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WVU engineer wins third R&D 100 award

A portrait of Debangsu Bhattacharyya

Debangsu Bhattacharyya, GE Plastics Professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, has recently been awarded the R&D 100 award for the third time. (WVU Photo/Paige Nesbit)

A novel modeling and optimization framework intended to support the United States energy industry developed in part by a West Virginia University engineer has received global recognition for its capabilities to address the nation’s need for clean energy reliably and efficiently.


Debangsu Bhattacharyya, GE Plastics Professor of chemical and biomedical engineering in the Statler College, as part of the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Institute for Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) team, has won the R&D 100 Award. The awards, known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year as determined by a panel selected by “R&D Magazine.”

IDAES was formed in 2016 to develop new advanced process systems engineering capabilities to improve the efficiency and reliability of the existing fleets and accelerate the development of a broad range of advanced energy systems that can provide electric power that is reliable, affordable, and clean.

The research team won the award under the software and services category for their new state-of-the-art computational platform. The novel software developed by the researchers is a next-generation process systems engineering software that is readily available for public download.

According to Bhattacharyya, the platform can be used by process companies, technology developers, academic researchers and the governmental research organizations for design and optimization of a broad range of chemical, energy and utility systems, enabling their rapid scaleup and maximizing their economics while minimizing their environmental footprint and simultaneously addressing the nation’s energy needs.

The award recognizes the U.S. Department of Energy’s IDAES, where WVU is one of the leading contributors. Led by NETL, IDAES is a collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, WVU, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders.

“I am truly excited to be a part of the IDAES team that won this prestigious award,” Bhattacharyya said. “I am proud of being able to work with such a wonderful team of engineers and scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise that have been contributing to the development of this software over the past several years. I am also proud of the contributions made by our graduate students and the post-doctoral fellow that are working as part of the IDAES team.”

Since its release in March 2019, IDAES already boasts thousands of downloads and an active, growing global user community from multiple industries. The open-source integrated platform is available form GitHub.

“I am confident that researchers, technology developers and other stakeholders in the area of process systems engineering will be greatly benefited from this powerful software,” Bhattacharyya said.

The RD 100 Awards span industry, academia and government-sponsored research organizations. The winners were announced during a virtual webinar conference series. This is the fifth RD 100 Award won by researchers at WVU since 2011 and Bhattacharyya’s third time accepting the award.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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