Venkat graduated from University of Roorkee in 1987 with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a Doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1996 from Princeton. He worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 1996-1999 as a research scientist in the Laboratory for the Atmospheres. His areas of research interest are catchment hydrology, satellite data validation and assimilation, field experiments, land-atmosphere interactions, satellite data downscaling, vadose zone and water resources.
He is currently Professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and the Environment at the University of Virginia. He has served as Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford University 2006-2007 and 2015-2016 and Program Director for Hydrologic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (2017-2018).
Venkat is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and he has over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 400 presentations and thesis supervisor for 25 graduate students. He is currently is serving as editor for Vadose Zone Journal and the founding editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing in Earth System Science (Springer Journals). He has served on the National Academies Panel for the Decadal Survey of Earth Observations from Space (NASA) and as chair of the planning committee for Groundwater Recharge and Flow: Approaches and Challenges for Monitoring and Modeling Using Remotely Sensed Data (NGA).