Three Academics Named 2012 Jefferson Science Fellows

Prof. Suryanarayana Challapalli

Three Indian American professors — Suryanarayana Challapalli of the University of Central Florida, Raj Khosla of Colorado State University and Rajan Sen of the University of South Florida — were recently named 2012 Jefferson Science Fellows.

Challapalli has been a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, since January 2001. He holds a B.E. (metallurgy) from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in metallurgical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, where he worked as a professor till 1988. 

He then came to the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, as a National Research Council Senior Research Associate for two years, and later worked as Associate Director of the Institute for Materials and Advanced Processes at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and as a research professor at the Colorado School of Mines. 

His expertise is in the field of nanomaterials and non-equilibrium processing of materials to develop novel and improved materials. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Young Scientist Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, Pandya Silver Medal of the Indian Institute of Metals, National Metallurgists’ Day Award of the Government of India, Lee-Hsun Research Award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Banaras Hindu University. 

He has also held visiting professorship positions at several universities.

Khosla is a professor of precision agriculture at Colorado State University. In 2009, he was named the Colorado State University Distinguished Monfort Professor. In addition, Khosla is an Adjunct Scientist/Visiting Professor at the National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture in Beijing, China. 

In 2011, Khosla was appointed by NASA to the U.S. Presidential Advisory Committee on Positioning, Navigation and Timing to work on American space-based PNT policy. 

Khosla’s main research focus has been on management of in-field soil and crop spatial variability using innovative technologies for enhancing efficiency, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of large and small scale agricultural production systems. 

Khosla has been recognized with several national and international awards, including the 2012 Soil Science Applied Research Award. He is the current president of International Society of Precision Agriculture.

Sen, whose awarding of the Jefferson Science Fellowship was published earlier in India-West, is professor of structural engineering at USF, where he held the inaugural Samuel & Julia Flom Chair and joint appointments at the schools of Engineering and Architecture. 

Born in Cambridge, UK, he attended Indian Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia and has a Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo. He started his career at the Department of Transport, London, where he worked extensively in developing design software and British Bridge Code BS 5400, complemented by experience at Freeman Fox & Partners. 

Sen’s research focuses on developing cost effective solutions for solving infrastructure problems using fiber reinforced polymers, promoting their implementation through field studies and advancing design concepts which led notably to the construction of Florida’s first post-tensioned voided slab bridge in Miami. 

Sen is a licensed professional engineer and has mentored USF students to national championships at PCI sponsored events.

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