Katepalli Sreenivasan, a distinguished experimental physicist whose research focuses on the behavior of fluids and turbulence, has been appointed by NYU Provost David McLaughlin to the Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation in Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly).
Sreenivasan also serves as the president of NYU-Poly and the dean of engineering at NYU.
“Dr. Sreenivasan is not only a leader in education, engineering, and technology,” said Provost McLaughlin. “He is also an outstanding scholar, someone who exemplifies the scientific curiosity, innovative vision, and unwavering drive for which Eugene Kleiner was recognized. I can think of no one more suited to hold this chair, which has strengthened NYU-Poly’s Department of Mechanical Engineering since its founding in 2006.”
Sreenivasan's most recent scientific research is related to the science of fluids at very low temperature, thermal convection in laboratory, and the internal structure of astronomical objects such as the Sun.
He joined NYU in 2009 from a post as director of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. Concurrently, he served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he was a professor of physics, Distinguished University Professor, and Glenn L. Martin Professor of Engineering, as well as director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology. Prior to that, he had been affiliated with Yale University for more than two decades. Between 1987 and 1992, he chaired Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Department, and he held the Harold W. Cheel Chair in Mechanical Engineering from 1988, with joint appointments in the Departments of Physics, Applied Physics, and Mathematics. He earned his B.E. (first rank) in mechanical engineering from Bangalore University, and his M.E. (first rank) and Ph.D. (with a P.S. Narayana Medal-winning thesis) in aeronautical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science.
Sreenivasan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and the African Academy of Sciences.
The endowed chair is named in honor of Eugene Kleiner, a cofounder of Fairchild Semiconductor, the world’s first successful computer chip producer. In addition, he was a founding partner of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the benchmark for venture capitalism. Mr. Kleiner received a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an honorary Ph.D. in engineering from Polytechnic University, now NYU-Poly, and an M.S. in industrial engineering from New York University. He was a trustee of Polytechnic University.
“Eugene Kleiner was one of the most visionary and innovative graduates in NYU-Poly history,” Sreenivasan said. “His accomplishments have long served as an inspiration to our students, and it is a great honor to assume the chair bearing his name.”
NYU-Poly, an affiliated institute of New York University, will soon become its School of Engineering.
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