Dr. Saswati Datta

Dr. Saswati Datta

Assistant Professor

Profile Summary

Dr. Saswati Datta is a highly accomplished professor and esteemed researcher in the field of Geotechnical Engineering. She completed her BE in Civil Engineering from IIEST, Shibpur, followed by an MTech and PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. With a career spanning about 15 years, she has been actively involved in teaching, research, consulting, and administration. Dr. Datta currently holds the position of Program Leader and MTech Coordinator and is actively engaged in internationalization, student chapters, and outreach activities within her domain. She is a distinguished member of various professional bodies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Indian Geotechnical Society, and The Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI). Dr. Datta's academic journey is well-decorated with several honours and awards. She received the Women Scientist-A Fellowship from DST, GOI, Institute Fellowship for pursuing MTech and PhD from MHRD, GOI, and was recognized as an India topper in NPTEL courses conducted by IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur. Her dedication to research has led to the grant of two UK Design Patents and one Australian Innovation Patent, along with seven Indian patents. She has also authored numerous scientific papers published in reputed journals and presented research papers at conferences across India, China, Vietnam, and the USA. Furthermore, she has actively mentored undergraduate and postgraduate students and is currently supervising three PhD students at UPES. In addition to her academic commitments, Dr Datta has also contributed her expertise to various civil, mining, and infrastructure projects in India and Bangladesh.

Work Experience

Prior to joining UPES, Dr. Saswati Datta served as a guest faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, Haryana, and as an associate professor at D Y Patil College of Engineering, Pune, Maharashtra. She spent about 10 years at IIT Kharagpur during her MTech and PhD tenure, where she excelled in teaching, research, and consultancy work. Early in her career, she gained valuable industry experience as a Junior Engineer and Assistant Structural Engineer, contributing to the design of Steel and RCC structures for various national-level projects in Kolkata and Pune.

Research Interests

Dr. Saswati Datta's research interests revolve around geotechnical earthquake engineering, geohazards and liquefaction studies, and ground improvement. For the past 15 years, she has been dedicated to developing sustainable solutions for geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering problems, focusing on slope stabilization, erosion control, liquefaction susceptibility, and ground improvement. Her current research initiatives include sustainable construction materials and soil stabilization techniques utilizing natural bioprocesses. She is also involved in projects related to the development of construction materials for extraterrestrial habitats using In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and evaluating the geopolymer concrete clay interaction at radioactive disposal zones.

Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Datta's teaching philosophy revolves around creating an environment that facilitates student learning and encourages the application of knowledge to solve real-life problems. She strives to provide practical applications of the subjects she teaches and delves into the historical evolution of tools and technology to help students effectively assemble multidisciplinary knowledge. Through regular interactions with students inside and beyond the classroom, she fosters innovative thinking and instils a sense of responsibility towards society and the environment.

Courses Taught

As a proficient educator, Dr. Datta offers a diverse range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her teaching repertoire includes Soil Mechanics, Geotechnical Engineering, Foundation Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, and Environmental Engineering at the undergraduate level. At the postgraduate level, she imparts knowledge in Advanced Soil Mechanics, Advanced Geotechnical Engineering, Advanced Foundation Engineering, Subsoil Exploration, Ground Improvement, and GeoEnvironmental Engineering. She also oversees laboratory experiments, site visits, industrial visits, and guest lectures by subject experts to provide students with practical exposure and industry readiness. Additionally, she supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students on domain-specific and multidisciplinary capstone projects.

Awards and Grants

Dr. Datta has been the recipient of numerous awards for her outstanding contributions to research and education. She was honored with the Icon of India Award-2023 for her exceptional work in Sustainable and Innovative Research by Saveetha School of Management, TN, and the Best Researcher award, Dr. Ambekar Youth for Nation Awards – 2023 by J S University, UP. Her teaching abilities were recognized with the Best Teacher Award, Indian Eminent Awards 2023 from PGMCE, Wagholi, Pune. Her academic journey has also been supported by fellowships and scholarships, including a WOS-A fellowship from DST, GOI in 2022, Institute Fellowship for pursuing PhD in 2009, and Fellowship for doing MTech in 2007 from MHRD. She has also secured notable ranks in GATE and received National Scholarships from the Govt. of West Bengal.

Scholarly Activities

Dr. Datta has made significant contributions to interdisciplinary research focusing on microbe-induced intergranular cementation and ageing-related strength gain of soil since 2009. Her pioneering efforts in investigating the efficacy of subsurface biological processes in demonstrating the observed strength gain of sand deposits have been acknowledged. In her research, she has isolated, identified, and utilized four new bacterial strains from naturally cemented tailing sand sites in eastern India. She has also participated in reviewing manuscripts for prestigious conferences like PanAm-UNSAT 2017 and chaired sessions at international conferences like the 4th GeoShanghai 2018 International Conference, in Shanghai, China. Her keen interest in innovative challenges led her to participate in the MHRD Mega online Challenge SAMADHAN organized by MHRD's Innovation Cell and AICTE in 2020. Dr. Datta was also part of the organizing team for the International mega-event "Sustainability Fair 2022" at UPES.