Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma
The 2024 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma for his outstanding contributions in the use of satellite geodesy for Earth system science.
Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma is an exemplar of an outstanding early career researcher and one of the experts on satellite geodesy in the Global South. First and foremost is the breadth, quality and reach of his research covering topics from ice sheet mass balance, solid Earth deformation, the sea level budget, statistical inference in geoscience, water resources, and fundamentals of geodesy. He has, for example, tackled long-standing and fundamental issues in geodesy and climate science such as the treatment of glacial isostatic adjustment in the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, missing terms in the sea level budget and the question ‘can we close the terrestrial water storage (TWS) budget’: one of 23 Grand Challenges in hydrology. Furthermore, he developed new and systematic methods to cope with signal attenuation and leakage in the gravity solutions of GRACE.
Vishwakarma is a keen and active advocate for open science and for the use of geodesy in Earth system science. The latter is demonstrated by the wide range of Earth system science topics he has tackled. Not only are his publications open access but the source code and data sets are provided as well. Recently he developed an open-source python-based GRACE processing toolbox to promote the use of GRACE products for students and researchers with no access to proprietary software and is, therefore, working hard to ‘democratise’ the use of complex geodetic data sets. Finally, there is very strong evidence for Vishwakarma’s international reputation and research excellence. He was an Invited Panelist for a NASA grant panel in Washington DC and has given more than ten invited talks in various institutes across the world. He was assessed in the top 1% of the applicants for a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2019, which typically attracts the best European and international early career researchers.
In conclusion, Bramha Vishwakarma is an outstanding early career researcher, delivering exciting, world-class, and societally important research. Finally, Vishwakarma’s contributions to networking and community-building activities within the geodetic and climate communities are very notable. He is an active science communicator, has been part of the EGU Climate Division Early Career Scientist team, and has acted as (co-)convener of EGU sessions and as Outstanding Student and Phd candidate Presentation (OSPP) judge.