Professor Bhattacharjee, known by his friends as Subie, earned a B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Washington State University, Pullman, USA in 1988. After two years of post-doctoral work on a NASA project, he joined San Diego State University in 1991 and currently holds Professorship in Mechanical Engineering Department and Adjunct Professorship in Computer Science Department.
Professor Bhattacharjee has been actively involved in research in radiation heat transfer, combustion, computational thermodynamics, and development of software for educational purposes. For his dissertation, he developed a modified two-flux method (Effective Angle Method) for calculating radiative source term and used this model to study two-way coupling between radiation and fluid dynamics in a laminar diffusion flame. Working on a project on jet flow in boundary layers, he came upon a new non-dimensional group that compares a known pressure drop with viscous forces. This number is being used in textbook and literature in connection with electronic cooling.
Throughout his research career, Dr. Bhattacharjee has been interested in uncovering the mechanism of flame spread over solid fuels, especially in a microgravity environment. His work helped establish the dominance of radiation heat transfer in near quiescent environment. He has been a PI and co-PI of several projects funded by NASA. Some of his contributions include: 1. Discovery of the phenomenon that flame over thick fuel bed in a quiescent microgravity environment self-extinguishes irrespective of the oxygen level; 2. Development of a formula for a critical thickness that renders a fuel thick in such an environment; 3. Development of two formulas for flame spread rate, one in the thin limit and one in the thick limit, which are the only flame spread formulas ever developed in the microgravity regime. Several of his experiments on flames over solids have been conducted aboard NASA's Space Shuttles, Sounding Rockets, and Russia's Mir Space Station. One of his recently proposed experiments is currently under design to be conducted in the International Space Station.
Under a current grant from NASA, Prof. Bhattacharjee and his team is building a 10 m tall Flame Tower at SDSU to conduct some fundamental experiments to predict the behavior of flames in a gravity free environment of a spacecraft. These ground based work is in support of the proposed space based experiment. In this work, researchers from Gifu University, Japan, are collaborating with SDSU.
Supported by NSF, Dr. Bhattacharjee has been developing a novel cyber infrastructure for multi-scale approach to thermodynamic data and chemical equilibrium services. Users can now plug in these services and "outsource" the data used in their thermofluids calculations. By simply altering key words such as NASA, NIST, or AB-INITIO, for example, they can change the source of data used in their research applications. Likewise, equilibrium calculations can be integrated into any CFD code written in FORTRAN, MATLAB, or any other language through a relatively new technology called web services. The chemical equilibrium program developed by Dr. Bhattacharjee's group is equally powerful as NASA's benchmark CEA and offers a built-in parallel architecture.
Prof. Bhattacharjee's passion for making thermodynamics easier to master led to the development of a webware (a web based software) called TEST, the Expert System for thermodynamics (www.thremofluids.net), regularly accessed by a huge number of students, professionals and educators from around the world. TEST has been translated to Spanish and Japanese and more than 150 educational institutions currently hold free academic site license to use TEST in their campuses. Several articles and one book have been written about the use of TEST in thermodynamic education. Unsolicited comments on how educators are finding this webware useful come every week from different corners of the world.
Prof. Bhattacharjee has just finished writing a 900 page manuscript for a textbook on engineering thermodynamics to be published by Prentice Hall in Spring 2012. This textbook book breaks away from the traditional spiral approach by using what he calls a layered approach where concepts such as entropy and exergy are introduced early and progressively refined in subsequent chapters. TEST is integrated so that students can use it as a numerical laboratory, verify manual solutions, and pursue "what-if" scenarios.
Winner of Outstanding Faculty Award, Monty Award at SDSU, Most Influential Faculty award, Faculty Friend Award, Outstanding Engineering Educator award, Best Paper award, and ASME Fellow award, Professor Bhattacharjee lives in San Diego and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.