We are glad to announce that 14 professors have joined the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences (SIAS) at Krea University across the Division of Sciences, the Division of Humanities & Social Studies, and the Division of Literature & the Arts.
Division of Sciences
Prof Sudip Roy
Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Sudip Roy has 19 years of experience in research and innovation. He has worked in the oil and gas, energy (Shell R&D), pharmaceutical sectors (Akamara Biomedicine), and semiconductor industry (Intel). He started his career as an academician and worked as a scientist at the CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory in Pune where he led and guided a group of Ph.D. students and worked on several industrial and government-funded projects in computational chemistry and materials science. He is a co-founder of a company (Prescience Insilico Pvt. Ltd.) working in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML)-based methodologies for highly selective drugs and materials design. Dr. Roy obtained his Ph.D. in chemical sciences from the University of Saarland in Germany followed by post-doctoral work at Technical University Darmstadt, Germany. He is a Chevening fellow 2019 and studied management of research, science, and innovation at the University of Oxford, UK.
Venkata Srinu Bhadram
Assistant Professor of Physics
Venkat is an experimental physicist with research interests spanning across hard condensed matter physics, chemistry, and materials science disciplines. He is deeply engaged in studying matter at extreme pressures in order to discover new technologically relevant materials. He frequently collaborates with computational physicists and chemists for materials modelling and simulations.
Venkat obtained his Masters degree in Physics from IIT Roorkee and Ph.D. in Materials Science from JNCASR in Bangalore. After a short stint at Purdue University in West Lafayette as a visiting researcher, he did his postdoctoral studies at Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC and Sorbonne University in Paris.
He has mentored undergraduate interns during his Ph.D. and postdoc tenures. He emphasizes on hands-on learning and took part in developing and teaching practical oriented courses for summer interns during his Ph.D. Outside academic life, he enjoys sports (TT, cricket, and badminton), travelling, gardening, and cooking.
Prof Tanmoy Chakrabarty
Designation: Assistant Professor of Physics
Tanmoy Chakrabarty is an experimental physicist in condensed matter. His main expertise is solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) which is a powerful local probe technique used in various disciplines. Apart from NMR, he also uses different bulk solid state probes to study low-dimensional and geometrically frustrated magnetic systems which are finally studied in details using SSNMR. Additionally, his research interest also includes dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) which is an extension of conventional NMR technique to enhance signal to noise manifold times.
After finishing his Masters and doctoral studies in IIT Bombay he did postdoc in TIFR Mumbai and next in Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel for 1 year each. Thereafter, he was awarded an international postdoctoral grant (Mobilitas Pluss) as a principal investigator in NICPB, Tallinn, Estonia for 2 years. His last postdoc was in IFW, Dresden, Germany. In all these places he extended his expertise in SSNMR in various facets. Apart from being a researcher he was always involved in various public scientific outreach activities at a popular level.
Prof Shyam Kumar Sudhakar
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Shyam Kumar Sudhakar is a Neuroscientist with interests and specialization in the field of Computational Neuroscience. Shyam is interested in studying pathological brain states (Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury) with the aim of identifying promising therapeutics to repair the aberrant brain circuits. Shyam does so by using biologically realistic computational modeling and collaborating with experimental researchers in the field. Shyam’s long-term goal is to study how network activity and oscillations are altered in neurological disorders and develop novel strategies to stop the abnormal functioning in such brain states. Shyam believes that his research work would greatly help to uncover the brain mechanisms of behavior and how those mechanisms become abnormal in neurodegenerative diseases.
Shyam received his PhD from Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium. At Antwerp, he was supported by the prestigious Marie-Curie fellowship for 3 years and subsequently with funds from Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan. During his PhD, he developed a large-scale network model of the granular layer of the cerebellar cortex.
Shyam then went on to pursue post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States. During his postdoctoral training, he focused on computational modeling of neurological disorders (Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury) and modeling of oscillations generated in a brain region called retrosplenial cortex. Prior to joining Krea University, Shyam briefly worked as a post-doctoral researcher at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.
Prof Vikash Pandey
Assistant Professor of Math Modeling and Physics
Vikash Pandey is a mathematical physicist and his research interests are quite interdisciplinary with a primary focus towards the physics of complex systems and the resulting memory-driven emergent power-law behavior. After receiving M.Sc degree in Physics from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, he worked as a geophysicist for a seismic company in US, UK, and Africa. Thereafter, he earned his PhD degree from the University of Oslo, Norway, in 2016. He did his postdoctoral research at the University of Oslo, and UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. His publications encompass the fields of fractional calculus, acoustics, fractal geometry, viscoelasticity, non-Newtonian rheology, dielectrics, and nonlinear bubble dynamics. Identifying the underlying mechanism of observed physical phenomena and the ability to describe them with an appropriate mathematical formulation gives him an unmatched joy. His long term research goal is to extend the applications of fractional calculus to the traditional branches of physics such as quantum physics and cosmology.
