Purdue professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

February 13, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The National Academy of Engineering has elected a Purdue University engineering professor into its society.

Supriyo Datta

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Supriyo Datta, the Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was among the 66 new members and 10 foreign associates elected to the academy this year.

"Election to membership in the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest distinctions that can be bestowed on an engineer," said Leah Jamieson, Purdue's John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and a 2005 academy inductee. "This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Datta and an honor for Purdue and the College of Engineering."

Datta was elected to the academy for his work on quantum transport modeling in nanoscale electronic devices.

He came to Purdue in 1981, and since 1985 he has focused on current flow in nanoscale electronic devices and is known for his contributions to spin electronics and molecular electronics.

This recognition is largely for the approach his group has pioneered for the description of quantum transport, which has been widely adopted in the field of nanoelectronics and is described in his books "Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems" and "Quantum Transport: Atom to Transistor."

Datta is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Physical Society. He has received IEEE technical field awards both for research and graduate teaching. At Purdue he has received the McCoy Award for his contributions to science and has been inducted into the Book of Great Teachers.

In 2011 he received the Procter Prize from Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. The award is given annually for outstanding scientific research and for effectively communicating its significance to scientists from other disciplines.

He is now teaching a set of online courses based on his latest book, "Lessons from Nanoelectronics: A New Perspective on Transport," designed to convey cutting-edge concepts in nanoelectronics to a general audience. These courses are the first to be offered as part of a new initiative, nanoHUB-U, launched this year by Purdue and the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), a $30 million, 10-year initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

Before 1985 he worked in the field of acoustics and received the Centennial Key to the Future Award from IEEE for his contributions. He also received the Terman Award from ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) for his book on surface acoustic wave devices.

Datta earned his bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, in 1975 and his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1979.

With the election of Datta, Purdue now has 22 current and retired faculty members of the National Academy of Engineering.

Three Purdue alumni also elected into the academy this year include:
      * Max William Carbon, a professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at the University of Wisconsin, who earned a bachelor's degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1943 and 1949, respectively.
      * Richard Wilker Korsmeyer, senior research fellow and head of business development and licensing for pharmaceutical sciences at Pfizer Inc., who earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering in 1980 and 1983, respectively.
      * Antonios Georgios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, director of the J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, and director of the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering at Rice University, who earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering in 1985 and 1988, respectively.

The National Academy of Engineering has 2,254 U.S. members and 206 foreign associates who are among the world's most accomplished engineers in academia, business and government. Members are chosen for their contributions to "engineering research, practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Sources: Leah Jamieson, 765-494-5346, lhj@purdue.edu
 Supriyo Datta, 765-494-3511, data@purdue.edu

Related information: National Academies' news release: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=02092012

The National Academies: http://national-academies.org