Dist Prof Debes Bhattacharyya

BE (Mechanical Engineering), ME (Mechanical Engineering), PhD and Honorary (honoris causa) Doctor of Engineering


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. In 2016, he was felicitated as the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Professor by SRM University in Chennai, India. He also held an Adjunct Professor position at Washington State University, Pullman, USA from 2011 to 2017. 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 with more recent emphasis being on the development of fire retardant additives and fire dynamics simulation. 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. He has delivered > 70 keynote/plenary/invited lectures at international conferences. He is currently the Editor (2) and Associate Editor (1) of three international journals and has served/is serving on the Editorial Advisory Boards of several journals. Prof. Bhattacharyya has more than 500 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 (currently ENGNZ). He is a life member of ASME. For his international academic achievements he has been awarded an honorary ‘Doctor of Engineering’ (honoris causa) by the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. In 2012, he was awarded by ENGNZ the Supreme Technical (John Cranko) Award for his professional contributions. He is a member of the Executive Council and past President of the Asian-Australasian Association of Composite Materials. He has done extensive consulting in New Zealand and overseas, and has chaired or served on many panels in New Zealand and Australia. He has been involved in the supervision of about 120 postgraduate students including >65 PhD candidates. He has overseen 22 postdoctoral fellows/research associates. He has served as the Reviewer/Assessor for more than 35 international journals and organisations in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Hong Kong, Poland, Singapore & NZ. He has been the founding Director of Centre for Advance Composite Materials (CACM) until recently and has raised as The Principal Investigator about $47M from both private and public sources in NZ and overseas – has established collaborative partnerships with several organisations in Australia, Canada, China, Germany and the US. He served on three government panels (one as the Chair and two as a Member) in Australia to evaluate the performances of major research centres.

In addition the following paragraph gives a short list of some of the honours/awards he has received:

  • Teaching Excellence Award (sustained postgraduate supervision and teaching) from the Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland (2013)
  • Selected as an International Expert for prestigious Brain Korea 21+ program in advanced/nano-materials area (2014 – 19)
  • “Pravasi Gold Medal” awarded at a ceremony held in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. (2015) for research and professional achievements
  • “Glory of India” award from the Indian International Friendship Society and the Govt. of India in New Delhi (January 2012);
  • “Nav Rattan” (Nine Jewels) award for ‘Outstanding Services, Achievements and Contributions’, presented at the 30th International Congress of Non-resident Indians in New Delhi (January 2011);
  • “Pravasi Achievers Gold Medal” at the House of Lords, London – in recognition of achievements and contributions in the respective fields (September 2010);
  • “Hind Rattan” (Jewel of India) award for academic and social achievements, presented at the 29th International Congress of Non-resident Indians, New Delhi (January 2010);
  • “Glory of Bengal” award for academic achievements by a non-resident Bengali, given in Doha, Qatar (January 2010)

On the social front, Debes has always been very active by holding various positions on the executive committees of different community organisations and was one of the four trustees of ‘Children’s Welfare Trust’ that raised thousands of dollars for the Starship Children’s Hospital Trust in Auckland. For years he has been the Vice-President of Auckland Vedanta Society, a philosophical/educational organisation. Recently he has assumed the role of Chairman of the Advisory Panel for a newly established tertiary organisation approved by NZQA) dealing with hospitality and language education. Debes has also been intimately involved with the ethnic communities and has actively participated in many activities organised by the NZ Government and Auckland City. In his spare time, Debes has a strong interest in music, theatre and film, participating in a number of stage performances and has acted in a New Zealand film (‘Rubi and Rata’ – shown in Cannes, India and Toronto film festivals).

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

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  • Mohan, V. B., Jayaraman, K., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area analysis of different graphene materials: A comparison to their structural regularity and electrical properties. SOLID STATE COMMUNICATIONS, 32010.1016/j.ssc.2020.114004
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Krishnan Jayaraman
  • Muthuvel, B., Bhattacharyya, D., & Bickerton, S. (2020). Development of innovative flow visualisation methods to investigate the stages of Wet Compression Moulding (WCM) process. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 10.1088/1757-899X/912/5/052013
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Bickerton
  • Jung, D., Lee, H., Kim, N. K., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Fire and mechanical properties of polymeric composites with keratin-based flame retardants. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 10.1088/1757-899X/912/5/052032
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nam Kyeun Kim
  • Lee, H., Kim, N. K., Jung, D., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Flammability characteristics and mechanical properties of casein based polymeric composites. Polymers, 12 (9).10.3390/POLYM12092078
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nam Kyeun Kim
  • Kurian, A. S., Souri, H., Mohan, V. B., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Highly stretchable strain sensors based on polypyrrole-silicone rubber composites for human motion detection. SENSORS AND ACTUATORS A-PHYSICAL, 31210.1016/j.sna.2020.112131
  • Mohan, V. B., Haalboom, M., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Novel dispersion analysis and selective quantification of particulate components in graphenenanoplatelets-polymer-polymerhybrid composites. JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 137 (42)10.1002/app.49296
  • Chanda, A., Dutta, S., & Bhattacharyya, D. (2020). Shape conformance via spring-back control during thermo-forming of veneer plywood into a channel section. MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING PROCESSES10.1080/10426914.2020.1740254
  • Kim, N. K., Mao, N., Lin, R., Bhattacharyya, D., van Loosdrecht, M. C. M., & Lin, Y. (2020). Flame retardant property of flax fabrics coated by extracellular polymeric substances recovered from both activated sludge and aerobic granular sludge. Water research, 17010.1016/j.watres.2019.115344
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nam Kyeun Kim, Richard Lin

Contact details

Primary office location

BUILDING 903 - Bldg 903
Level 2, Room 202
New Zealand