Kulkarni is a distinguished scientist (Engg. Sci.) of CSIR at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He has made significant contributions to the development and application of mathematical modelling to chemical reaction engineering systems. His contributions include macro-, meso- and microscopic models and AI based formalisms. His work has significant industrial implications. His findings have led to improved advanced manufacturing technologies in terms of on-line process identification, monitoring, control, and other aspects. His awards include: Medal for Young Scientist, INSA; Amar Dye Chem Award; Herdillia Award; SS Bhatnagar Award, CSIR; Chem-Tech CEW Award; and the FICCI Award. He is a member of the Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering.