Pratim Biswas, PhD, is the new Lucy and Stanley Lopata Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton installed him in a ceremony Monday, Oct. 10, in Whitaker Hall.
Biswas, chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE), is one of the world’s leading experts in aerosol science.
“Pratim is one of my great friends and colleagues,” Wrighton says, “and we’re thrilled with the leadership he is bringing to our Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering.”
Biswas also directs WUSTL’s Aerosol & Air Quality Research Laboratory (aerosols.wustl.edu/aaqrl), which is working to understand the formation of particles from the molecular state so as to prevent the release of unwanted particles from industrial systems and to design nanomaterials for applications in energy and environmental systems.
His research interests in aerosol science and technology are nanoparticle technology, environmental nanotechnology, air quality and pollution control, environmentally benign energy production, and environmental science and engineering. He has published more than 200 papers in his field.
“Pratim’s vision and especially his energy are very important to me and to this school,” says Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, who introduced Biswas. “I am grateful for his leadership, his dedication and his ability as we work to develop the School of Engineering & Applied Science.”
Biswas serves on the steering committee of Washington University’s International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES) and directs the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership (MAGEEP), a partnership of 28 premier universities from around the world that is working to advance energy, environmental and sustainability research and education.
He has been a leader in the development of several major research initiatives, including the $20 million Department of Energy-funded Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC), the $12 million industry-funded Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization, and the $2.5 million National Science Foundation-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.
Biswas is a faculty scholar in the university’s Institute for Public Health, stimulating collaboration between EECE and other schools at Washington University with the goal of improving public health.
He also serves as the ambassador to the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, a partner institution of WUSTL’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy. He interacts frequently with faculty there, several of whom traveled to his installation.
Biswas chaired the 15th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Aerosol Research and the Critical Review Committee of the Air and Waste Management Association. He also has served on the board of directors of the American Association for Aerosol Research and was an associate editor of the Aerosol Science and Technology Journal and a past-president of the American Association for Aerosol Research.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in mechanical engineering, Biswas came to the United States to continue his education. In 1981, he earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 1985 a doctoral degree from the California Institute of Technology.
He joined WUSTL in August 2000 as the inaugural Stifel and Quinette Jens Professor and director of the Environmental Engineering Science Program,
Lucy and Stanley Lopata
Longtime generous supporters of Washington University, Lucy and Stanley Lopata established this distinguished professorship in the School of Engineering & Applied Science in 1996.
Stanley Lopata graduated from Washington University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1935. Founding Carboline Co. in 1946, he built his coating and sealant company from a basement laboratory into a multimillion-dollar business with global reach before selling it to Sun Oil Refining and Marketing Co.
In 1986, he started Lopata Research and Development, which provides seed money for new chemical and technical products for industry. He passed away in 2000.
Lucy Lopata was born in Germany and attended school in Switzerland. For 60 years, she and her husband earned a reputation as two of the most generous and engaged people in the St. Louis area.
Touching the lives of many through her tireless efforts, she helped found the Miriam School for Learning Disabled Children and has directed her volunteer efforts to countless organizations.
From the Butterfly House and the Lopata Garden to the Missouri Botanical Garden or a sculpture garden at the Sheldon, Lucy Lopata has made the St. Louis community stronger in many ways.
Evidence of the Lopatas’ generosity and leadership may be found at Washington University in the endowment of scholarships in the schools, named spaces across campus, two professorships and the annual Lopata Basketball Classic.
In February 2011, Stanley’s Cafe, named after Stanley Lopata, opened in the newly renovated Lopata Hall Gallery. Quatrano took advantage of the occasion to present Lucy Lopata with a Stanley’s Cup, a thermal cup that all incoming engineering freshman received this year as a welcoming gift.