German Foundation Selects UA Professor for Lifetime Research Achievement Award

Dr. Arunava Gupta

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has selected a University of Alabama professor for its Humboldt Research Award. 

The foundation selected Dr. Arunava Gupta, a professor of chemistry and chemical and biological engineering at UA, for the award in recognition of his exceptional and sustained contributions to research on magnetism and superconductivity of oxide-based materials. 

According to information on the foundation’s website, the award is granted in recognition of a researcher’s lifetime achievements to date, whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who is expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. 

Located in Bonn, Germany, the Humboldt Foundation encourages collaborative research among top scientists worldwide and German researchers. 

The recipient must be nominated for the award by distinguished scientists/scholars employed by a university or research institution in Germany. Gupta was nominated for the award, valued at 60,000 euro (about $73,500) by Drs. Andreas Hütten, Günter Reiss and Claudia Felser. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research awards annually to internationally renowned researchers and scholars. 

Gupta, a researcher in UA’s Center for Materials for Information Technology, or MINT, will spend up to one year at the University of Bielefeld and the University of Mainz, both in Germany, cooperating on a research project of his choice with the trio of German scientists and professors.   

UA’s MINT Center is an interdisciplinary research center focusing on developing new materials to advance information technology. 

Gupta earned master’s degrees from both the Indian Institute of Technology and Columbia University and earned a doctorate from Stanford University. He joined UA in 2004. Prior to joining UA he had worked for nearly 20 years at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 

In addition to magnetism, Gupta’s research interests include the controlled synthesis and assembly of thin film and nanostructures of a variety of materials. The emphasis is on the exploration and manipulation of their physical and chemical properties and potential applications, including improved computer performance, solar energy conversion and biological sensors. He has published close to 300 journal articles, holds 28 patents and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. 

More than 30 faculty from seven academic programs comprise MINT. This research program was the first in the South to be designated as a National Science Foundation Materials Research and Science Engineering Center when it achieved that highly sought designation in 1994. MINT is active in research and education through global professional partnerships, including industries, national laboratories and universities around the world. 

UA’s department of chemistry is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team. 

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 2,700 students and over 100 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater scholars, Hollings scholars and Portz scholars. 

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The foundation maintains a network of over 24,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 130 countries worldwide – including 43 Nobel Prize winners.


Chris Bryant, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8323,; Dr. Arunava Gupta, 205/348-3822,