Srinivasa Raghavan Receives Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award

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Srinivasa Raghavan, a Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is a recipient of the 2017/2018 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award conferred by the UMD Office of Faculty Affairs.

A leader in the field of complex fluids and soft materials, Dr. Raghavan, has made societally important research contributions while becoming a favorite teacher. His work focuses on the development of new materials by exploiting “self-assembly” - the spontaneous assembly of molecules into nanoscale structures. Among his group’s most important developments are smart fluids and materials designed to react to stimuli including light, temperature and pH, altering properties of the substances.

In one experiment, his team demonstrated how light could switch a gel into a liquid, altering viscosity by a factor of a million. One of Raghavan’s projects that could benefit trauma sufferers worldwide, resulted in a method to convert liquid blood into a gel, and later return it to liquid form – the first known example of reversible blood clotting.

“This work is an excellent combination between inventiveness, basic science and useful applications,” says Orlin D. Velev, INVISTA Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Raghavan received his B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. In 2001, he joined the UMD faculty, becoming a full professor in 2012. A prominent scholar with over 150 published papers, Raghavan has also led many commercialization efforts, forming Remedium Technologies – a biomedical startup – and encouraging student start-ups, e.g. GripBoost, focusing on athletic adhesives. Additional accolades include the Clark School E. Robert Kent Outstanding Teaching Award for Junior Faculty, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Dr. Eric Kaler, an expert in complex fluids and President of the University of Minnesota, called Raghavan’s research “profoundly interdisciplinary, as it calls upon chemistry, physics, medical and engineering principles in order to be successful. He has also clearly conveyed these characteristics to his students, whom I find well prepared and articulate.”

Indeed, an undergraduate student in Rahgavan’s kinetics and reactor design course stated in a review, “Raghavan was the best professor I have had not just in chemical engineering but at Maryland overall.”

Matthew Dowling (Ph.D. ’10), Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of gel-e – a startup focused on blood-clotting technology – says Raghavan helped transform him into a leader and a fearless researcher. “His teaching is always an art, and he paints wildly inspiring pictures,” Dowling said. “He lives to teach.”

Dr. Raghavan will give a presentation, entitled, “Nature-Inspired "Smart" Materials: Ability to Move, Morph, Destroy and Heal,” on Thursday, November 2nd at 4:00 p.m. in the Kim Engineering Building. For additional information on the event, please visit the UMD Office of Faculty Affairs website

Published October 30, 2017