ASCE has honored Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, Ph.D., NAE, with the 2020 Theodore von Karman Medal for his lasting scientific contributions to diverse fluid dynamical topics, from cryogenics to solar convection, especially the dynamics and mixing of turbulence in laboratory, computational and terrestrial flows, and his vast impact on scholarship, scientific development and education in many countries.
Sreenivasan has contributed profusely to the fundamental understanding of several current scientific problems in fluid dynamics and related fields, especially turbulence. He was the first to apply the newly developed theory of chaos and fractals to turbulence and brought to the fore intermittency, a crucial aspect of turbulence. In the last 10 years or so, he and his collaborators have published some 100 papers, almost all in journals of the highest standing and with a high impact factor. Sreenivasan has made fundamental and impactful contributions of lasting value in three areas: convection, reconnection of quantum vortices, and turbulence scaling.
He has been elected to several prestigious academies, such as NAS, NAE, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and others from different parts of the world – such as Brazil and India – including the oldest extant academy from Galileo’s time, the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome.
The Theodore von Karman Medal is presented to an individual in recognition of distinguished achievements in engineering mechanics that are applicable to any branch of civil engineering.