Published: 05th January 2021
Meet Dr P Senthil Kumar, the youngest Indian scientist on Stanford's list of top 2% scientists in the world
P Senthil Kumar, Associate Professor at SSN College of Engineering, has 170 cited papers and has been ranked 12,440 in the world in the list of 2% most cited scientists
Stanford University recently released the list of top 2% scientists in the world based on the number of times their research has been cited by other scholars and students. While the list contains a whopping 1,59,683 names, there are 1,492 Indian scientists on it too. But did you know that the youngest Indian scientist to be on this list hails from Tamil Nadu? An Associate Professor at SSN College of Engineering, Chennai, 38-year-old Dr P Senthil Kumar has been ranked 498 in the world (subject-wise), 12,440 overall and has secured 73rd place among the Indian scientists.
In a list that is dominated by scientists from renowned IITs and IISc, Senthil is among the very few from private institutes. "SSN has always been a research-oriented, academic institution. While several other private universities focus only on academics, the trend is changing. With the NIRF rankings finding more significance, institutes in the next 10 or 20 years will move towards academic research," says Senthil. "Research is very important at SSN and the institute gives equal importance to academics and research. In the next five to 10 years, I'm hoping that research will be given the highest priority," he adds.
In his lab at SSN, Senthil has been researching to develop technology for waste water management. "We are trying to build a product from agricultural waste that will be used to address the issue of waste water management. We are also working on a method to turn discarded plastic into liquid fuel," says Senthil. He completed his PhD in waste water treatment in 2011 from Anna University and has been working in waste water management ever since.
Senthil joined SSN back in 2007 as a lecturer. He has published over 200 papers during his tenure at the college and about 170 of those have been cited by other researchers and scholars.
Speaking about how he continued his research even during the lockdown, the professor from the Chemical Engineering department says, "We have published around 30 research papers during this time. Even when the students couldn't come to the lab, they were sitting at home and jotting down the data they inferred from their experiments." Senthil has guided 11 PhD scholars to date. At any given time, he can guide eight candidates, the Associate Professor at SSN states.
Senthil did his BTech in Chemical Engineering from the University of Madras. "I graduated in 2003 and then worked for a year in the oil refinery sector. Then I began pursuing my ME from Alagappa Chettiar Government College of Engineering and Technology where I received the gold medal for being the university topper," says Senthil.