AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation
2009 Award Recipient
Katepalli R. Sreenivasan
Katepalli R. Sreenivasan
Katepalli R. Sreenivasan is honored for his role as a leader of an international research center that promotes cutting edge science by bringing together the brightest minds from nations within and beyond the developing world.
Established in 1992, the AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation recognizes an individual or small group for making extraordinary contributions to further international cooperation in science and engineering. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Katepalli Sreenivasan was selected for his transformational leadership of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), which has nurtured young scientists from almost all developing countries, exposing them to new frontiers and encouraging partnership among them; as well as his own efforts to mentor students and young scholars throughout the world, creating significant opportunities for their development in their own countries and elsewhere.
Dr. Sreenivasan received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bangalore, India, and earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science. After completing his post doctoral studies in Australia, he became a researcher at The Johns Hopkins University. He then went on to spend twenty-two years at Yale University, where he held professorships in mechanical engineering, physics, applied physics and mathematics and made significant contributions to the quantitative study of turbulence.
Following a brief period at the University of Maryland as the Director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Dr. Sreenivasan accepted the position as Director of the ICTP in Trieste, Italy where he held a concurrent professorship in the name of the Centre’s founding director, the late Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam.
Serving as ICTP director until 2009, Dr. Sreenivasan was instrumental in creating new programs, such as the Diploma Programme in Earth System Physics and the Diploma Programme in Basic Physics, designed to provide young physicists and mathematicians from Sub-Saharan Africa with a solid foundation in physics prior to pursuing further studies at the graduate level; and the Sandwich Training Educational Programme (STEP) aimed at offering International Atomic Energy Agency fellowship opportunities to Ph.D. students from developing countries in the fields of physics and mathematics.
While at ICTP, Dr. Sreenivasan promoted high-quality science that involved both south-south and north-south cooperation and mentored scientists from around the world through their Ph.D. and postdoctoral programs, many of whom have since excelled in their own careers in academia, research institutions and the government. Dr. Sreenivasan was also instrumental in securing resources to bring scientists from the developing world to international conferences.
At the end of 2009, Dr. Sreenivasan joined the faculty of New York University as Senior Vice Provost and serves as Special Advisor for Science and Technology to the Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.