Venkataraman “Venkat” Lakshmi, John L. Newcomb Professor of Engineering in the University of Virginia Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, has been elected an officer of the American Geophysical Union, one of the world’s most influential organizations for Earth and space scientists.
Lakshmi will serve as president-elect of the union’s Hydrology Section for a two-year term starting January 1, 2023.
The 60,000-member American Geophysical Union‘s mission is to "support and inspire a global community of individuals and organizations interested in advancing discovery in Earth and space sciences and its benefit for humanity and the environment," according to its website. The Hydrology Section has 6,000 members.
Lakshmi’s areas of research interest include catchment hydrology, which refers to the study of how water interacts with the Earth’s drainage basins; validating and analyzing hydrology data via satellite; field experiments; land-atmosphere interactions; the vadose zone, which is the area that extends from Earth’s ground surface to the water table; and water resources.
Specifically, Lakshmi specializes in using data collected from space, aircraft and in-place systems along with hydrological and ecological models to make observations about the terrestrial water cycle and to better understand weather, climate and ecology. Last year, Lakshmi's research team used global satellite imagery and other open-source information to inform an international water conflict.
He is active in a community of researchers at UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and the UVA College of Arts & Sciences addressing environmental challenges, including the Link Lab for cyber-physical systems research.
Election as an officer in the American Geophysical Union is another accolade in a resume full of honors for Lakshmi. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He also serves on the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and on the NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee.