Pushkar Ghanekar

West Lafayette, IN · pghan-remove-eka@purdue.edu

Data aesthete at heart, I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, advised by Jeffrey P. Greeley. Understanding molecular-level behavior of the catalyst through data and science is at the heart of my Ph.D. research.

To date, I have been fortunate to be involved in collaborations across industry-academia in India and USA, wherein I used data to pursue a narrative thread and unravel a rich tapestry of information and distill key insights as simple and actionable goals.

Besides research, I love to teach and contribute to improving scientific literacy. Currently, I am involved in developing a data science + machine learning crash course for the incoming summer cohort of REU (Research Experience for Undergraduate).

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking (link to some latest experiments), gaming, diving deep in arcane internet rabbit holes, reading philosophy, and going on longer-than-necessary bike rides.

I maintain a Data Science blog where I document tips, code, and helpful resources I have accumulated so far.

Journal article - Promoting a Safe Laboratory Environment Using the Reactive Hazard Evaluation and Analysis Compilation Tools

Reactive Hazards Evaluation Analysis and Compilation Tool (RHEACT) helps identify likely shazards when planning lab-scale experiments.

March 2021

Journal article - Catalysis at Metal/Oxide Interfaces: Water Gas Shift at Pt/MgO Boundaries

Developing multi-component catalyst model to simulate the metal/oxide interface as an active site for water-gas shift reaction.

April 2020

Journal article - Electronic and Structural modification of Pt-V alloy and its consequences for Propane Dehydrogenation Catalysis

Electronic characterization of the Pt-V alloy phase for propane dehydrogenation using theory and experiments to understand the factors influencing the reaction selectivity and catalyst stability.

January 2020


Graduate Research Assistant

Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

  • Develop atomic-scale computational models and reactor simulations through a combination of chemistry, physics and machine-learning to model complex interplay of the catalyst, reactants, and reaction environment.
  • Design and develop tools that streamline catalyst modeling workflows.
  • Collaborate with research groups and industry partners (closed-loop feedback) to identify descriptors and predict reactivity trends.

August 2016 - Present

Chemometric & AI Intern

Dow Chemical Company (Lake Jackson, TX)

Research and Development intern in Chemometric & AI (M&E) and Cheminformatics (Core R&D) department.

  • Developed and deployed ML model for molecular discovery. Scaled-up model inference capabilities resulting 30-fold improvement in compute time, increasing capability to screen potential molecules from millions to billions. Benchmarked state-of-the-art chemistry-based deep-learning models for ligand design. Collaborated with Business R&D to validate model predictions.
  • Performed multivariate historical data analysis to troubleshoot complex manufacturing problems in collaboration with plant experts. Proposed key variables driving the manufacturing process upsets to detect anomaly at least 12 hours in advance, improving plant reliability & safety.

June 2020 - August 2020

Process Engineering Intern

Black & Veatch (Mumbai, India)

Worked as Process Engineering intern for the Oil & Gas sector. Worked on following projects:

  • Designing and optimisation of proprietary LNG liquefaction processes
  • Unit Operation design and life-cycle analysis.

May 2015 - July 2015

Technical Head @ Vortex 2014

Institute of Chemical Technology (Mumbai, India)

Responsible for developing and managing the festival online registration and landing portal. Lead designing of promotion and publicity material. Lead organizer of IDP (Industry Defined Problem), one of the primary events of the festival with approximate audience of 1000.

May 2014 - July 2015

Formulation R&D Intern

Abhinandan Rasayan Pvt. Ltd. (Mumbai, India)

Worked in the manufacturing and formulation department. Handled following projects:

  • Mechanical design of chemical equipment.
  • Process development for production of APIs (collaborated with the R&D dept.)

May 2014 - July 2014

Research & Development Intern

Hetero Drugs Ltd. (Hyderabad, India)

Worked as an intern in the manufacturing (R&D) and distribution (supply-chain) facility. Main project was on scaling up manufacturing protocols for an API

June 2013 - August 2013

Graphic Design Lead @ Freshers 2012

Institute of Chemical Technology (Mumbai, India)

In charge of designing merchandise and promotional media for the festival

Dec 2012 - Jun 2013


Purdue University

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering
Bill Murray CISTAR Fellow

Thesis topic: Structural and Kinetic Modeling of Heterogeneous Catalysts Using First-Principles and Machine Learning

2016 - Present

Insitute Of Chemical Technology (ICT)

B.E. Chemical Engineering

2012 - 2016

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan International School

High School

2000 - 2010
Nifty tech tag lists from Wouter Beeftink