College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE Professor Kanwar Elected Into European Academy of the Sciences and Arts

Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering distinguished professor Rameshwar Kanwar was recently elected as a fellow into the prestigious European Academy of the Sciences and Arts.

Similar to the prestige of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy is very well known throughout Europe and the world. There are roughly only 2,000 members throughout the world at any given point in time.

In order to be a member, another member has to nominate individuals into the academy. Kanwar was nominated by ISU alum Dr. Rao Surampalli, a 1981 doctorate student in a civil engineering class at ISU with Kanwar.

“I had a colleague during my doctorate program back in ‘81, and we took some courses together,” Kanwar said. “Both of us were students at Iowa State, and it is a blessing to be a part of an institution where graduate students contribute and make an international impact. My colleague is a member of the academy, and I believe he nominated me. It is a pleasant feeling, but always a surprise.”

ABE Distinguished Professor Rameshwar Kanwar
ABE Distinguished Professor Rameshwar Kanwar in Sukup Hall

Kanwar is a part of multiple fellowships, including the India National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The European academy fellowship spans across all engineering disciplines – not specifically agricultural or civil engineering.

As of now, Kanwar is a distinguished professor in ABE and works in Washington D.C. as a Jefferson Fellow, where he advises the federal government on international relations.

A lot of Kanwar’s successful career is based on his wide range of travel experience and the research conducted around the world, he said. Dr. Kanwar has had collaborative research/teaching projects with several universities in Europe and eastern European countries (Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, Georgia and Bulgaria), was awarded doctorate honoris causa degrees by three international universities: the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation & Agricultural Mechanization Engineers, Uzbekistan in 1997; Georgian Agrarian University, Tbilisi, Georgia in 2000; and Trakia University, Bulgaria in 2007.

“I am very fortunate that Iowa State gave me the opportunity to do international work, so I was contributing to the academies using science, and making a difference in places like Europe,” Kanwar said. “Electing a member to this academy from countries outside of Europe is very rare, but there are some foreign members. They try to recognize those that have an impact on European countries.”

The academy offers critical expertise to society by analyzing societal challenges, sharing scientific knowledge, acquiring leadership and more.

“Getting elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts is really an honor,” Kanwar said.