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Dr. Nikhil Koratkar is the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Endowed Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who has pursued research into one-dimensional (carbon nanotube) and two-dimensional (graphene, transition metal dichalcogenide, phosphorene) materials and devices. In 2010, he was appointed Editor of the Elsevier journal CARBON.
He has a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering (1995) from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, a master’s in aerospace engineering (1998) and a doctorate in aerospace engineering (2000), both from the University of Maryland, College Park.
After receiving his doctorate degree, Nikhil Koratkar joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2001 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006 and to Full Professor in 2009. In 2011, Koratkar was also appointed a Full Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer. In 2012, Koratkar was appointed the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Endowed Chair Professor at RPI.
Professor Koratkar is a winner of the NSF CAREER Award (2003), AHS Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Award (2004), RPI Early Career Award (2005), Electrochemical Society's SES Young investigator Award (2009) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award (2015). In 2016, Koratkar was elected a Fellow of the ASME.
He has published a book on graphene in composite materials and over 150 archival journal papers, including 7 papers in Nature Series Journals (1 in Nature, 3 in Nature Materials and 3 in Nature Communications). Koratkar's papers have been cited over 11,000 times (H-index of 55). He has secured over $9 Million in research grants from several agencies including the USA National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Industry.
Koratkar's research has focused on the synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoscale material systems. This includes graphene, carbon nanotubes, transition metal dichalcogenides, phosphorene, hexagonal boron nitride as well as metal and silicon nanostructures produced by a variety of techniques such as mechanical exfoliation, chemical vapor deposition, and oblique angle sputter and e-beam deposition. He is studying the fundamental mechanical, electrical, thermal, magnetic and optical properties of these one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) materials and developing a variety of composites, coating and device applications of these low dimensional materials. He serves as scientific advisor to two start-up companies (Ener-Mat Technologies and EVERON24) which are aimed at commercializing next-generation energy storage solutions.
Professional Awards/Recognitions and Service
- Elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME (2016).
- ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award (2015).
- Appointed Editor of CARBON (Elsevier) on September 1 (2010).
- Elected Associate Fellow of American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) in (2010).
- The Electrochemical Society’s SES Young Investigator Award (2009).
- Keynote Address at the Second International Conference on Nanomechanics and Nanocomposites, Beijing, China, October 10–13 (2010).
- Delivered Invited Talks at several international conferences including International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONSAT)- Calcutta, India (2003), Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2004), American Vacuum Society (AVS) Meeting, San Jose, CA (2009), TMS Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2009), ICONSAT- Mumbai, India (2010), and MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, MA (2010).
- Technical Chair of the steering committee of the NSF-DFG Sponsored Research Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, NY City, October 15–17 (2009).
- Associate Editor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters Journal (2009-2010)
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Early Career Award (2005)
- Technical Chair of the characterization of nano-composites track at the ASME Multifunctional Nanocomposites Conference, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 20–22 October 2006.
- Guest Editor for a special issue of Journal of Intelligent Materials Systems and Structures. The special issue was focussed on “Nanostructured Materials” and was published in March 2006.
- United States National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award (2004)
- American Helicopter Society (AHS) Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Award (2004)
- Rensselaer School of Engineering Excellence in Research Award (2004)
- AHS Vertical Flight Foundation Award (1999)
- AHS Federal City Chapter’s Joseph P. Cribbin’s Award (1999)
- University of Maryland Minta Martin Fellowship (1998)
- AHS South-East Region Robert Lichten Award (1998)
- University of Maryland, Graduate School Fellowship (1995)
- Session Chair at various conferences including Symposium EE at MRS Fall Meeting (2008), nano-composite session at TMS Annual Meetings (2008-2009), SPIE smart materials and structures conferences (2003-2005), NSF conference on nanoscience and nanotechnology (2009) and International Conference on 1-D Nanomaterials (2009).
- Referee for over 40 different journals including Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Physics, Nature Energy, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Nano Letters, Small, Physical Review B., Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Langmuir, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Chemistry of Materials, Journal of American Chemical Society, Carbon etc.
