Ramesh K. Agarwal
William Palm Professor of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science
Ramesh Agarwal has devoted most of his career to nurturing, mentoring, guiding, and looking after the welfare of his students in and out of the classroom. He is deeply involved in the broader community and provides the opportunities for his students to become similarly engaged. In 2008, for example, he introduced service learning in his undergraduate Fluid Mechanics course with support from the National Science Foundation and Gephardt Institute’s Civic Engagement Fund. Course participants gain field experience as they examine issues related to energy efficiency and develop affordable engineering solutions in low-income neighborhoods.
Doctoral student Xu Han states, “[Dr. Agarwal] is unique among his peers in contributing to learning by engaging the students with civic organizations to promote energy and environmental sustainability.” Han adds, “Dr. Agarwal is an extraordinary mentor who goes beyond the call of duty of a professor in helping students with both their professional and personal problems. He has a unique way of training and inspiring students (the Agarwal Way).”
Ramesh is also making important contributions to K-12 education by writing and editing books for elementary, middle, and high school students to expose them to the concepts of aerodynamics and flight, and he delivers lectures to high school students in the St. Louis area to attract them to STEM disciplines. He recently edited a children’s book titled, When the Wind Blows, and he is currently finishing a book on the topic of bird flight, geared toward high school students. Ramesh has mentored high school students during the summer for the past six years to provide them research experience under the STARS Program administered by the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Ramesh invests his time and energy into community engagement at the local, national, and international level. He has been actively engaged with students in Engineers Without Borders, Scientists Without Borders, and Engineers for a Sustainable World. He and his wife Sugita also volunteer for the breakfast service for the homeless organized by the Gateway 180 Homeless Services, Soulard Meals on Wheels, and Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. For his humanitarian contributions to engineering, he was recently awarded the prestigious SAE Arnold W. Siegel Humanitarian Award.