UA Little Rock graduate dean accepts new post

Dr. Abhijit Bhattacharyya will be leaving his position as interim vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at UA Little Rock to become the inaugural dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Arkansas State University.

His new position becomes effective July 1, 2019.

“Dr. Bhattacharyya has served our campus community with distinction and grace,” said Christina S. Drale, interim executive vice chancellor and provost. “He has been a highly valued leader, always ready to collaborate and problem-solve, and always ready to help others in need. I will miss his good counsel as a member of the provost’s leadership team, but I know that this new deanship is an exceptional opportunity for him. I am confident that he will embrace the challenge and thrive.”

Bhattacharyya has worked at UA Little Rock for the past 17 years. He joined the university in 2002 as an associate professor in the Department of Applied Science. He has since served in several administrative roles including graduate coordinator of the Applied Science Graduate Program (2006-2010), associate dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (2011-2014 and 2015-2016), interim dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (2015), and interim vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School (2016-2019).

He has also managed the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Compliance, the TechLaunch Office, and the Machine and Electronics Shop of UA Little Rock.  The Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences and the Emerging Analytics Center are under his purview as well.

During his time at UA Little Rock, Bhattacharyya played an important role in the administration of a joint graduate program between UA Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in bioinformatics and served as UA Little Rock’s representative to the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority’s Science Advisory Committee. Currently, he serves as UA Little Rock’s representative on the Science Advisory Committee of the Science and Technology Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

“I consider it a very humbling moment and an incredible privilege to begin my service at A-State as the inaugural dean of the newly minted College of Engineering and Computer Science,” Bhattacharyya said. “We will take full advantage of the birth of the new college at a time when manufacturing and industrial activity in the upper Delta region are on a growth streak … Above all, I am truly indebted to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where I spent a wonderful 18 years and my new institution, Arkansas State University, for allowing me to be part of the beautiful Natural State’s journey into the future.”

Bhattacharyya’s research specialties include the emerging fields of smart materials and thin films, with numerous journal articles and peer-reviewed conference papers in the field. His research also includes work in composite materials, shape memory alloys, piezoelectric materials, thin films, microfluidics and hydrogen storage. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers named him an ASME Fellow in November 2014.

Prior to Little Rock, Bhattacharyya served as a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He earned a master’s degree in mechanics and materials science and a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering, both from Rutgers University. He earned his bachelor’s degree came from Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur in his native India.

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