The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Surita R. Bhatia, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor, Department of Chemistry, to its College of Fellows.
Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice, or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”
“Surita’s commitment to excellence in science and engineering is manifest every day, “said Nicole S. Sampson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and distinguished professor of Chemistry. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with her on so many different levels: university administrator, departmental colleague, and scientific collaborator. My deepest congratulations to Surita on this well-deserved honor.”
Dr. Bhatia was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “impactful work on the nanostructure and mechanics of soft biomaterials, and advocacy for women and underrepresented groups in engineering.”
As a result of health concerns, AIMBE’s annual meeting and induction ceremony scheduled for March 29-30, 2020, was cancelled. Under special procedures, Dr. Bhatia was remotely inducted along with 156 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2020.
Dr. Bhatia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and her PhD from Princeton University, both in Chemical Engineering, followed by postdoctoral training at the Rhodia/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Complex Fluids Laboratory. She has worked in public higher education for two decades, joining Stony Brook University in 2012 as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry with a joint position as a Staff Scientist with the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Bhatia served as Vice Chair for Research and Facilities in the Department of Chemistry before her current role as Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs for the campus.
Dr. Bhatia’s research program focuses on structure, assembly, and rheological properties of polymeric gels, soft biomaterials, and nanoparticle dispersions. Exclusive of center grants, she has been PI or Co-PI on grants totaling $16 million from NSF, NIH, the Department of Energy, philanthropic foundations, and private industry; including a recently awarded $3M NSF NRT training grant. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Dupont Young Professor Award, a 3M Corporation Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and a 2018 AIChE Women’s Initiatives Committee (WIC) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Chemical Engineering. Dr. Bhatia also has strong interests in mentoring, engineering education, and diversity in STEM fields. In this regard, she has served as PI on three NSF REU projects, joint-PI on NIH IMSD and NIH PREP programs for underrepresented minority students in the biomedical sciences, and is a recipient of the national AIChE WIC Mentorship Excellence Award.
AIMBE Fellows are among the most distinguished medical and biological engineers including 3 Nobel Prize laureates, 18 Fellows having received the Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation, and 173 also inducted to the National Academy of Engineering, 84 inducted to the National Academy of Medicine and 37 inducted to the National Academy of Sciences.