B.E Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 1987M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, 1989PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 1995

Venkat graduated from University of Roorkee in 1987 with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a Doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1996 from Princeton. He worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 1996-1999 as a research scientist in the Laboratory for the Atmospheres.

His areas of research interest are catchment hydrology, satellite data validation and assimilation, field experiments, land-atmosphere interactions, satellite data downscaling, vadose zone and water resources.

He is currently the John L Newcomb Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringĀ at the University of Virginia. He has served as Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford University 2006-2007 and 2015-2016 and Program Director for Hydrologic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (2017-2018).

Venkat is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Geological Society of America (GSA), American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and he has over 170 peer-reviewed articles and around 600 presentations and thesis supervisor for 25 graduate students. He is currently serving as editor for Vadose Zone Journal and the founding editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing in Earth System Science (Springer Journals). He has served on the National Academies Panel for the Decadal Survey of Earth Observations from Space (NASA) and as chair of the planning committee for Groundwater Recharge and Flow: Approaches and Challenges for Monitoring and Modeling Using Remotely Sensed Data (NGA). He is currently serving as a member of the Water Science and Technology Board, National Academy of Sciences and Vice-Chair of the Earth Science Advisory Committee for NASA. He is the President-Elect of the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union


  • Fellow, Geological Society of America (GSA) 2020
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2018
  • Professional Engineer (PE), State of Maryland, Registration # 25394 2002-
  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 2002-
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the AQUA Mission 2003
  • Cox Visiting Professor, Stanford University 2006-2007; 2015-2016
  • William Mong Visiting Research Fellowship, University of Hong Kong 2010
  • Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of South Carolina 2010
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the SMAP Validation Experiment 2013
  • Outstanding Associate Editor, Vadose Zone Journal 2014
  • Carolina Trustee Professor, University of South Carolina 2016
  • Nanshan Distinguished Lecture on the Environment, Southern University of Science and Technology 2017
  • Last Lecture, University of South Carolina, South Carolina Honors College 2018
  • Fellow, American Society of Agronomy 2023
  • Full Member, Sigma Xi Research Honor Society 2021

Research Interests

  • Global Hydrology and Water Resources
  • Hydrological Extremes - Floods and Droughts
  • Harnessing Big Data in Hydrology