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Academic Biography

Dr. Venkatesan Venkata Krishnan (Venkat) got his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, in the US, in 1996, after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in the same subject from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D), INDIA, in 1988. Subsequently he worked as Postdoctoral Fellow/ Associate at the Universities of Southern California and Pennsylvania, and at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (New Jersey).

Venkat left for India in 2004, working at IIT Delhi as Assistant Professor, followed by a stint as Principal Engineer at Bloom Energy India (subsidiary of Bloom Energy Corp, Sunnyvale, CA) in Mumbai, and at Non-Ferrous Materials Technology Development Centre in Hyderabad, before finally moving to Teesside University in February 2016.

Venkat’s experience has straddled the academic domain, industrial R&D and product development, in areas of Chemical Engineering viz., Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, in Solid State Electrochemistry (primarily Solid Oxide Fuel Cells), in Process Design and in Ceramics processing.

As a former academic at IIT Delhi (2004-10), he taught Chemical Process Technology (in essence, Chemical Process Principles), Process Engineering, Reaction Engineering, Petroleum Refinery Operations, Heterogeneous Catalysis, Fluid/ Fluid-Particle Mechanics /Heat Transfer Laboratory, and a course in building and installing experimental rigs, whose objectives were to get students involved in hands-on lab work as part of their engineering skill development. He also supervised the doctoral dissertation of 3 PhD students (one student in full, and two in part), with funded research in catalysis and fuel cells.

Summary of Research Interests

Venkat’s interests are broadly towards developing high efficiency energy conversion devices, and towards renewable hydrogen production. Within this framework, there are excellent opportunities for CO2 utilization and mitigation that he hopes to bring in, into his research projects. Some of his key areas are as follows -

  • High Temperature Electrochemistry – towards Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) and Solid Oxide Electrolyzers (SOECs) –

a. Exploring degradation mechanisms for SOFCs operating on gasified feedstocks (effect of contaminants)

b. Understanding degradation in SOECs (steam and/or CO2), and enhancing stability

c. High throughput Manufacturing, viz., Plasma Spray Techniques, for Metal Supported SOFCs/ SOECs (MSCs) – to enable lower cost of manufacturing with continued high level performance

  • Heterogeneous Catalysis

a. Developing Catalytic Membrane Reactor Technologies for Hydrogen production

b. Enabling Internal Reformation at intermediate temperature SOFC operating conditions

c. Fundamental studies – effect of synthesis methods on catalyst performance, towards syngas and Hydrogen production (Steam Reforming, Water Gas Shift)

d. Transient and Perturbation Techniques – novel experimental designs and analysis, for studying catalytic performance in keymodel reactions

  • Mathematical Modelling – Interpreting Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Data on Fuel Cells and Batteries.
  • Innovative use of Biomass towards energy/Hydrogen and chemicals production – process design based on emerging techniques like microwave-assisted gasification and combustion.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Venkat has worked in the past with industry-led projects, such as – Decomposition of water using the sulfur-iodine cycle, with Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), in India, wherein his team at IIT Delhi setup a laboratory for investigating the decomposition of HI to I2 and H2, a key element of the 3-reaction scheme for water decomposition.

Furthermore, with his work on product development in the industry (with ExxonMobil and Bloom Energy) he has a strong feel for industrial needs and is interested in working with industrial groups to enhance their productivity and effect key improvements in their processes and catalysts.

Over the past year, he has also been a co-founder and mentor for a Silicon Valley based company called Planet Hydrogen, whose interest is to convert biomass to hydrogen at high scales.

In Teesside, Venkat continues to interface with local SMEs like MPI, and Altech engineering, in a bid to help them move their businesses towards renewable energy and energy devices.


  • 'A method and apparatus for Manufacturing of solid oxide fuel cell’; – Krishnamurty Balasubramanian, Nirmal Panda, Venkatesan Venkata Krishnan, M. Govindaraju and Nitin Kanoongo; PCT Application filed on June 19th, 2014 [Number PCT/IB2014/001113)]; Full Filing for Indian Patent completed, June 19th, 2014 [Indian Patent Application number 2660/CHE/2013]
  • ‘Separation of Methanol, Ethanol and/or Dimethyl Ether from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,984,765 B2 (01/10/2005); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose Guadalupe Santiesteban.
  • ‘Separation of Propylene and Dimethylether from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,733,572 (05/11/2004); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose Guadalupe Santiesteban.
  • ‘Separation of Propylene from Hydrocarbon mixtures’, US Patent # 6,730,142 B2, (05/04/2004); Sebastian C. Reyes, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Gregory J. DeMartin, John H. Sinfelt, Karl G. Strohmaier, Jose G. Santiesteban.
  • ‘Method for making Bulk Catalyst’, US Patent # 6,143,688, (11/07/2000); Mark E. Thompson, Venkatesan V. Krishnan and Alexandre G. Dokoutchaev.
  • ‘Method for Catalytic Production of Hydrogen Peroxide and Catalyst therefore’, US Patent # 5,976,486, (11/02/1999); Mark E. Thompson, Venkatesan V. Krishnan, Alexandre G. Dokoutchaev, Feras Abdel-Razzaq and Shannon C. Rice.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Venkat is currently teaching modules relating to Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Elements of Mass Transfer, and Particle Technology/ Mechanics. He also teaches students the basics of Chemical Engineering Practice, as taught in a laboratory module of the same name. His interests lie in developing and teaching elective modules in the area of Electrochemistry and Catalysis further on.


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