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Decarbonization efforts earn international recognition

Sridhar Seetharaman elected Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences International Fellow

Sridhar Seetharaman pictured looking at the camera in an outdoor setting.

Arizona State University Professor Sridhar Seetharaman was elected as the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences International Fellow, an equivalent distinction to the National Academy of Engineering in the United States. Photo by: Erika Gronek/ASU

January 11, 2023

Sridhar Seetharaman, a professor of materials science and engineering and vice dean for research and innovation in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, joined the ranks of the prestigious fellows of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Seetharaman is part of a select group of U.S.-based International Fellows of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, also known as IVA.

The honor of fellow in the academy, which was bestowed upon 38 additional researchers in 2022, is equivalent to being elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the United States.

IVA consists of 1,300 Swedish and international fellows who are engineering and economics decision-makers and experts and researchers from academia, public organizations and private industry. In collaboration with 250 companies, their work focuses on making positive contributions to society through technology and business advancements.

“The collective experience and expertise of our new fellows will be a fantastic asset for IVA,” says Tuula Teeri, president of the academy. “Digitalization and sustainable development in particular are areas that will be reinforced. They are key areas of expertise to meet future challenges.”

The IVA’s almost 300 international fellows have made outstanding contributions in the academy’s areas of focus and collaborate with Swedish businesses and research institutions. International fellows include former National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh, who was influential in connecting materials science and physics to cell biology and the study of parasites, and Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens Director Emmanuelle Charpentier, who played an essential role in discovering the underlying mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology.

Seetharaman says he is honored to be among the few international researchers recognized by the renowned 100-year-old academy. He is one of only two international fellows from the U.S. elected this year, the second being Per Liljenberg, deputy director of portfolio management at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They are joined by three 2022 International Fellows from the United Kingdom, Canada and Botswana.

“I know the academic community in Sweden is very impressed by the ASU Charter values of inclusivity and commitment to serving communities,” Seetharaman says, adding that he believes what stood out to the IVA is his work related to “decarbonization for steel and developing interdisciplinary graduate programs in energy at previous institutions.”

Seetharaman’s overall research expertise is in materials development, particularly metals and ceramics for clean energy and harsh environments. He says his focus on industrial manufacturing decarbonization and related workforce training is aligned with the IVA’s goal of sustainable development.

His recent work in this area includes a project funded by the REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, in which he is working with a team of Fulton Schools researchers to improve the recyclability of steel. The institute’s goal in supporting this work is to help the U.S. transition to a circular economy, in which waste is reduced by continually recycling and reusing a material as much as possible.

Seetharaman has also collaborated with SSAB, a Swedish steel company, and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in his industrial decarbonization efforts.

In his role as vice dean, Seetharaman plays a key part of the Fulton Schools’ efforts to facilitate strategic collaborations that enable faculty members to translate their research beyond the lab and help their communities.

Kyle Squires, the vice provost of engineering, computing and technology at ASU and dean of the Fulton Schools, recognizes the impact of Seetharaman on a range of topics impacting globally important problems.

“Sridhar focuses on mission-driven needs to advance interdisciplinary research that can be directly translated to real-world use. He understands how engineering can positively affect communities and is committed to beneficial, sustainable and equitable outcomes in all of his work,” Squires says. “Sridhar’s election as an IVA International Fellow demonstrates his decades of excellence in use-inspired sustainable manufacturing research.”

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