Professor Debes Bhattacharyya is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and has been the founding Director of the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials at the University of Auckland, since 2004. He also holds an Adjunct Professor position at Washington State University, Pullman, USA. Professor Bhattacharyya was the Head of Mechanical Engineering Department from 1999 to early 2005. His research interest includes the mechanics and manufacturing of composite materials. He has held visiting positions at various universities in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and the US, and has been awarded a number of international awards. Prof. Bhattacharyya has more than 450 scientific/technical publications including several edited/authored books and a number of book chapters. He has successfully implemented several international patents. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, NZ and a Distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers NZ (IPENZ).
Professor Bhattacharyya has always been a dedicated teacher introducing, coordinating and teaching multiple courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For his undergraduate teaching he has been on the Dean’s Top Teacher list seven times. He has been involved in the supervision of about 100 postgraduate students including 55 doctoral candidates, many of whom have been very successful in the academic/industrial positions around the world.
Professor Bhattacharyya has successfully inspired a group of researchers and has played the leader’s role in establishing composites research at the University of Auckland. Starting from a modest background he formally established the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) in 2004 with impressive research facilities, which has currently about 50 researchers. Within a reasonably short period of time CACM has received significant national/international recognition with projects coming from NZ, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, UK and USA. More than 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students have done their research at CACM with a significant number of international students completing their degrees.
He was also honoured in 2010 by three prestigious international awards, ‘Hind Rattan’ award from New Delhi, ‘Glory of Bengal’ award from Doha, Qatar and a Gold Medal awarded at the House of Lords, London to ‘celebrate the role of global Indians in international arena’. In January 2011 he was also given the prestigious ‘Nav Rattan’ award at a ceremony in New Delhi for his active involvement in the social front .