Shamik CHOWDHURY, PhD in Environmental Engineering (India)

Shamik Chowdhury’s interdisciplinary research combines urban sustainability, resource efficiency, cleaner production and eco-innovation. His objective is to create green technologies based on renewable feedstocks in order to promote more sustainable city life.

Current position: Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India

Research focus: green synthesis of 2D graphene nanosheets and their self-assembly into advanced 3D macrostructures for sustainable urban development

As our earth becomes increasingly urban, cities and their inhabitants must foster more sustainable stewardship of the planet’s natural resources. In his doctoral research, Chowdhury focuses on the development and application of novel 3D graphene monoliths (GMs) to promote economically viable green technologies. His aim is to improve the quality of urban living through the application of 3D GMs in smart devices such as ultra-efficient solar panels, cost-effective batteries and energy-efficient lighting.

One of his major accomplishments is the production of high quality graphene in large quantities from sustainable precursors, i.e., empty fruit bunches (EFB) of oil palm. Utilizing EFB biomass as a feedstock to mass-produce graphene has the potential to solve the waste disposal crisis in oil palm growing countries with potential revenue benefits.

Chowdhury holds a BTech and MTech in biotechnology and is currently a PhD student in environmental engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). For his scientific achievements, he has received numerous awards including the Sustainable Technology Award from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (Singapore) in 2015 for his research on carbon capture using innovative absorbents. He was also granted the President’s Graduate Fellowship by NUS for his doctoral study and research. During his academic career, he has written and reviewed a number of manuscripts for several impactful journals and has presented papers at various international conferences. Working as a teaching assistant at NUS, he strives to motivate his students ‘to integrate newly acquired knowledge and skills into their lives while creating a positive impact on society and eventually, the planet as a whole.’

The jury was impressed by Chowdhury’s innovative, cross-disciplinary approach to advancing sustainability in urban cities. The jury valued how the 3D GMs can offer competent solutions to problems of societal concern.