Campus News

'Behind the Blue': 2023 Great Teachers Spotlight — Dibakar Bhattacharyya

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association started the Great Teacher Award program in 1961 to honor excellent teaching at the university. There have been more than 300 teachers honored since that first year. Nominations may only be submitted by current students.

To receive the award, a candidate must:

  • Hold the rank of full-time lecturer or above and have been a member of the faculty for the past three years at UK.
  • Have superior knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Have original and innovative classroom presentations.
  • Demonstrate concern for students, both inside and outside the classroom setting.
  • Not have been a recipient of the award for the past 10 years.

A committee of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and a representative from the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa select the recipients based on objective rating and ranking of the eligible nominations submitted.

This episode of "Behind the Blue" spotlights one of the six 2023 Great Teacher Award winners. University of Kentucky Alumni Chair Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering Dibakar Bhattacharyya is also the director of the UK Center of Membrane Sciences. In addition, he is a co-principal investigator of the UK National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program and is renowned for his research on membranes for filtering and producing clean water. Bhattacharyya, universally known as “DB,” has been an educator for more than 50 years at UK.

With its enormous amount of environmental research activity with students and recent extension to virus aerosol decontamination area, UK has received extensive international recognition, and Bhattacharyya’s students have as well. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the North American Membrane Society. He previously won the Great Teacher Award in 1984, 1996 and 2008, and he is the 2021 recipient of the SEC Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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