Suprem Das and Bala Natarajan receive 2023 GRIP award

Indian-born researchers aim to address the global challenge of climate change at the state level by providing a technical solution

Vikal Samdariya

The Kansas State University’s office of the vice president for research awarded a team of two Indian–origin researchers Suprem Das and Bala Natarajan with the university's inaugural Game-changing Research Initiation Program (GRIP) award. Both the researchers’ proposal has secured the first position among the 36 teams from the university.

Das and Natarajan were awarded for their proposal themed “Science and Technology Center for Greenhouse Gas Smart-Sensing and Mitigation for Kansas Climate and Agriculture (GHG SmartSense STC)," according to the university. The project aims to provide a solution to the global grand challenges facing the community linked to climate change.

Das is an assistant professor at the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Kansas State University. His recent research interests involve additive manufacturing and laser-based technology for sensing and energy applications, his bio reads. He is interested in studying various other forms of energy storage and conversion sciences.

In 2020, Das was awarded a US National Science Foundation and UK Research and Innovation joint research funding to study the Signal in the Soil, where he leads an international team of scientists from Kansas, Texas, Alabama, and Sheffield (UK). He earned a graduate degree from Utkal University, India, a master’s from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus and a PhD from Purdue University.

Natarajan is a professor at Kansas State University. He currently holds the Clair N. Palmer and Sara M. Palmer Electrical Engineering Professorship and is the director of the Cyber-physicalSystems and Wireless Innovations (CPSWin) group. In his tenure at K-State, he has held multiple administrative positions within the department and across the university including serving as the interim director of International Research Development and Graduate Recruitment for the College of Engineering from 2014-15, his profile reads.

Natarajan received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 1997. He holds dual PhD degrees from Colorado State University in electrical engineering and Kansas State University in statistics.

Under the award, Das and Natarajan are eligible to receive $300,000 per year for three years, plus an additional $50,000 in on-ramp funds before the official start of the first year, for a total of $950,000 per project, according to a release.

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