Prof. Nikhil Ashok Koratkar
B.Tech., 1995, Aerospace Engineering

Prof. Nikhil Ashok Koratkar is the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in USA.

Prof. Koratkar obtained his B.Tech. degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1995, his M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, USA in 1998 and 2000, respectively.

Prof. Koratkar joined the faculty of Mechanical Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in January 2001 as an Assistant Professor. In 2006, he was promoted to Associate Professor and to Full Professor in 2009. In 2011, Prof. Koratkar was also appointed a Full Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer. In 2012, he was appointed the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Chair Professor in Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also serves as an Editor of the Elsevier Journal Carbon since 2010.

Prof. Koratkar’s research has focused on the synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoscale material systems. This includes graphene, carbon nanotubes, transition metal dichalcogenides, phosphorene as well as metal and silicon nanostructures produced by a variety of techniques such as mechanical exfoliation, chemical vapor deposition, and oblique angle sputter and e-beam deposition. He is studying the fundamental mechanical, electrical, thermal, magnetic and optical properties of these one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) materials and developing a variety of composites, coating and device applications of these low dimensional materials. A major focus of his work is nanomaterials for energy storage (batteries) and presently Prof. Koratkar serve as science advisor to two start-up companies (Ener-Mat Technologies and EVERON24) which are aimed at commercializing next-generation energy storage solutions.

Prof. Koratkar has received USA National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2003), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Early Career Award (2005), Electrochemical Society’s SES Young Investigator Award (2009),Editor of CARBON (Elsevier) from 2010 to present, American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award for Research Excellence (2015), Elected ASME Fellow (2016), Rensselaer School of Engineering Excellence in Research Award (2017), and Highly Cited Researchers List (top 1% by citations)- Clarivate Analytics (2018).

Special Memories

"I recall the IIT experience to be a "trial-by-fire" process that toughened me. As a 17 year old teenager fresh out of 12th standard, I joined as an overconfident and somewhat naïve young man. IIT-B brought me down to earth and hardened me. Competing against the best talent in the country was both exhilarating and humbling at the same time. Having not only survived but flourished academically in IIT-B, I was mentally tough and ready to take on the world. Other than academics, IIT-Bombay also opened new vistas for us. I honed my swimming skills in NSO Swimming. Entering the water in the January cold was excruciating but worth it. Never enjoyed dinner as much as after a session of NSO Swimming. The coach told me that I had to learn the butterfly stroke in order to pass and I remember spending an entire summer vacation practicing the stroke. In the end I passed! Another unforgettable experience was the Performing Arts Festival (PAF), which back in the day were held in the convocation hall. There was great pride in winning the PAF, which my hostel (the Lady of the Lake- Hostel 7) accomplished in three of my four years at IIT-B. I remember the bitter disappointment, the one year that we lost. I was a dancer on stage in these PAFs and the nearly month long nightly practices left me with a great appreciation of the performing arts. It was also a great reminder of the importance of team work. A PAF is successful when everybody (actors, singers, dancers, musicians, script writers, lighting technicians, stage crew, directors etc.) sets their individual egos aside and pulls together unselfishly for a common cause. A great life lesson!"