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New Faculty Introduction-Prof. V.S. Vamsi Botlaguduru

It gives us immense pleasure to welcome honourable Prof. V.S. Vamsi Botlaguduru to the IIT Bombay family. He is a valuable addition to the Centre for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE). He completed his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Acharya Nagarjuna University, India in 2007. He further pursued his M.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX in 2009. In May 2016, the degree of Ph.D. in Civil Engineering was conferred on him by Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Coming to the field of research, UV-based advanced redox processes for water/wastewater treatment, removal of emerging contaminants from water/wastewater, air quality trends analysis are the areas that interest him. Prof. Botlaguduru worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher, for more than two years at NSF Center for Energy & Environmental Sustainability, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX. His principal focus was to conduct research on stochastic methods for air quality trends analysis and to develop innovative research proposals in environmental sustainability. Besides this, he also worked as an Environmental Engineer at Nebraska Dept. of Environmental Quality, Lincoln, NE in 2016, with the motive to develop construction air quality permit applications for industrial clients, and perform engineering calculations in support of permit applications for emergency engines, ethanol plants, and feed mills. When it comes to UV based disinfection technologies and Advanced Oxidation Processes that keenly interest him, he says that these have been widely investigated for water and wastewater treatment. However, most applications have relied on low/medium pressure mercury lamps as UV sources which have some limitations such as high energy requirement, toxicity concerns from mercury, which make them cost prohibitive for municipal water/wastewater treatment plants. However, several advances were made in the development of novel UV sources such as excimer lamps and UV- LEDs over the last decade. These UV-LEDs have longer lifetimes; low voltage requirement; absence of any toxic mercury concerns; higher energy efficiency and can generate emissions in a specific wavelength range for targeting individual water contaminants.

During his tenure at IIT Bombay, Prof. Botlaguduru plans to build a research program focusing on the applications of UV-LEDs and excimer lamps in water/wastewater treatment. Simultaneous degradation of micro-pollutants and microbial inactivation to improve process efficiency would be his target. In this pursuit, his emphasis will be on integrating research and teaching in environmental engineering; and developing course modules that incorporate the latest developments in this area. He believes that there is a dire need to protect and improve the quality of water and air resources in India, and this can be possible through engineering advances, and building a conceptually sound and technologically savvy environmental workforce. In the medium/long term, Prof. Vamsi plans to contribute to this objective, in collaboration with other senior Faculty in the Environmental Science & Engineering Department and position CESE as a national resource for environmental engineering.

To enhance the engagement of students inside and outside the classroom, Prof.Vamsi looks forward to incorporating technology classroom teaching. Use of multimedia elements in PowerPoint presentations, sharing online class calendars and maintaining course blogs are some of his plans to increase student participation and improve information retention. In addition, designing course material with practical applications and inclusion of open-source programming into core environmental engineering courses are some plans that Prof.Vamsi will be working on. In his free time, Prof. Botlaguduru likes watching cricket and football (NFL). Also, he is a keen reader of geopolitical news and developments.