Aug. 7, 2020

Engineering professor receives Fulbright award


Achintya Bezbaruah, NDSU associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Bezbaruah will conduct research and teach at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) at Jaipur as part of a project on Environmental Nanotechnology Research and Education for Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment in Rural India.

“The fellowship will give me an opportunity to work on small community water treatment issues and promote sustainable nanotechnology for everyday use,” Bezbaruah said. “The problems of nitrate, arsenic and fluoride in drinking water are also common in the U.S., more particularly, in small communities. The findings from my research on nano-enabled membrane technologies also will find applications in the U.S.”

Bezbaruah will work on nano-enabled technology development to manage membrane fouling in drinking water reverse osmosis units. He will also conduct lab-based environmental nanotechnology research to remediate drinking water nitrate, arsenic, and fluoride. He will offer educational modules on nanotechnology within MNIT’s existing undergraduate and graduate courses. STEM outreach programs are also planned in local middle and high schools. He also will be coordinating efforts to set up a National Consortium on Arsenic and Fluoride Management and Technology Clearing House in India in collaboration with MNIT and the Government of India.

Bezbaruah will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and India. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 86 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

“This fellowship is giving me an opportunity to serve two countries at the same time,” Bezbaruah said. “I am really looking forward to working with some of my former classmates from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, who are now very successful researchers in my host institution.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit the Fulbright website.

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