Interim Vice Provost of Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, Global Network Professor of Engineering, Engineering, NYU

Sunil Kumar

Interim Vice Provost of Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, Global Network Professor of Engineering, Engineering

Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi


Sunil Kumar is a mechanical engineer whose scholarly research focuses on the transport of light and thermal radiation, specifically examining how lasers interact with surfaces and scattering media, fire dynamics, thermal-fluid analysis, and applied mathematics. He came to NYUAD from Polytechnic Institute of New York University (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering), where he was Graduate Dean and Associate Provost, and former head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Manufacturing Engineering. He has also taught at the University of California Berkeley, was a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, and a visiting scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.  Kumar’s publications include approximately 60 journal articles, over 200 conference papers, one book, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Handbook for Design and Implementation, and research monographs: “Nanotechnologies for the Life Sciences” and “Modeling and Simulation-Based Life Cycle Engineering.” Kumar is research leader for NYU's Fire Research efforts, including the Advanced Learning Through Integrated Visual Environments (ALIVE) project, which educates, trains, and disseminates critical information to both career and volunteer firefighters via a unique game-based computer program.  Since its inception, ALIVE has been adopted as a training tool by more than 100 fire departments that encompass more than 25,000 firefighters, including those from New York City and Chicago—two of the largest departments in the United States. ALIVE is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Kumar holds a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; a M.S. and M.A. from the State University of New York, Buffalo; and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Highlighted Publications

Highlighted Grants and Patents


  • Optical Sensor for Measuring Thin Film Deposition in Real Time,
    (US Patent 7,630,590, Dec 8, 2009 (previously 2009/0116782))


  • Residential Fire Dynamics
    Department of Homeland Security (2012 to 2013)
  • Research Diffusion for Fire Fighter Safety
    Department of Homeland Security (2010-2013)

View all Grants and Patents