- Associate Professor
- Associate Provost for Research
- Chief Research Officer
Tara Kulkarni, Ph.D., P.E., joined the Norwich family in 2011.
She teaches courses in fluid mechanics, environmental engineering, water and wastewater treatment, and hydrogeology. She has also taught the honors course on sustainability. She serves as an academic adviser to undergraduate civil and environmental engineering students, and for Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. She has served as the faculty adviser and counselor for the NU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers since 2012, and mentored local area Girl Scouts and NU Girls Inventors Camp participants, and served as a sustainability and environmental badge counselor for local area Boy Scouts. She has also consulted for the NU STEM academy and served as the engineering instructor for K-8 teachers in the Vermont Science Initiative’s Engineering and Science Summer Academy since 2014. She mentors newer civil engineering faculty through the ExCEEd workshop series run by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
In 2021, Kulkarni was a finalist for the ATHENA Leadership Award®, bestowed by the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
Kulkarni represents the College of Professional Schools on the Honors Council and the Undergraduate Research Committee and has led and facilitated several faculty round-tables. She has served as the liaison for the Resilient Vermont conference and has been invited to serve on the board of the Vermont Environmental Consortium.
Her research interests are in green infrastructure, sustainable water resources management, and climate change related disaster resilience through engineering innovation. She has used grants through NSF’s EPSCoR program and from the U.S. EPA to research, design, and model green stormwater infrastructure and innovative treatment of nutrients in stormwater and agricultural runoff. She is also heavily involved in K-12 STEM outreach and community engagement in water and climate initiatives. She regularly publishes in the water resources and the engineering education areas, and will co-author an upcoming book on water resources planning. Her 2014 paper on service-learning experiences in her classroom earned her the best professional paper award in the Zone 1 Regional Conference of the American Society of Engineering Education. Xerox Corp. awards the prize to a professional paper focusing on bringing systemic approaches to increase the representation of women, underprivileged and underrepresented groups in STEM education and careers.
Kulkarni earned her doctorate from Florida State University, where her research focused on physiologically based toxicokinetic modeling of environmental contaminants. She has previously worked in engineering positions at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the industrial wastewater, hazardous waste, and petroleum cleanup sections. She also worked as a research associate and sustainability manager for the Environmental Management Center in India, where she was involved in developing academic educational programs, corporate training, case study development, and developing and writing corporate sustainability policies.