Dreyfus Foundation selects “squishy” engineer Sujit Datta for a teacher-scholar award

Written by
Scott Lyon
May 11, 2022

Sujit Datta has been named a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar for “the dynamics of soft and living matter in complex environments.”

Datta studies how soft structures move through tight spaces, with impacts on everything from groundwater to energy to medicine. Some of that work looks at how bacteria move in the real world. Other work studies how elastic fluids flow underground, key to environmental remediation. Datta, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, has also pioneered soft-matter engineering courses for Princeton undergraduates and led initiatives that encourage diverse young scholars to study the science of soft materials.

The award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation goes to outstanding faculty in the chemical sciences in the first five years of their academic careers. Faculty nominees are submitted by their institutions, and institutions may only submit one nominee each year. Selection for the award is based on the nominee’s independent body of scholarship and demonstrated commitment to education. Each of this year’s 18 award recipients will receive an unrestricted research grant of $100,000.

Datta joined the Princeton faculty in 2017. He holds affiliations in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the High Meadows Environmental Institute, the Princeton Bioengineering Initiative and the Princeton Institute of Materials.

The Dreyfus Foundation was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus in honor of his brother Henry. Since its inception in 1970, the teacher-scholar program has awarded more than $50 million to support emerging young leaders in the chemical sciences.