Rao joined ORNL in 1993. He is currently a Corporate Fellow.
He received B. Tech (1982) from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India, M.E. (1984) from School of Automation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and PhD (1988) in computer science from Louisiana State University.
His research areas include high performance and quantum networking, information fusion, machine learning, and federations of science instruments.
He is a Fellow of IEEE, and received 2005 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award and 2014 R&D 100 Award.