Supriyo Datta received his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India in 1975 and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979. In 1981, he joined Purdue University, where he is (since 1999) the Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He started his career in the field of ultrasonics and was selected by the Ultrasonics group as its outstanding young engineer to receive an IEEE Centennial Key to the Future Award and by the ASEE to receive the Terman Award for his book on Surface Acoustic Wave Devices.
Since 1985 he has focused on current flow in nanoscale electronic devices and the approach pioneered by his group for the description of quantum transport, combining the non-equilibrium Green function (NEGF) formalism of many-body physics with the Landauer formalism from mesoscopic physics, has been widely adopted in the field of nanoelectronics. This is described in his books Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems (Cambridge 1995) and Quantum Transport: Atom to Transistor (Cambridge 2005) and he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for this work.
Datta is also well-known for his contributions to spin electronics and molecular electronics. He has received Technical Field Awards from the IEEE both for research and for graduate teaching and was selected by Sigma Xi to receive the Procter Prize (http://www.sigmaxi.org/programs/prizes/procter.datta.shtml).
The problem of current flow involves many fundamental issues of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and with this in mind, Datta’s latest book Lessons from Nanoelectronics: A New Perspective on Transport (World Scientific 2012) tries to make the insights gained from nanoelectronics accessible to a broader audience ( http://nanohub.org/groups/lnebook ).