Arkka Bhattacharyya portraitAfter a comprehensive review process, this year’s John and Marcia Price College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Dissertation Award has been conferred to electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. graduate Arkka Bhattacharyya.  

Bhattacharyya’s doctoral thesis, “Materials and Device Engineering for Ultra-wide Bandgap β-Ga2O3-Based Electron Devices: Towards Energy Efficient Power Electronics,” makes significant contributions to the field of compound semiconductors, and has already been recognized with a Young Research Paper Award from the 2022 International Workshop on Gallium Oxide and Related Materials

The Outstanding Dissertation selection committee, which included representatives from each department in the college, chose Bhattacharyya’s research for its intellectual merit, scientific advancement, societal benefits, and creative approach to transformative concepts. 

Bhattacharyya, whose graduate advisor, then ECE Professor Sriram Krishamoorthy, calls him a “rising star in the wide band gap materials/device community,” developed an innovative process to maximize the mobility of electrons in β-Ga2O3 — Gallium Oxide (lll) — using MOVPE technology (metalorganic phase epitaxy).  

The record breaking results of this method, presented in his thesis, are a testament to Bhattacharyya’s attention to detail, technical skill, and collaborative nature. They also show a way forward to what he calls a “sustainable, cleaner, and ‘greener’ future.” 

“With the world’s global energy consumption on the rise, ‘energy security’ has become one of the biggest concerns of this century,” he explains in his dissertation’s abstract. Gallium oxide transistor technology makes possible power devices that are “smaller, faster, efficient, and more ubiquitous,” which in turn “can save billions of dollars and terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy every year, thus reducing carbon emissions by orders of magnitude.”

Arkka Bhattacharyya on stage
Arkka Bhattacharyya receiving a Young Researcher Award at the 2022 International Workshop on Gallium Oxide and Related Materials.

This award comes on top of an already impressive academic career. Upon graduating from the U, Bhattacharrya has 31 journal publications, 9 lead authored papers, 51 conference presentations, multiple articles in trade magazines, and numerous other awards and achievements. 

Although now performing post-doc work at the University of California Santa Barbara, Bhattacharrya emphasizes how integral the Price College of Engineering has been to his success. “It is a great honor to receive this award, and I feel very excited to have my thesis and my work recognized by the Price College of Engineering,” Bhattacharyya told the ECE Department. “This means a lot because my area of research is quite new and not many people know about it, but I believe in this work, so feeling supported by the College is a great thing.”