Global Seminar Spotlight: Ankit Chandra

Ankit Chandra just successfully defended his thesis on water-energy-food linkages in smallholder irrigation.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Global Seminar Spotlight: Ankit Chandra

This is a continuation of our "IANR is Global" series, which highlights the many ways internationalization is woven through the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources: through research collaboration, government and private industry partnerships, extension work, student educational experiences and the IANR community from around the world.  

This edition is specifically focused on the many global voices we have on campus who will be sharing their expertise through seminars during spring semester 2020 and beyond. Last week, graduate student Ankit Chandra successfully defended his thesis entitled "Water-Energy-Food Linkages in shared smallholder irrigation scheme." Learn more about his work and check out the slides from his defense here. We appreciate the expertise we are fortunate to have from all over the world, as shown by their many and varied contributions to the work of the university and our continued mission to create a globally engaged institution. To this end, we want to help our campus community get to know each other (and the world) more, starting with these experts. 

Where is your hometown? Where did you receive your education?

I am from Gaya, which is a small city in the northern part of India. I received my B.S. degree from Banaras Hindu University, India.

Tell us a little about your path to where you are now.

After I completed my B.S., I started an ag-tech start-up (Farmanze) in India, which solved grassroot-level farmers' problems related to ag mechanization, ag inputs, and marketing access. I also served as a Project Manager at another start-up (DeHaat), where I worked on digitization and IoT in agriculture before coming to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My interest in the water-energy-food nexus and irrigation business models brought me to UNL for an M.S. degree in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering. I am currently working on a techno-economic analysis of shared mechanized irrigation for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What led you to your interest in studying internationally, or your current research topics?

My interest in working with developing countries and addressing the current and future challenges of the real world in the agriculture water and energy sector led to my current research in Rwanda.

What is something people don’t know (or that you wish they knew) about where you’re from?

Gaya is a holy city and a tourist place where Lord Gautam Buddha (spiritual leader and founder of Buddhism) attained his enlightenment while meditating under a tree.

Why is it important for institutions like the University of Nebraska to have faculty, staff, and students from or with experience from different parts of the world?

Having faculty, staff, and students from different parts of the world brings a unique set of culture-based experience, skills, and knowledge to UNL. It is imperative to look at science from a global perspective, as it not only helps develop innovative solutions for a broader group on this planet, but will also help address the diversity and depth of real-world problems.

What is one piece of advice you would share with students?

What I follow in my life is and would like to share with other students is- 'Love what you do and do what you love.' I have personally experienced it as a great practice to achieve my goals. 

We encourage the campus community to explore Ankit’s thesis research and learn more about his work in the food-water-energy nexus in the agribusiness startup scene and beyond!  


Are you giving a seminar in 2020 (or the future) and have an international element to your work, studies or background you'd like to see highlighted? Contact Brianne Wolf at