In addition to the research, teaching has been an important part of his academic training. After his postdoctoral experience, he began his teaching career in India at the Ahmedabad University, Gujarat, followed by at the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun. Following his passion towards teaching, he had served as a mentor in one of the massive open online courses (MOOC) offered by the University of Rochester, USA, through Coursera. He was also a representative for the engineering acoustics committee of the Acoustical Society of America.
Further, he has been actively involved with the public outreach of scientific discoveries because he believes such an outreach is necessary to cultivate scientific temper and critical thinking among the masses.
Prof Chirag Dhara
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Chirag is a quantum physicist turned climate physicist. His primary areas of research are atmospheric thermodynamic models, atmospheric radiation and convection, impact of aerosols (air pollution) on global and regional precipitation and near-term climate change projections.
Other areas of interest are climate change impacts and mitigation, planetary pressures of anthropogenic activities, limits to the “circular economy” and resource theory of sustainability.
Chirag was one of the authors of India’s first comprehensive climate change assessment report, the “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” released in 2020 – the regional analog of the global scale IPCC WG1 reports. He is also a contributing author to the IPCC’s upcoming AR6 report (2021).
Chirag holds two doctorates, the first in quantum theory from the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain (2013) and the second in Earth system sciences from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany (2017). He also spent two years as a Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology before joining Krea.
Prof Shibi Vasudevan
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Shibi Vasudevan’s research interests are in the areas of applied analysis, differential equations and fluid mechanics. His current work is broadly focused on the following themes: stability of solutions to partial differential equation (PDE) models arising from incompressible fluids and atmospheric sciences and in finding ways of obtaining or characterizing (unstable) eigenvalues of linearized differential operators.
He obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Missouri-Columbia, U.S.A following which he was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Center for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bangalore and the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) in Chennai. His earlier degrees were in engineering (M.S. in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and B.E. in mechanical engineering from NITK Surathkal).
He also enjoys teaching mathematics and interacting with students. Apart from research and teaching in mathematics, he is interested in increasing access and educational opportunities in mathematics amongst regions and peoples that are traditionally underrepresented.
Division of Humanities & Social Sciences
Prof Geeti Das
Assistant Professor of Politics
Geeti’s work focuses on institutional analysis, sexuality and gender, classification, and science and technology studies. Her dissertation looks at how seemingly radical shifts in science and technology can mask the resilience of an entrenched power structure to reshape itself. She analysed how sexuality and psychiatric classification remained intertwined after ‘homosexuality’ was struck off the DSM (the manual of mental disorders produced by the American Psychiatric Association) in ways that enabled the creation of a new kind of minority politics. Her ongoing research looks at how biosensors, apps, and self-tracking are changing relationships of labour and consumption among users, big data organisations, and states. Her work has appeared in Sexuality Research & Social Policy.
She holds a PhD in Politics from The New School for Social Research and a BA from Bryn Mawr College. At The New School, she received the Dean’s Fellowship, the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, and the Frieda Wunderlich Memorial Award for Outstanding Dissertation by an International Student. She has taught at The New School, Ashoka University, and O.P. Jindal Global University, focusing on global studies, sexuality and gender, urban politics, technopolitics, and infrastructure.
She worked on academic planning and curriculum development at JGU and The New School, and has done short-term research and editorial work for NGOs in India working on food security and human rights law.
Prof Swarna Rajagopalan
Visiting Professor in Political Science
Swarna Rajagopalan trained as a political scientist, works as an independent scholar, consultant and writer and founded and runs The Prajnya Trust. Her research interests relate to security, politics and gender. She writes regularly for both academic projects and general publications. She has taught politics and international relations at the University of Illinois, Michigan State University and Yale University, in addition to having taught at Sophia College, Mumbai and more recently, at the National Management School’s India campus for Broward University. Swarna’s consultancy work has included academic projects, from conceptualising and organising academic conferences to hosting and co-directing a summer study abroad programme for Michigan State in Chennai for two years. Prajnya works broadly towards gender equality and peace; her work at Prajnya combines all of these elements with training, advocacy, network and capacity-building in the social sector. In addition, Swarna is a founding member of the Women’s Regional Network, a network of women peace activists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.
