Prof. Thalappil Pradeep of IIT Madras wins the prestigious international Eni Award

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Prof. T. Pradeep from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ Department of Chemistry has won the prestigious ‘Eni Award,’ which is considered among the top global honours for scientific research in energy and environment. The President of Italy is expected to present the Award soon.

Previous awardees include Nobel laureates, Sir Harold W. Kroto, Alan Heegerand Theodor Wolfgang Hänschas well asProf. C.N.R. Rao, a Bharat Ratna Awardee. The strict award guidelines and a selection committee including Nobel laureates make Eni award a coveted honour.

Prof. T. Pradeep has been recognized for his work on affordable clean water using advanced materials. He “discovered advanced sustainable and affordable nanoscale materials for the removal of toxic contaminants from water. The discoveredtechnologies are both sustainable and cost-effective and have been implemented as drinking water solutions benefitting 1.3 millionpeople in India every day,” the citation stated.

Eni Awards are given in three categories; Energy Transition, Energy Frontiers and Advanced Environmental Solutions. Yu Huang, University of California (Los Angeles, USA) and Jeffrey R. Long, University of California (Berkeley, USA) were given the award for the first category. Matthew Rosseinsky, University of Liverpool (UK) won the award for the second category. Prof. Pradeep has been awarded for Advanced Environmental Solutions.

Prof. Pradeep is a pioneer in nanotechnology applications for clear water. His work on pesticide removal has benefitted millions of people. Later he and his team developed ‘water positive’ materials to remove arsenic, uranium and several other toxic contaminants from water and the technology has been approved for national implementation.He is expanding the reach of these technologies to other countries now.

Accepting this honour, Prof. T. Pradeep, Institute Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras, said,“I am grateful to the large team of students, associates and implementing partners whose intense efforts made this work possible.The country and my institution gave me everything.”

Speaking about his future goals, Prof. T. Pradeep added,“Water presents numerous opportunities in cleaning, sensing, distribution and data analytics. It is the most opportune moment nationally and globally to get into water, for science, for industry or for both. There is a career in it where one can get satisfaction, besides wealth and fame.We need more youngsters in the area to ensure water security.”

Prof. Pradeep has been recognized earlier with Padma Shri, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water and Nikkei Asia Prize, among many others.

The prize is composed of a gold medal, a citation and a cash component.

Prof. Pradeep works on diverse aspects of materials and has won many national recognitions includingthe Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. He has built advanced scientific instruments for his work. He has 550 papers and over 100 patents to his credit, besides being a co-founder of half a dozen companies.

This is the 15 edition of the Eni Award, a prize established in 2007.The aim of the award is to promote radical breakthroughs in energy efficiency, renewables, decarbonization and safeguarding of the environment, stimulating the work of new generations of researchers. It is sponsored by Eni, a global multibillion-dollar energy company headquartered in Rome.


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