Kumar Invested as Lovell Professor
Professor Praveen Kumar was invested as the Colonel Harry F. and Frankie M. Lovell Professor on February 3.
Speakers included Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Robert A. Easter, Executive Associate Dean Michael B. Bragg, and Professor and Head Amr S. Elnashai. Special guests included Kumar’s wife, Charu, and daughter, Ilina.
“I am filled with deep gratitude for this honor,” Kumar said. “I want to thank Amr and Ade [Dean Ilesanmi Adesida] and Mike [Bragg] for the extraordinary effort that went into making this event possible. I am also very thankful to Colonel Harry Lovell and Frankie Lovell for their generous support to our department and the university. …
“The University of Illinois has provided an environment that nurtures scholarship, and I am immensely fortunate that I am a part of this tradition of excellence. I had my apprehensions when we came to [Illinois], mostly from reverence, having turned the pages of Ven Te Chow’s book every which way during my undergraduate studies. But I couldn’t have asked for more cordial and supportive colleagues.”
Professor Praveen Kumar (second from left) poses on the day of his investiture with (from left) Professor and Head Amr S. Elnashai; Kumar's daughter, Ilina; and his wife, Charu.
Kumar joined the faculty in 1995. He 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.
Kumar is an expert in the use of computer models and informatics to increase our understanding of hydrologic processes over a range of space and time scales, with particular emphasis on understanding and modeling the complex non-linear interactions among processes. His research is developing a predictive understanding of the hydrologic cycle that integrates across ecosystems, climate and human impacts, and involves the study of hydroclimatology, ecohydrology, geomorphology and hydroinformatics.
The late Colonel Harry F Lovell was born on May 20, 1910, in Fulton County, Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois in 1932. A member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Illinois, he served in the U.S. Army Reserve until World War II, when he was called to active duty and deployed to the Philippines and Japan. After the war, he joined the Army Corps of Engineers. His many tours of duty included construction of airfields in Morocco. After 31 years in the Army, Colonel Lovell retired in 1961.
Through a series of significant gifts to the Colonel Harry F. Lovell and Frankie M. Lovell Endowment Fund, Colonel Lovell generously supported the University of Illinois Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Expressing his loyalty to the affairs of the University in 2000, Colonel Lovell became a member of the President’s Council, a donor recognition society of the University of Illinois Foundation. He became a member of the Pentad Circle of the Presidents Council in 2001.
Colonel Lovell passed away on Aug. 9, 2005, in Sun City, Ariz.