Prof Sabah Siddiqui
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Sabah completed her Ph.D. from the University of Manchester on faith healing practices, where she investigated how medical science and traditional/alternative medicine intersect in mental health service provision, deploying methods from critical psychology, ethnography, and social geography. She has also explored the place of fiction in social science methodologies through the trope of ghost stories. Her earlier research on faith healing was published as Religion and Psychoanalysis in India: Critical Cultural Practices (Routledge, 2016). Currently, she is a Co-Investigator on a British Academy grant on traditional medicine in Manchester using a Community Asset Mapping method. She is also a Co-Investigator on a project collecting data about the conditions of work for Rural Sanitation Workers in Haryana during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is co-editing a special issue for the Palgrave Journal of Psychoanalysis, Culture, & Society titled Nationalisms and their Discontents: South Asian Perspectives (to be published in late 2022, deadline for submitting abstracts is August 30, 2021, so please contact me if the topic interests you). She is also contributing to the second edition of A Critical History and Philosophy of Psychology (Cambridge University Press).
Prof Soumyajit Bhar
Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (full-time)
Soumyajit straddles action and academic research with more than 14 years of experience of working with environmental and sustainability issues. He has earned a Ph.D. in Sustainability Studies (specialization in Ecological Economics) from ATREE, Bangalore. His dissertation attempts to understand socio-psychological drivers as well as local and regional scale environmental impacts of conspicuous/luxury consumption in India. Soumyajit has an engineering bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering and a Master’s with a gold medal in Environment and Development from Jadavpur University. He has diverse work experience, ranging from conducting action research in Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource management to teaching in a Krishnamurti Foundation of India School to working as a research fellow at LEAD at Krea University and teaching at Terra.do – an online global climate school.
Soumyajit is furthering research at the intersection of rising consumerism, sustainability concerns, and inequality levels in the context of the Global South. He has published in the journal of Indian Society for Ecological Economics, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, and popular media houses like The Wire, Mongabay, etc. He is a member of a working group under Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action Network for Systems of Sustainable consumption and production, and the Sustainability Transitions Research Network.
Prof Vidya Bharathi Rajkumar
Assistant Professor of Economics
Vidya Bharathi Rajkumar is an applied economist with research interests in the domains of Development and Agricultural Economics and Public Policy. Vidya received her Ph.D. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University. At Cornell, Vidya was a Tata-Cornell research scholar at the Tata Cornell Institute (TCI), an inter-disciplinary research group working on identifying solutions to agriculture and nutrition related problems in India. Prior to Cornell, Vidya was a Research Associate at J-PAL India.
Vidya’s research focuses on developmental questions in the context of India, and her doctoral research examines the impact of male migration and remittances on the women and children left behind in India’s agrarian areas. She is keen to pursue a research agenda examining the complex relationships connecting male migration, women’s empowerment in agriculture, and the resultant effects on agricultural productivity. Vidya is also interested in questions that examine the role of social and gender norms in governing women’s agency and employment in patriarchal societies.
Prof Karthik Rao Cavale
Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Urban Studies
Karthik Rao-Cavale is joins Krea University in July 2021 as an Assistant Professor in Political Economy and Urban Studies. He has a PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his research interests lie at the intersection of regional political economy, urban studies, economic geography, and development studies. His dissertation constructs a social history of regional road networks, regimes of circulation, and rural development in southern Tamil Nadu (1915 – 1965).
Karthik previously received a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Karthik’s earlier work in the field of city planning has been published in leading journals such as ‘Transportation Research Record’ and ‘Landscape and Urban Planning’. He has also contributed an empirical chapter to an edited volume on the Indian Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press, 2019), and has edited a special issue of Projections, the MIT Journal of Urban Planning.
Division of Literature & the Arts
Prof Abhishek Shukla
Assistant Professor of Literature
Abhishek Shukla graduated with a BA (Hons.) in English from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He went on to read Anglo-Irish Literature & Drama at University College Dublin, where he wrote a dissertation on Johnathan Swift, and completed his Masters degree with a first class honours. He then enrolled at the University of Rochester, where he went on to specialise in nineteenth-century American literature, and to develop a wide-ranging interest in intellectual history, early-American theology, Pragmatist philosophy, and the influence of early-American thought on later American culture.
He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Jonathan Edwards, in which he examines a wide range of Edwards’s scientific, philosophical, theological, and literary works, and unites them into a single system of metaphysics.
While at Rochester, he also taught, or helped teach, a wide variety of undergraduate courses, from an introductory course in Media Studies to an advanced course in the nineteenth-century British novel; from courses in classical Greek literature and twentieth-century European drama to courses on the interaction of science and religion in America from the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century.
He is a recipient of the Gilman Prize, given each year to an outstanding graduating PhD, and was twice awarded the Dudley Doust Teaching Fellowship at the University of Rochester.