Dr. Manohar R. Kulkarni, P.E., has been appointed director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign effective May 1. Kulkarni has been chair and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of North Dakota since 2004.
Kulkarni earned his doctorate at the University of Missouri, Columbia, his master’s at the University of Iowa and his bachelor’s degree at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, all in mechanical engineering. He served as professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, from 1993 to 2004. While there he established and directed the Energy Management Center at SIUC. Prior to that, he worked as a senior research engineer at Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee, for seven years while serving as an adjunct associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Kulkarni has presented and published widely. His research interests include thermal system analysis, energy management, energy optimal control of thermal systems, energy efficient technology transfer, thermal analysis of materials and transient thermography.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Kulkarni will be joining us to lead ISTC and help us identify new opportunities for the Center’s work to promote sustainability for Illinois,” said Institute Director Dr. William W. Shilts. “His energy, engineering and academic experience are an excellent fit for ISTC and for the Institute and they will be invaluable.”
“I see great opportunities for ISTC to help the State of Illinois move forward with sustainable economic development and I’m eager to take on the challenges,” Kulkarni said. “I am also happy to be returning to Illinois and look forward to settling into the community.”
The ISTC promotes sustainability and increased economic viability by providing technical assistance, conducting and sponsoring research, and disseminating information on environmental issues. Begun in 1985, ISTC programs include sustainable business practice assistance, an electronic waste initiative, development of energy resources from wastes, research on emerging contaminants and innovative river sediment management. ISTC is a recognized regional and national leader in manufacturing technology diffusion, environmental research and innovative information resources.
The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois is the home of the Illinois State Scientific Surveys: Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. It was established by statute July 1, 2008 and builds on the Surveys’ reputations for basic and applied research and service. The Institute gives Illinois citizens, businesses and decision-makers objective, timely, cutting-edge science and solutions necessary to manage the State’s resources, environment and economy wisely.