Mahendra Sunkara is the Director of Conn Center and Theme Leader for Advanced Energy Materials Theme. Dr. Sunkara received his B. Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University (India) in 1986, a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in 1988, and a PhD in 1993 from Case Western Reserve. He did his PhD under guidance of Prof. John Angus on chemical vapor deposition of diamond. He worked at Faraday Technology, Inc. in Dayton, OH, from 1993-1996 as a Project Engineer before joining UofL as an assistant professor in 1996.
His personal research interests include large single crystal growth of diamond, gallium nitride and bulk quantities of nanowires, solar cells, Li Ion batteries, and water splitting. He has published over 150 articles in refereed journals, four book chapters, and was awarded over 25 U.S. patents. He co-authored a book entitled “Inorganic Nanowires: Applications, Properties and Characterization” published by CRC Press. He was awarded the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty in Engineering award in 1999 and NSF CAREER award in 1999. In 2002, the Louisville Magazine placed him in the list of top 25 young guns in the city of Louisville. In 2009, he received the UofL President’s distinguished faculty award for research and United Phosphorus CDS Award from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2009. He has been named as Fellow of Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation in 2017. His research work was cited about 8000 times with an h-index of 44. His work resulted in over twenty US patents. He graduated over 20 M.S/M.Eng and 20 PhD students who found successful careers in academia as faculty at institutions such as RPI, Texas A&M, U of Tulsa, IIT - Hyderabad and in Industry such as Intel, HP, Veeco, Applied Materials, and Lexmark, etc.