V Kumaran obtained his BTech (1987) in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras, and then went to Cornell University, USA to complete his PhD (1992) in Chemical Engineering. He worked as a post-doctoral Research Engineer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (1991-93). He returned to India in 1993, and joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, as an Assistant Professor, and he is currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Kumaran's work is broadly in the area of fluid dynamics and the dynamics of complex fluids. He was the first to study the stability of fluid flows past soft materials at low flow speeds, an area which is becoming increasingly relevant in micro fluidics and biological fluid dynamics. He theoretically showed fluid inertia. Kumaran has worked extensively on developing constitutive relations using statistical mechanics for flows of granular materials, and was the first to show as to how these theories can be applied to systems of practical interest. He has guided a large number of students including eight PhDs.
Other Contributions: Kumaran was invited to organize the Research Programme on 'Granular Physics' at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (2005). He also organized the mini-symposia on 'granular flows' at the International Congress of Rheology held at Monterey, California, USA (2008).
Awards and Honours: Professor Kumaran received Young Scientist Medal of INSA (1996), and the Young Engineer Award of Indian National Academy of Engineering (1997). He is a recipient of SS Bhatnagar Prize (2000) and the JC Bose Fellowship of DST (2007). He was elected as a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1998), and Indian National Academy of Engineering (2006).