Indrajeet Chaubey, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, is the winner of Purdue University's 2012 Agricultural Research Award for his work in helping to preserve water as a natural resource.
He will receive the award Monday (May 7) at 3 p.m. in the Dean’s Auditorium at Pfendler Hall on the West Lafayette campus.
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The award is given each year to a faculty member in the College of Agriculture with less than 15 years of experience beyond a doctoral degree. It is for scientists who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in research and made significant contributions to agriculture, natural resources and quality of life for Indiana citizens.
"Dr. Chaubey develops interdisciplinary teams to answer fundamental questions related to water use, availability and management that can be translated into tools that help us develop a safe, clean and secure water supply for the future," said Karen Plaut, associate dean and director of Agricultural Research at Purdue. "Dr. Chaubey's work helps us to protect one of our most precious natural resources – water – and, as a result, he has made contributions that improve the planet for all of us."
Chaubey, an ecohydrologist, studies how land-use changes due to demand for biofuel production, agricultural intensification and urbanization affect water availability, water quality and ecosystems. He develops models that can be used to improve water quality and watershed management, specifically with non-point source pollution, in which rainfall and runoff carry pollutants to water.
"Indrajeet has made exceptional contributions in the areas of soil and water engineering through his research that combines field experimentation and computer modeling to evaluate runoff, sediment, and nutrient transport, and developing monitoring strategies to enhance water quality," said Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "He is most deserving of our college's top research award."
Chaubey became interested in water as a child growing up in rural India, watching his grandfather struggle to farm on land that constantly flooded, and from learning about the importance of water and the significant impact it can have on people.
"If you look at the history of how human civilization has developed, it is all tied to water," Chaubey said. "Things like access to clean water have been major players in improving our lives."