Professor Somasundaran received his M.S. and Ph.D.
from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelor of
Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1961. Before joining
Columbia University, he worked for the International Minerals and
Chemical Corporation and Reynolds Industries. He was appointed
the first La von Duddleson Krumb Professor in the Columbia University
School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the first Director
of the Langmuir Center for Colloids & Interfaces and founding
director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative
Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants. He was also
elected Chairman of the Henry Krumb School at Columbia University,
as Chair of Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Material Science &
Mineral Engineering in 1992 and 1995.
He was inducted in l985 into the National Academy of Engineering,
among the highest professional distinction that can be conferred to
an engineer and later to the Chinese, Indian and Russian National
Academies. He is the recipient of the Antoine M. Gaudin Award
(1982), the Robert H. Richards Award (l987), the Arthur F. Taggart
Award for best paper (1987) of AIME, "Most Distinguished Achievement
in Engineering" award from AINA among others. In addition, he was
awarded the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" in 1990, along with such
recipients as President George Bush, four former Presidents, U.N.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Danny Thomas, the Leadership citation
from the New Jersey Senate in 1991 and the Engineering Foundation's
1992 Frank F. Aplan Award.
He has been honored in many countries. He was appointed as an
Honorary Professor at the Central University of Technology of China,
1988-1993, and an Honorary Research Advisor at the Beijing Research
Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, Beijing, China, in 1991 and
a Plenary Lecturer at many International conferences.
He is the author/editor of fifteen books and of over 700 scientific
publications and patents. He is the honorary editor-in-chief
of the international journal "Colloids and Surfaces".
He has served on many international, national and professional committees
and National Research Council and University external panels and National
Science Foundation Advisory Committees. He was the Chairman of the
Board of the Engineering Foundation (1993-95) and currently on the
board of the new United Engineering Foundation.
He currently serves on the Piermont Board of Appeals and previously
in the Planning board.. His research interests are surface and colloid
chemistry of minerals, materials and microbes, molecular interactions
at surfaces using advanced spectroscopy, polymer and surfactant
adsorption, flocculation/dispersion, biosurface phenomena, environmental
engineering (waste treatment), enhanced recovery of oil and