Webinar – Professor Praveen Kumar on “Prairie Research Institute: Technologies for Energy Transition”


In this first bp-ICAM webinar for 2023, Professor Praveen Kumar gives an overview of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) and provides some examples of case studies around the applied research that the PRI conducts into the safe, effective, and economical capture, use, and storage of CO2 from power plants and industrial operations. Praveen’s also includes the innovative ways that PRI scientists investigate to transform waste, such as municipal waste and CO2 captured from power plants, into biofuel and the PRI efforts to leverage Illinois’ favourable groundwater conditions to develop reliable, sustainable, cost-effective geothermal power.


Professor Praveen Kumar holds a B.Tech. (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India 1987), M.S. (Iowa State University 1989), and Ph.D. (University of Minnesota 1993), all in civil engineering. Kumar joined as a faculty at Univ. of Illinois in 1995 where he has been since. Prior to joining University of Illinois, he was a research scientist (January 1993 to July 1995) at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Hydrologic Sciences Branch, NASA- Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA.Dr.

His research deals with Hydrocomplexity, the quantitative understanding and prediction of emergent patterns of form and function that arise from complex non-linear multi-scale interactions between soil, water, climate, vegetation and human systems; and how this understanding can be used for innovative solutions to water and sustainability challenges. He has made extensive, deep and signature contributions pertaining to Critical Zone science for intensively managed landscapes, biosphere-hydrosphere interactions, multi-scale variability of hydrologic processes, hydro-geomorphology, hydroinformatics, and information theory in geosciences. His research has been funded by federal agencies such as NSF, NASA, and NOAA.