- Zuankai Wang  and Jonghwan Suhr  are tenure-track assistant professors
- Keyan Rafiee (2011), “Fracture and Fatigue in Graphene/Polymer composites”, Keyan is winner of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) Robert L. Lichten Award in 2010. Only one such award is made every year by the AHS to a student for excellence in research.
- Rahul Krishnan (2011), “Nanopatterned silicon anodes for high rate/power capability in Lithium-ion batteries”. Rahul is working for Intel in Portland, Oregon.
- Iti Srivastava, (2010) “Mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites”, Iti is working with a composites based company, Zyvex technologies in Columbus, OH. Iti has won the $10,000 Amelia Earhart Fellowship for women in 2010. Only 10 such awards are made every year in the United States.
- Ranganath Teki, (2009) “Nanorod structures for energy conversion and storage”, Teki is a research scientist at SEMATECH in Albany, NY.
- Wei Zhang (2008) “Advanced multifunctional composites featuring carbon nanotube additives”. Wei works at the General Electric Global Research Center, Niskayuna, NY
- Zuankai Wang (2008), “Understanding and controlling wetting phenomena at the micro/nano scale”, Zuankai is an assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong. Zuankai is also a winner of the 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) graduate student award.
- Seongyul Kim (2008),“Fundamental study of field-induced gas and water dissociation near nanostructured electrodes”, Kim works for Samsung in Korea.
- Li Chen, (2008) “Field induced adsorption/desorption of gas species to the surfaces of carbon nanotubes”. Li is a clinical (teaching) faculty at Bridgewater State College, CT.
- Jonghwan Suhr, (2005) “Energy dissipation mechanisms in carbon nanotube polymer composites”. Jonghwan is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware. He is a winner of the NSF Career Award in 2009.
- Jongmin Kim, (2004) “Flow control strategies for improved aerodynamic efficiency of micro-rotorcraft”. Jongmin works for Samsung in Korea. Jongmin is a winner of American Helicopter Society (AHS), Robert Lichten Award (2004).
- Velibor Peric (2009), “Impact damage mitigation in nanocomposites”, Velibor works at Boeing Aircraft.
- Andrew Proper, (2008), “Hierarchical carbon nanotube composites”, Andrew works for Electric Boat in Connecticut, USA.
- Jeremy Nelson, (2004), “Flow control strategies for improvement of micro-airvehicle performance”, Jeremy works for Dupont in California, USA.
- Eric Lass, (2003) “Effect of temperature on the resistivity of aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube films”, Eric works for NIST in Washington DC.
- Ashish Modi, (2003) “Miniaturized gas ionization sensors using carbon nanotubes”, Ashish pursued an MBA degree at Wharten School of Management (University of Pennsylvania) and is now with British Petroleum.
- Kayvan Rafiee, “Hydrogen storage in defective graphene”, Started Ph.D. in January (2009). Kayvan is the winner of $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize for innovation in 2010.
- Abhay Thomas, “Fundamental study of condensation on nanostructured surfaces”, Ph.D. (2013).
- Fazel Yavari, “Fatigue in hierarchical graphene composites”, Started Ph.D. in August (2009). Fazel is a winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize for innovation in 2012 .
- Ardavan Zandiatashbar, “Multiscale modeling of graphene based composites”, Ph.D. (2012).
- Prashant Dhiman, “Nanofluidic power generation in one-dimensional (carbon nanotube) and two-dimensional (graphene) films”, M.S. (2012).
- Rahul Mukherjee, “Nanostructured anode concepts for high power Li-ion batteries”, Ph.D. (2013).
- Ajay Krishnamurthy, “Nano-engineered electrodes for microbial fuel cells”, Ph.D. (2010).
- Samuel Moran, “Impact studies on graphene polymer nanocomposites”, M.S. (2012).
- Eklavya Singh, “Graphene based microfiltration technologies”, Ph.D. (2013).