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Nitheshnirmal Sadhasivam

IGC FELLOW    |   Global Change Center

Ph.D. Student  •  Geosciences

Advisors : Dr. Susanna Werth and Dr. Manoochehr Shirzaei

Research Interests: Groundwater resource monitoring using radar remote sensing, poromechanical modelling of groundwater, satellite gravimetry, subsidence monitoring, geohazards, groundwater level prediction. • Google Scholar  •  Twitter  •  Website 

IGC Fellow

The fascination for learning about Earth surface processes and their interaction led Nithesh to embark on his academic journey in the discipline of Geography at Bharathidasan University in 2014, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. His journey continued at the same institution in India, where he pursued a master’s degree in Geography. He has received summer research fellowships from the Indian Academy of Sciences for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018). During his master’s, he visited the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing at Dehradun and worked on the identification of soil erosion-prone regions in watersheds for his thesis, culminating in a successful graduation in 2019.

In 2021, he further embarked on his next academic journey in Europe, where he commenced his second master’s in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation with a specialization in Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction in the renowned Faculty of ITC at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Nithesh secured the esteemed ITC Excellence Scholarship awarded to students with the best academic track record to pursue his second master’s. He worked on understanding the response of hillslopes to earthquake legacy effect using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar techniques. At the beginning of 2022, Nithesh visited the German Aerospace Centre in Munich to do his internship, where he worked on monitoring the active deformation of the Kadovar volcano using Synthetic Aperture Radar images. During his time in Europe, Nithesh developed a keen interest in Radar remote sensing and its application, sparking a desire to pursue a Ph.D. following his graduation in 2022.

In Spring 2023, Nithesh joined the Geosciences department as a PhD student working with Dr. Susanna Werth and Dr. Manoochehr Shirzaei. His research will focus on quantifying groundwater resources and Geohazard in the Central Valley of California. His tasks involve applying a wide range of concepts from the fields of hydrology, geodesy, geography, geophysics, data science, and statistics. He believes that addressing global challenges, such as declining groundwater resources amidst increasing population and changing climate, necessitates an interdisciplinary approach, and he is thrilled about the opportunity to delve into such matters as an IGC fellow during his time at Virginia Tech.