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Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Ph.D.

  • Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

University Alumni Professor

Research Areas


Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, USA Environmental Engineering, 1966

M.S., Northwestern University, USA Chemical Engineering, 1963

B.S., Jadavpur University, India Chemical Engineering, 1962

"You give me water of any kind, and I know how to treat it and make it drinkable or reusable."

Those are the words of University Alumni Professor of Chemical Engineering Dibakar Bhattacharyya. The director of the University of Kentucky Center of Membrane Sciences is renowned for his research on membranes for filtering and producing clean water. In 2017, Bhattacharyya, universally known as "DB," celebrated 50 years of prolific research at UK.

With its enormous amount of membrane activity, the center has received extensive international recognition, and DB has as well. DB and his research colleague, chemical engineering professor Isabel Escobar, are conference chairs for the 2018 North American Membrane Society Annual Meeting to be hosted by UK this June. This conference draws more than 400 scientists from around the world. "DB is one of the leading authorities in the world on membrane and water research," says colleague Isabel Escobar.

"He has given invited lectures in all continents but Antarctica. His name is known by all doing membrane research as one of the people always on the cutting edge."

Recently, DB has led membrane studies for NSF EPSCoR, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the NSF EAGER program and industry (Southern Co. and Chevron). This research has taken DB around the globe. In 2017 he presented an invited paper at a conference in Portugal. Also, through Australian Research Council funding, he and his students are making advanced graphene oxide membranes with Monash University.

"Research has no boundaries," he says with a grin. 

Research Interests:

Tunable Membranes and Biocatalysis

Water Treatment