Sumanta Acharya Appointed as Chair and Professor Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

S-Acharya_web200.jpgSumanta Acharya has been appointed as Department Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering effective August 15, 2016. Acharya comes to Illinois Institute of Technology Armour College of Engineering from the University of Memphis, where he was Department Chair and Ring Companies Endowed Chair, Mechanical Engineering. From 2010-2014, he was at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Program Director, Thermal Transport, Division of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Transport (CBET).

Acharya earned his Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He then attended the University of Minnesota, where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He started teaching at Louisiana State University (LSU) as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and was continuously promoted throughout the years to Emeritus Professor, before joining the University of Memphis in 2014. Acharya has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota, Indian Institute of Technology, and the Imperial College, London.

During his professional career at LSU, Acharya developed a strong research program focused in several energy related areas with a primary focus on land-based gas turbines for energy generation and propulsion. His research program encompasses both experimental and computational work with extensive contributions in the areas of computational methods and parallel computing, gas turbine heat transfer, gas turbine combustion, and several related are to thermal systems.

Research funding for this work has come from a variety of federal, private, and state sources, and has exceeded $25 million. These research capabilities resulted in the establishment of the Turbine Innovation and Energy Research (TIER) Center at LSU, which was approved by the State of Louisiana. Acharya served as the Director of TIER Center since its inception in 2003 until 2014. The focus of the center continues to be clean energy and propulsion. Acharya has published nearly 200 archival journal articles and book chapters, and has presented over 230 papers in national and international conferences.

In recognition of his research, Acharya was awarded the prestigious ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award in the Science category in 2011, the AIChE 2014 Donald Q Kern Award for significant achievements in heat transfer, and the 2016 AIAA Thermophysics Award for significant accomplishments in the field of Thermophysics. He was also awarded the 75th Anniversary Heat Transfer Division Medal for sustained contributions and service to the heat transfer community.

Acharya is an active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He has served as Chair of the ASME K-2 Committee on Computational Heath Transfer and, the Chair of the Membership Development Executive Committee for the ASME Heath Transfer Division. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Heat Transfer Division, and chairs the ASME Emerging Technology Committee.  Also, he has served as the Associate Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology for two terms (six years) and as the Associate Technical Editor of ASME Journal of Heat Transfer for one term. In AIAA, he has previously served as a member of the technical committee on terrestrial energy.