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Indian-American Professor wins ‘genius grant’


Kartik Chandran, an Indian-American Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia Engineering, has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow with a “genius grant” of $625,000 (Rs. 4.09 crore).

Mr. Chandran, an IIT-Roorkee graduate, has won the fellowship for his work in “transforming wastewater from a pollutant requiring disposal to a resource for useful products, such as commodity chemicals, energy sources, and fertilizers.”

He joins a distinguished group of 24 talented people who have all demonstrated exceptional originality and dedication to their creative pursuitsas well as a marked capacity for self-direction. The fellows may use the $625,000 stipend as they see fit.

“When I received the call telling me that I had been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, I was rather overwhelmed,” Mr. Chandran said. “I’d just returned to New York from India after a 24-hour flight and couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

Mr. Chandran’s research on the global nitrogen cycle and engineered wastewater treatment has been widely recognised. In 2011, he received a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a transformative model for water and sanitation management in Africa.


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