College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Doraiswamy elected to National Academy of Engineering

L. K. Doraiswamy, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) at Iowa State University, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

The NAE class of 2010 includes 68 new members and nine foreign associates. Doraiswamy becomes one of eight NAE members with Iowa State affiliations.

“I feel greatly honored to be elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering,” Doraiswamy said.  “This has been made possible by the contributions of my students in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Iowa State University and at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India. My colleagues in CBE at ISU and former colleagues at NCL have been a source of great help. I wish to express my gratitude to all of them for the honor I received today. I would like, in particular, to thank the CBE department chairs—Terry King, Charles Glatz, Jim Hill, and Surya Mallapragada—for the facilities and support extended to me.”

Doraiswamy is acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of modern chemical engineering in India. In 2007, the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers presented him with its inaugural IIChE Diamond Award. Earlier that year, he was honored at two sessions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting.

“Election to NAE membership is the pinnacle of an engineering faculty member’s career,” said Surya Mallapragada, Stanley Professor and chair of CBE. “This is a great testament to the outstanding impact and quality of Professor Doraiswamy’s work in reaction engineering. We are extremely proud and honored to have him as a colleague.”

Doraiswamy joined the CBE faculty at Iowa State in 1989. He earned a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Madras in India in 1946 and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1952. He joined India’s National Chemical Laboratory in 1954 and retired in 1989 as the first nonchemist director before coming to Iowa State. His research centered on theoretical and experimental studies in catalytic reactions and reactors, modeling gas-solid reactions, and sonochemical reaction engineering.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Padma Bhusham (India’s renowned national award), the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for lifetime achievement in engineering and technology, the AIChE Richard H. Wilhelm Award for Chemical Reaction Engineering, and the AIChE William H. Walker Award for excellence in contributions to the chemical engineering literature.

“While this honor is first and foremost about Doraiswamy’s prominence and research excellence, it’s another point of pride for our faculty and further testament to the strength of the CBE department and the college,” said Jonathan Wickert, dean of the College of Engineering at Iowa State.

Although retired from active research and teaching, Doraiswamy is teaming with another CBE faculty member, Associate Professor Dennis Vigil, on a graduate-level textbook on reaction engineering. In addition, he continues work on several other books, including one involving the nature of time.

About the NAE (from “The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. They provide the leadership and expertise for numerous projects focused on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life.”


Surya Mallapragada, College of Engineering, (515) 294-7407,
Eric Dieterle, Engineering Communications, (515) 294-4881,