UTD Professor Named Distinguished Lecturer
By American Association of Petroleum Geologists

RICHARDSON, Texas (March 21, 2005) – The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has invited University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) geosciences Professor Dr. Janok P. Bhattacharya to serve as a distinguished lecturer for the organization for the years 2005 and 2006.

In that role, Bhattacharya will speak to a wide range of audiences, including scientific societies and university earth science departments, throughout North America on a variety of geology-related topics, ranging from underground rock formations that contain oil and gas to river deltas. Bhattacharya is an expert in sedimentology, the science that deals with the description, classification and origin of rock formed from sediment, and stratigraphy, the study of the distribution of such rock.

Photo, Janok P. Bhattacharya
Dr. Janok P. Bhattacharya

Bhattacharya will participate in periodic tours of up to two weeks in length, during which he will give as many as 10 talks to different audiences.

Selection of AAPG distinguished lecturers are made by a committee from candidates “working at the forefront of our science on exciting new ideas,” according to the organization.

Bhattacharya, who spent 10 years as a geologist in the oil industry before joining the UTD faculty in 1998, is an active member of AAPG, which, with 30,000 members, is the largest professional society of its kind in the world.

Last spring, he served as technical program coordinator for the AAPG annual convention in Dallas, which drew thousands of geologists to the Dallas Convention Center. Next month, Bhattacharya will receive the 2005 Distinguished Educator Award from the Southwest Section of AAPG, which covers Texas and New Mexico.

In 2003, Bhattacharya was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to help develop a science plan for a mission in 2013 to search for life on Mars. He is a member of a steering group composed of geologists, engineers and astrobiologists whose mandate is to define key scientific objectives, methods and logistics for the mission, which will investigate evidence of present or past life on Mars.

At UTD, Bhattacharya and several colleagues are involved in pioneering studies for the U.S. Department of Energy into the use of ground-penetrating radar to “see” into the earth and map underground geological formations in three dimensions, a technology that could improve oilfield production efficiency.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.