By Joseph Hartman

Plastics Engineering Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan has been named the 2022 Distinguished University Professor, UMass Lowell’s most prestigious academic honor for a faculty member, for the period of November 1st, 2022 through August 31st, 2025. This three-year appointment is the highest distinction for a University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty member.

Each year, the university recognizes one educator for their outstanding contributions in teaching, research and service to the institution.

Professor Nagarajan joined the Plastics Engineering department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2006 and is currently the senior director for Strategic Defense Research Projects, the co-director of the HEROES initiative, the Fabric Discovery Center and the Center for Advanced Materials at UMass Lowell. Professor Nagarajan has utilized these roles for effectively building multidisciplinary research programs at UMass Lowell that have benefitted numerous faculty members, staff and students across colleges and departments.

Professor Nagarajan’s research interests include greener advanced functional materials, electronic, photo-responsive polymers, multifunctional fabric, greener flame-retardant additives and surfactants, low temperature processable conductive inks, materials for energy conversion/storage and roll-to-roll manufacture of flexible electronic products. Working at the interface of science and engineering, his research group has been involved in translating fundamental research into engineering applications for advancing technology in new and emerging areas.

Professor Nagarajan has received 77 research grants and contracts totaling over $22 million. He has published 68 refereed journal publications, 2 book chapters and carries an H-index of 32 with over 4200 citations. Furthermore, Nagarajan owns 20 patents and has filed two patent applications and two patent disclosures with UMass Lowell OTCV. In addition, the UMass Lowell Graduate Student Association named him “Faculty Member of the Year” in 2011-12.

Civil and Environmental Engineering chair and professor Pradeep Kurup, who jointly nominated Nagarajan with twenty two faculty members from across UMass Lowell’s departments and colleges, said that Nagarajan “continually demonstrates visionary approaches in his professional endeavors, having made outstanding contributions both within his field of plastics engineering; and across the larger community by engaging in highly acclaimed interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service activities.”

Nagarajan earned his both his and doctoral and master of science degrees in Polymer Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and bachelor of technology and bachelor of science degree from Anna University and Loyola College respectively in India.

Nagarajan is the 15th professor to receive the award since it was established in 2008.

Nagarajan will deliver the annual Distinguished University Professor Lecture in the spring.