Professional Activities


1998 - Present:

Director, National Science Foundation: Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants and (since 2008) Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems, Columbia University

1988 - 1997:

Chairman Henry Krumb School of Mines, Dept. of Min., Met., & Mnrl. Engineering, Columbia University

1987 - Present:

Director Langmuir Center for Colloids & Interfaces, Columbia University

1983 - Present:

La von Duddleson Krumb Professor of Mineral Engineering, Columbia University

1978 - 1983:

Professor of Mineral Engineering, Columbia University

May - July 1977:

Visiting Scientist, University of Melbourne, Australia

January - April 1977:

Visiting Professor/Scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

 1970 - 1978:

Associate Professor of Mineral Engineering, Columbia University

May - July 1976:

Acting Chairman, School of Mines, Columbia University

1967 - 1970:

Research Chemist, R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc., Winston-Salem

1965 - 1967:

Senior Research Engineer, Intern. Minerals & Chemical Corp., Libertyville, IL

1961 - 1964:

Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of California, Berkeley

1958 - 1959:

Senior Laboratory Assistant at the National Chemical Laboratory, Poona, India

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Appointed Honorary Advisor to China National Electric Apparatus Research Institute Co Ltd, Guangzhou, China, May 2012
  • Title of Padma Shri by the Indian government, 2010
  • Member of the Advisory Body of MET’s Engineering College, Mala, India, December
  • Keynote speaker and honorary Chair of the International Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology Conference in Beijing, China. Also met Chinese President Jiang Zemin, July 2001
  • Appointed Honorary Professor at Wuhan Institute of Chemical Technology, July 2001
  • Elected as foreign member to the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, 2000
  • Elected fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, 1999
  • Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, 1998
  • Chairman, Engineering Foundation Board, 1993
  • Frank F. Aplan Award, Engineering Foundation, 1992
  • Honorary Research Advisor, Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Beijing, China, 1991
  • The State of New Jersey Senate Leadership Citation, 1991
  • Plenary Lecture, 119th Annual AIME/SME Meeting, Utah, 1990
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Distinguished Americans, 1990
  • First Brahm Prakash Chair, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 1990
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 1989
  • Honorary Professor, Central University of Technology, Changsha, China, 1988-1993
  • Plenary Lecture, XVIth International Mineral Processing Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 1988
  • Henry Krumb Lecturer Award, AIME, 1988
  • Honor Award, Association of Indians in America, 1988
  • Robert Richards Award, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng., 1987
  • A.E. Taggart Award, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng., 1987
  • Award of Excellence, V.H.P. of America, Inc., July, 1987
  • Award for Achievements in Applied Science, 2nd World Malayalam Conference, Washington, D.C., August, 1985
  • National Academy of Engineering Member, 1985
  • Keynote lecture, Colloque-bilan "Interactions Solide-Liquide", Nancy, France, 1984.
  • Plenary lecture (presented in absentia) International Conf. on Recent Advances in Mineral Science and Technology, Johannesburg, 1984
  • Plenary lecture, Pacific Region Meeting of Fine Particle Society, 1983
  • Distinguished Member, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Engrg., 1983
  • Mill Man Distinction Award, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng., 1983
  • Antoine M. Gaudin Award, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng.,1982
  • Foreign Guest Lecturer at the Rehbinder Symposium, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1981
  • Fellow, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (London)
  • Keynote lecturer at the Intern. Conf. on Complex Sulfides, Rome, 1980
  • Publications Board Award, Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng., 1980
  • Most Distinguished Achievement in Engineering (AINA), 1980
  • Keynote lecturer, Int. Symp. on Resources Engineering, Bombay, 1979
  • Plenary lecturer at the XIII Intern. Mineral Proc. Cong. Warsaw, 1979
  • Soc. of Min., Met. & Mnrl. Eng., Best Presentation Award for the paper, "Stabilization, Flocculation and Selective Flocculation of Mineral Suspensions Using Polymers" by G.C. Sresty, P. Somasundaran, and C.C. Gryte, 1978
  • Opening lecturer, Symp. on Colloid and Surface Chemistry of Mineral Flotation, Melbourne, 1977
  • University of Melbourne Fellowship Award at the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, 1977
  • Keynote lecturer at the Conference on Non-Renewable Resources, Bangalore, 1977
  • Prime Minister Nehru Scholarship for higher studies abroad, 1961
  • Tata Educational Award for higher studies, 1961
  • Merit Scholarship from Indian Institute of Science on the basis of rank in a nationally selected class of 24, 1960


  • Member, Engineering Conference International, Board of Directors Annual Meeting, January 18,2011
  • Member, International Advisory Committee for MPT 2011, Udaipur, India, October 20 22, 2011
  • Member, Canadian Center of Academic Arts and Science as of March 25, 2011 –
  • Member, Board of Advisors Meeting of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, April 7, 2011
  • Member, Hoover Medal Board of Awards, New York, October 6, 2011
  • Instructor, “Nano 102 – Nanoparticle Synthesis and Processing Issues” Workshop II at
  • Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, November 18, 2011
  • Chair, session at International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief (ACWR201 1), Amrita University, Amritapuri, India, December 21, 2011
  • Panelist, Panel Discussion on "Water Related Issues Concerning India," at the 3rd International Perspective on Current & Future State of Water Resources & the Environment, Chennai, India, January 7, 2010
  • Participant, Sub Sea and Sub Surface Oil and Dispersant Detection Sampling and Monitoring Strategy – Unified Command, Federal Agencies and Academic Partners Meeting, Tulane University, New Orleans LA, September 1, 2010
  • Participant, NCEAS Gulf Oil Spill Ecotoxicology Working Group’s first meeting at Dauphin
  • Honored Guest, Welcoming reception and opening ceremony, 2001 International Symposium on Nanomaterials and Technology, Beijing, July 2, 2001
  • Board Member, National Science Foundation, Gainesville, Florida, September 4 6, 2001  Doctorate Adjudication Committee, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, September 21, 2001
  • Committee, United Engineering Foundation Project, 2001
  • Panelist, University of Florida on Cross disciplinary Particle Science & Technology, Gainesville, Fl, February 12, 2000
  • Director, National Science Foundation I/UCRC for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants, 1997 Present
  • Host of International Fine Particle Research Institute’s 10th Annual Meeting, Teaneck, New
  • "Research Opportunities," National Science Foundation Workshop on Beneficiation of Mineral Fines, Sterling Forest, NY, August, 1978

P. Somasundaran

Professor of Mineral Engineering


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  • Fax: (212) 854-8362

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