Purnendu Dasgupta, Indian-American Chemistry Professor Gets Top US Chemistry Award

Purnendu (Sandy) K. Dasgupta

Prof. Purnendu Dasgupta

Purnendu Dasgupta, an Indian American professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the 2015 J. Calvin Giddings Award in chemistry, carrying the trend forward of increasing number of Indians landing in top US honours in the science community.

“I have been recognised for some research accomplishments or other in the past but this one recognises for the first time my commitment to and love for teaching and that is why it is so gratifying,” said Dasgupta who has developed a NASA-funded ion chromatograph for testing extraterrestrial soil, such as on a trip to Mars.

Grandson and son of university teachers, he said, “I am a third generation university teacher. So, much of this honour I can credit to my father and grandfather, I am merely carrying on that tradition.”

The awards ceremony will be held in Boston where Dasgupta will receive a plaque and cash prize and also address and participate in an awards symposium on education in analytical chemistry.

UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari said,”Dr. Dasgupta is remarkably accomplished, and his work in analytical chemistry addresses some of the most critical issues in our world.”

Dasgupta’s research includes methods for environmentally-friendly analysis of arsenic in drinking water, rapid analysis of trace heavy metals in the atmosphere, iodine nutrition in women and infants and the role of the chemical perchlorate.

The national award is given to a scientist, who has enhanced the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching analytical chemistry.

Some of Dasgupta’s areas of accomplishments include novel detection and data transform schemes in chromatography, iodine nutrition of women and infants and the effects of perchlorate thereon, development of iodine and Selenium analyzers, green analysis of arsenic in drinking water,
measurement of cyanide in saliva, blood, and breath towards rapid treatment of cyanide poisoning,
rapid analysis of trace heavy metals in atmospheric aerosol to act as conservative tracers, and absolute Charge detection in solution and its many ramifications.

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