Prof. Suman Chakraborty of the Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Kharagpur has recently bagged the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for the Engineering Sciences, for the year 2013. This is in recognition of his contributions in the area of Microfluidics (which concerns flow of fluids through tiny channels); an area where he has played a pioneering role in the country.
He is known for a fundamental scientific discovery in Microfluidics that, under certain cases, rough surfaces of tiny channels can help in transmitting water, instead of creating a resistance. Prof. Chakraborty has also made pioneering contributions in several other areas, including the area of liquid to solid phase transformation.
The application areas on which Prof. Chakraborty is presently working, range from cooling of electronic chips and energy conversion by Nanotechnology on one side, and developing low-cost diagnostic and therapeutic tools for medical applications on the other. With the aid of his fundamental scientific discoveries, Prof. Chakraborty has designed painless microneedles for blood glucose monitoring and insulin delivery.
His group has also discovered the manner in which cancer cells can survive and progress across human bodies, thereby providing a clue towards a possible mechanism of inhibiting cancer progression.
Furthermore, his pioneering contributions on low cost medical diagnostics are expected to revolutionising rapid, portable, accurate, and inexpensive medical diagnostics, with very low sample consumption. As a result, it addresses the most challenging proposition of rural India.
The CD-based innovative diagnostic platform and Paper-and-Pencil based diagnostic platform on which his group is currently working may be utilised for inexpensive and rapid detection of several life threatening diseases, and will be unique in India.
Prof. Chakraborty has been involved in a number of international collaborations with various eminent researchers like Prof. Marc Madou of the University of California, Irvine, USA, Prof. Juan Santiago of Stanford University, USA, Prof. Franz Durst of University of Erlangen, Germany, Prof. Kazuyoshi Tsuchiya of Tokai University, Japan, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia of MIT, USA, Prof. Sushanta Mitra of University of Alberta, Canada, Prof. Amiroudine Sakir of University of Bordeaux, France, Dr. Xunli Zhang of University of Southampton, UK, Prof. Sandip Ghosal of the Northwestern University, USA, Prof. Steffen Hardt of the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany, Prof. Nilanjan Chakraborty of Newcastle University, UK, to name a few.
Prof. Chakraborty did his schooling from St. Lawrence High School, Kolkata, undergraduate studies from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Thereafter he joined the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore for his Masters Degree, securing All India Rank 1 in GATE Examination.
Subsequently, he completed his doctoral thesis, under the tutelage of Prof. Pradip Dutta, from the same institute within a record span of about a year.
He joined IIT Kharagpur in 2002. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Science, Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, recipient of the Indo-US Research Fellowship, Scopus Young Scientist Award for high citation of his research in scientific/technical Journals, and Young Scientist/ Young Engineer Awards from various National Academies of Science and Engineering.
He has also been an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and a visiting professor at the Stanford University, USA. He has more than 230 numbers of international journal publications, including 5 in physical review letters, which bear testimony to his dedicated research efforts over the years.