

The CAST Division promotes the integration of computational methods and systems technology in addressing chemical engineering challenges, encompassing areas including process design, process control, operations, and applied mathematics. Professors Agrawal and Tawarmalani will formally receive their award at the 2024 AIChE Annual Meeting in San Diego in November.