Sohini Bhattacharyya headshot

WEBSITE(S)| Ajayan Research Group

Hailing from a family of academicians, I have been committed to pursuing a career in academia driven by a deep passion towards scientific research, teaching and mentorship ever since I can remember. I understand that as a faculty member, while the freedom to pursue independent research is liberating, it also comes with the immense responsibility associated with the ability to mold young minds and shape their thinking. It is a career that is closely associated with personal fulfillment as well as social contribution. The ability to design and work on scientific problems independently is intellectually stimulating as well as challenging. I believe the role of a faculty will provide me with a platform to explore complex research problems at the juncture of materials science and chemistry and seek answers to critical global problems through rigorous research. It will also allow me to have continuous intellectual growth by interacting with peers from diverse backgrounds to engage in vibrant intellectual exchanges, and actively taking part in interdisciplinary research that transcends the realms of traditional disciplinary boundaries. My chosen field of work, i.e., the design and development of materials for energy and environmental sustainability, is extremely relevant and deals with the accessibility of critical resources for all. My role as a faculty member will also provide me with the opportunity to teach and mentor bright young minds and inculcate out of the box thinking, scientific temper and curiosity in them. As a teacher, it would be my foremost aim to communicate the fundamental concepts and knowledge to my students in a clear, coherent and articulate manner, while also providing them a fearless judgement free platform to express their opinions and questions to instill critical thinking. Through my mentorship and teaching, I will also remain dedicated to reducing the gender gap in STEM and issues regarding accessibility to education for people with diverse backgrounds and will uphold the principles of inclusive education at all steps. I am also a strong believer in giving back to society and have actively participated in several outreach activities in the past and plan on doing so throughout my career. As a woman of color, I also feel compelled to promote more women of diverse backgrounds in STEM fields and ensure their success. Hence academia provides an opportunity to make an impact on society in terms of my research, as well as through teaching and mentorship. Through research, teaching, and the dissemination of knowledge, I can contribute to solving real world problems, advancing scientific understanding, and driving positive change. The opportunity to shape minds, inspire future generations, and contribute to the betterment of society is a profound motivator that drives me to pursue academia and seek a tenure track faculty position.

Research Areas

My research focus lies in the design and synthesis of materials for energy and environmental sustainability. During my PhD, I worked on metal-organic frameworks with applications in gas storage and separation, catalysis and water purification. Currently my research is focused on developing sustainable and economically viable pathways for recycling Lithium-ion batteries (LiB). The move towards net-zero carbon emission economy has led to a significant increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). However, the supply chain of the key elements in LiBs, such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt, is a concern due to limited reserves and geopolitical issues. Additionally, the disposal of LiB waste poses environmental risks. Hence the development of efficient methods of LiB recycling which reduce e-waste, while establishing a circular economy by recovering expensive elements from spent batteries, is of utmost importance. Additionally, I am also interested in developing inorganic-organic hybrid materials for purification of water by removal of contaminants, e.g., heavy metals, microplastics and organic effluents.


PhD in Materials Science, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India

Master of Science (MS) in Materials Sciences from Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India.

B.Sc (Honours) in Chemistry, Presidency College, Kolkata India

Honors & Awards

Outstanding Reviewer Award, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2023

Rice University Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rice University 2021-2023

Royal Society Oral Presentation Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019

INSPIRE Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, 2015-2020

Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship, University Grants Commission, Government of India, 2012-2014

INSPIRE Scholarship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, 2009-2012


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