Praveen Kumar

Colonel Harry F. and Frankie M. Lovell Endowed Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

"Our students will be the leaders in innovating sustainable solutions to society’s most significant challenges"

2527B Hydrosystems Laboratory

301 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-4688
(217) 333-0687

Visit Professor Kumar's research website: HydroComplexity

Praveen Kumar holds a B.Tech. (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India 1987), M.S. (Iowa State University 1989), and Ph.D. (University of Minnesota 1993), all in civil engineering. He has been on the faculty of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since 1995. Prior to joining University of Illinois, he was a research scientist (January 1993 to July 1995) at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Hydrologic Sciences Branch, NASA- Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA.

Dr. Kumar has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in hydrosystems engineering, engineering modeling under uncertainty, surface water hydrology, hydroclimatology, stochastic hydrology, non-linear methods in hydrology, and hydroinformatics.

In 1993 Dr. Kumar received the Universities Space Research Association Award for Promise and Potential of a Young Scientist. In 1996 he received the NASA New Young Investigator Award. He was selected as the NCSA/UIUC Faculty Fellow for 2001-2002. In 2005 he received the Xerox Award for Faculty Research. He has also been recognized for teaching excellence by having been listed several times in the UIUC List of Teachers Rated as Excellent by their Students.

Dr. Kumar has served as the Editor-in-Chief for Water Resources Research, (2009-2013) the major scientific journal in the field, published by American Geophysical Union (AGU).  Prior to that he was the Editor for Geophysical Research Letters (2007-2009) also published by AGU. In the past he has served as the Associate Editor (1998-2001) for Water Resources Research and for ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (2003-2004). He is a member of Ecohydrology Committee, and Remote Sensing Committee of the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union and served as the Chair of Precipitation Committee during 1999-2001. He served for five years as a member of the Board of Directors for CUHASI,Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science which has 120 member universities. 

Research Overview: 

Dr. Kumar’s research deals with Hydrocomplexity, the quantitative understanding and prediction of emergent patterns of form and function that arise from complex non-linear multi-scale interactions between soil, water, climate, vegetation and human systems; and how this understanding can be used for innovative solutions to water and sustainability challenges. His research has been funded by federal agencies such as NSF, NASA, and NOAA. He presently serves as the Director of the Critical Zone Observatory for Intensively Managed Landscapes. He is also the lead on NSF supported EarthCube project on Geo-Semantics, and a co-lead on NSF supported SEAD and Brown Dog projects for the development of cyber-infrastructure for structured and unstructured long-tail data and models.