In recognition of his exemplary mentoring of graduate students and commitment to the excellence of research, electrical and computer engineering professor Kaustav Banerjee has received a 2023 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from the UCSB Academic Senate. The accolade commends faculty for training graduate students for careers in research and teaching, and preparing them to meet the highest professional and ethical standards as scholars and educators.
“This cherished award will forever have a special place in my heart,” said Banerjee, whose research blends the physics, technology, and applications of quantum engineered van der Waals materials and heterostructures for next-generation energy-efficient electronics. “The recognition carries the genuine respect and affection of my graduate students, who are intimately familiar with my teaching and mentoring style and my contributions to their remarkable success.”
During his 21 years of service at UCSB, Banerjee has chaired committees for 16 PhD students and 26 master’s students who have gone on to launch highly successful careers. Several of his students have also received prestigious awards and fellowships, including three who have received the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Award, UCSB’s highest honor for PhD dissertations. Banerjee says that he encourages his students to pursue the most significant problems in semiconductor technology and to articulate their ideas with eloquence and brevity, while paying attention to the minute details.
“My mentoring philosophy encompasses not only the pursuit of academic excellence, but also the nurturing of well-rounded, empathetic, and resilient individuals who will thrive, not just in their professional careers, but in all aspects of life's journey,” he said.
Banerjee is an elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He has been recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics, and has received the prestigious Bessel Prize from the Humboldt Foundation in recognition of his outstanding contributions to nanoelectronics and the IEEE’s Kiyo Tomiyasu Award.