Indian Institute of Technology graduate receives prestigious American fellowship

Bharatkumar Suthar, of Sadri, India, has been named a McDonnell International Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. Suthar earned a degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), which is one of 27 premier universities from around the world partnered with Washington University in the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

Suthar, who earned a bachelor of technology in chemical engineering from IITB in 2009, is pursuing a doctorate in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering in Washington University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science.

“We have had several truly excellent graduates of IITB become McDonnell Academy Scholars, and Suthar promises to continue this impressive traditions with us,” says McDonnell International Scholars Academy Director James V. Wertsch, PhD, associate vice chancellor for international affairs and the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

While at IITB, Suthar conceptualized, planned and executed Azeotropy 2008, the symposium of the Department of Chemical Engineering, along with a core team of 18 members.

The symposium’s aim was to bridge the gap between the research work and industrial requirements for more fruitful developments. The symposium provided a common platform for industrial professionals and academicians.

After graduation, he worked as a research assistant at IITB on a project to set up an experiment for advanced process control strategy on a bioreactor. He also designed a web-based interface to make it accessible and controllable from anywhere in the world.

This experiment along with others were part of an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, India, aimed at spreading education to under-resourced colleges through technological advancement in information technologies.

Suthar also worked in a Public Sector Undertaking company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the flagship Indian company in oil and gas exploration and production business.

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is a program for future global leaders to obtain PhD or master’s degrees. Employing an unusual approach, it brings together top scholars from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to pursue world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another.

Key to this are partnerships Washington University has established with top universities and corporations around the world with an eye to increasing opportunities for joint research and global education.

The McDonnell Academy Scholars are expected to be future global leaders. As such, they are provided not only with a rigorous graduate education, but also with cultural and social activities designed to prepare them as leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries and critical international issues.

Academy Ambassador

Once selected for this highly competitive program, each Academy Scholar is matched with a distinguished member of the Washington University faculty who serves as a mentor and also as an Academy “Ambassador” to the university partner from which the Scholar has graduated.

The Academy Ambassador assists the McDonnell Scholar in academic and professional life and travels annually with the Scholar to the partner university to build relationships between the two institutions.

Pratim Biswas, PhD, the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of Washington University’s Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, is Suthar’s faculty mentor-ambassador.

Biswas, one of the world’s leading experts in aerosol science, earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from ITT Bombay, a master’s of science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1981 and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in 1985.

His research interests are in aerosol science and technology, 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.

Biswas has served on several national committees and was the conference chair for the 15th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Aerosol Research, for which he served as president and on its board of directors.

Biswas has had continual interactions with faculty at IIT Bombay, and one of his doctoral graduates is now a faculty member there.

The McDonnell Academy

The McDonnell Academy Scholars receive funding for full tuition and living expenses for the time it takes to get a degree at Washington University. The Academy also provides support for an annual trip back to the Scholar’s alma mater. Many of the Scholars reside in two fully equipped and furnished apartment buildings near campus.

Funding is provided through a sustaining endowment gift from John F. McDonnell, vice chair of WUSTL’s Board of Trustees and retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Additional support comes from 22 multinational corporations, foundations and individual sponsors. Sponsoring corporations also offer internships and on-site educational opportunities for the Academy’s Corporate Fellows.