Abhijit Bhattacharya earned his BSc in Earth Sciences (1976) and MSc in Applied Geology (1978) from the Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. He completed his PhD (1984) from the same Department under the supervision of Professor AB Mukherjee. He did his post-doctoral research in association with Sisir K Sen in the Department, and continued to work on mineralogic thermo-barometry with Michael M Raith at the University of Bonn, Germany. On returning to India, he joined IIT Kharagpur as Lecturer (1988) and became Professor in 2002.
Academic and Research Achievements: Bhattacharya initiated teaching programmes that emphasized the role of quantification of metamorphic and magmatic variables of rock formation based on thermodynamic modelling mineral-fluid-melt systems. His association with Professor Raith led him to switch over to field-oriented problems relating to the interplay of plutonism and orogeny with emphasis on the Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt. He has worked extensively on metamorphic complexes of Eastern India combining results of lithologic-structural mapping, metamorphic phase equilibria analyses, igneous petrogenesis, deformation microstructural analysis, and monazite chronometry to address Proterozoic/Early Cambrian craton-mobile belt amalgamation processes in the Eastern Ghats Belt; the Shillong-Meghalaya Gneiss Complex; the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt, and the Chottanagpur Gneiss Complex. He has published about 45 research articles in peer reviewed journals and mentored a large number of students including 7 PhDs.
Other Contributions: Bhattacharya has established an Electronprobe Microanalyzer National Facility at IIT Kharagpur sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology under the IRHPA programme centered on time scales of orogenic processes on selected crustal domains of India. He was Chairman of IUGS - SCL joint National Committee (2003-06).
Awards and Honours: Bhattacharya was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (1986). He was awarded the National Mineral Award (2009).