SPE fellows are honored for their outstanding contributions in the field of plastics engineering, science and technology. Candidates must be sponsored by one of the 26 divisions or seven special interest groups of SPE and are elected based on their professional record as well as written sponsorships from at least two SPE members.
Gupta was sponsored by the Buildings and Infrastructure division, of which he has been a board member since its inception in 2007. He served as chair of the division in 2011-2012 and currently serves as its treasurer. Sponsor letters were written by eight members, including five SPE fellows and two of Gupta’s former PhD students who are active in the Society.
“I am humbled by this honor,” said Gupta. “I am fortunate that I have had industrial colleagues who have introduced me to a series of practical problems and students who have helped me solve many of these.
Since coming to WVU, Gupta has focused his research on solving problems of societal interest. These include recycling of plastics from post-consumer applications, the development of environmentally safe flame retardants for styrenic polymers, using nanotechnology to improve barrier properties of biodegradable plastics so that they can replace non-biodegradable plastics in food packaging applications and developing low-cost and effective solid-sorbents for carbon dioxide capture. He is also an active member of WVU’s Center for Integration of Composites in Infrastructure, a National Science Foundation-supported industry-university cooperative research center housed in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Founded in 1942, SPE is a global society that has more than 22,500 members in 84 countries. The mission of the Society is to promote the scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. Fewer than 350 members have been awarded this prestigious title since it was introduced in 1984. Gupta is the first person from WVU to be awarded the distinction.