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University of Texas professor gets top US chemistry award

New York, Feb 21 (IANS) Purnendu Dasgupta, a Jenkins Garrett professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education.

The national award recognizes a scientist, who has enhanced the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching analytical chemistry.

“I am especially honored by this award. I have been recognized for some research accomplishments or other in the past but this one recognizes for the first time my commitment to and love for teaching and that is why it is so gratifying,” Dasgupta said.

“I am a third generation university teacher. So, much of this honor I can credit to my father and grandfather, I am merely carrying on that tradition,” he added.

As the recipient of the award, Dasgupta will receive a plaque and cash prize. He will also attend the ACS national conference in August in Boston, where he will address and participate in an awards symposium on education in analytical chemistry.

UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari said Dasgupta’s newest honor demonstrates the high quality of university faculty as exceptional models for advanced research and educational excellence.

“Dr. Dasgupta is remarkably accomplished, and his work in analytical chemistry addresses some of the most critical issues in our world,” President Karbhari said.

Dasgupta’s research area includes methods for environmentally-friendly analysis of arsenic in drinking water, rapid analysis of trace heavy metals in the atmosphere, iodine nutrition in women and infants and the role of the chemical perchlorate, and the development of a NASA-funded ion chromatograph for testing extraterrestrial soil, such as on a trip to Mars.

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