Satish V. Kulkarni, who currently serves as the director of energy initiatives in Virginia Tech’s Office of the Vice President for Research and as a research professor of engineering science and mechanics at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, received the 2012 Graduate Alumni Achievement Award at this year's Graduate Commencement Ceremony held on Friday, May 11, at 8:30 a.m. in Cassell Coliseum.

The Graduate Alumni Achievement Award was established by the Graduate School and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in 2003 and is awarded annually to recognize the outstanding national and/or international achievement and exemplary contribution to profession, discipline, community, or society of a graduate alumnus.

“I am humbled to receive this award from my alma mater and it was a great honor for me to be recognized during the graduate school's commencement ceremony,” said Kulkarni. “I am very proud to be a graduate of Virginia Tech and am pleased to have the opportunity to serve the university through my work.”

Before joining Virginia Tech in 2011, Kulkarni was associate vice president for new initiatives and partnerships at Georgetown University.

Kulkarni has established an exemplary record of innovative scientific, educational, and policy leadership in national and international arenas. After obtaining his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech, he began his career in the nascent field of advanced composite materials and moved on to Babcock & Wilcox’s Nuclear Power Generation Division before joining Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. At Livermore, he directed numerous interdisciplinary programs in national security, energy, and the environment.

Moving to the University of California, he served in the president’s office, helping to develop and implement a corporate research strategy to better utilize and integrate capabilities at three national laboratories managed by the university at Berkeley, Los Alamos, and Livermore, as well as at the 10-campus University of California system.

Kulkarni also served as the counselor for science, technology, environment, and health affairs with the U.S. State Department in the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. He was instrumental in facilitating collaborations and agreements between the U.S. and India in science and technology, nuclear and space research, climate change, health care initiatives, and wildlife.

Kulkarni earned his bachelor's in civil engineering from Calcutta University and master's in structural mechanics from the Indian Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in engineering mechanics in 1972.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.