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Supriyo Datta

Purdue professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

by Judith Barra Austin
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Purdue professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

Author: Judith Barra Austin
Magazine Section: Our People, Our Culture
College or School: CoE
Article Type: Issue Feature
Feature Intro: The National Academy of Engineering has elected Supriyo Datta, the Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, into its society.
The National Academy of Engineering has elected a Purdue engineering professor into its society.

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,” says Leah Jamieson, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and a 2005 academy inductee. “This is a well-deserved honor for Professor 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.