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 a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 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) and he has over 120 peer-reviewed articles and 400 presentations and thesis supervisor for 25 graduate students. He is currently is 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 currently is serving on the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine and on the NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee. 


  • 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

Research Interests

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