Texas A&M University-Kingsville

A&M-Kingsville College of Engineering Associate Dean Dr. Kuruvilla John Wins Research Award

KINGSVILLE - May 27, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Dr. Kuruvilla John, associate dean of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has received the “Engineering a Brighter Future” Award from the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), the engineering research agency for Texas and part of the Texas A&M University System.

The award, which comes with a $5,000 stipend, recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of researchers within TEES and regional educational institutions, whose work aligns with the TEES mission. That mission is to perform engineering and technology-oriented research and development for the enhancement of the educational systems and the economic development of the state of Texas and the nation.

John has been with A&M-Kingsville since August 1995. In that time, he has served as principal investigator of 30 externally sponsored research contracts for both direct and/or collaborative projects worth nearly $18 million.

Most notably, John co-founded and directs the Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology-Research on Environmental Sustainability of Semi-Arid Coastal Areas (CREST-RESSACA), an A&M-Kingsville research center that focuses on maintaining natural resources in semi-arid coastal areas. CREST-RESSACA was established with a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2002, as part of the national CREST program to help minority-serving institutions enhance their research abilities. It received a second $5 million grant from the NSF in 2007 to continue its efforts for another five years.

“Receiving the award was a complete surprise. It’s extremely gratifying,” said John.

“An award like this is a testament to the team of faculty and staff we have at the College of Engineering that has helped me to grow personally, and a testament to TEES. I’m also ecstatic to be recognized by my peers, which to me is the real reward.”

Dr. K.L. Peddicord, director of TEES, said, “Dr. John's efforts in environmental research exemplifies TEES’ mission to perform quality research driven by public need. He has demonstrated excellent leadership as director of the CREST-RESSACA center and we are delighted to recognize all of his contributions to our organization with this award.”

Since its inception, CREST-RESSACA has offered financial support to more than 100 students; conducted environmental research in air, water and soil quality in the Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley; and formed research and education partnerships with entities such as Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Texas at Brownsville, the City of Corpus Christi, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas A&M International University.

The longest-running partnership CREST-RESSACA has is with TEES, which has contributed to preparation of both NSF grant proposals and will stay with CREST-RESSACA as its fiscal agent for the center’s development. John noted that the first grant he ever received in 1996, for studying ozone levels in the city of Corpus Christi, was earned with assistance from TEES.

Some of John’s other accomplishments include receiving the 2004 Texas A&M University-Kingsville Presidential Award for Research and Scholarly Excellence, chairing the University Research Council from 2006-2007, and being appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Council on Environmental Technology from 2002-2006.

He holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor of technology in chemical engineering from Anna University in Madras, India.

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