Staff profile - Pinaki Bhattacharya
Lecturer in Solid Biomechanics Pinaki Bhattacharya was drawn to Sheffield for two reasons: the reputation of the department's internationally-leading research; and our Insigneo Institute in in silico Medicine, one of the few places worldwide with the vision of using computational modelling to bring a transformational effect on medicine.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background:
I am a lecturer in solid biomechanics. I am from India where I obtained my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in naval architecture and engineering mechanics respectively. I earned a PhD in the United States working on biomechanics of voice production. My interest in biomechanics research led me first to Belgium and then to the UK, where since I arrived on a (rare) 33ºC bright day, I have worked at the University of Sheffield.
Why did you choose to work at Sheffield?
I was drawn to Sheffield for two reasons. The first was that engineering at the University of Sheffield is recognised worldwide. Even while I was working or studying elsewhere, I knew of internationally leading research and researchers associated with this university and in particular with the mechanical engineering department.
The second reason was the Insigneo Institute in in silico Medicine. It is one of the few places in the UK and worldwide with the vision of using computational modelling to bring a transformational effect on medicine.
My research interest is in developing computational models that can vastly improve the accuracy of predicting musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment outcomes by combining biomedical knowledge across multiple scales. I teach the modules of Anatomy and Physiology for Engineers and Introduction to Medical Device Regulation to students in the MSc in Computational Medicine programme and to third and fourth year students in the MEng Mechanical Engineering with Biomechanics programme, which I also currently direct.
Also as a new starter how the process went and anything we did to help in transition into the University and re-locate
I was fortunate to have worked for three years as a post-doctoral researcher in the large, and yet close-knit, research group where I am now an academic staff member. This meant I had a core group of colleagues who were happy to advise me whenever I was in doubt of anything, no matter how trivial. Yet, due to the highly diverse nature of administrative and teaching work, the transition to becoming a full academic member is a challenge. Here, I found the academic and administrative staff in the department, as well as in the wider faculty and university, to be approachable, helpful and capable. Whether it is a classroom that need to be scheduled, a PhD position that needs to be advertised, a workshop that needs catering to be arranged for or a proposal draft that needs to be polished, help is available and it is effective.
What's it like living in Sheffield, what do you like to do outside of work?
Before coming to Sheffield, I had mostly worked or studied in universities that were situated in towns so small that the university overwhelmed every aspect of life. On the other hand, I grew up in a megacity (New Delhi). I prefer something between these two extremes and Sheffield fits the bill very well. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking in the peaks and trying out the cafes and eateries with my partner. We have recently joined an acting class on Saturday evening about which we are very excited!