Dr. Debalina Sengupta joins Texas Sea Grant as the new coastal resilience program manager. In this role, Sengupta plans, organizes, directs, and manages extension activities associated with the Resilient Communities and Economies (RCE) strategic focus area.
The RCE focus area is one of four key focus areas of Sea Grant. The goal of this focus area is to accommodate the increasing coastal population and activity while balancing demands on coastal resources. This includes supporting cutting-edge research in the areas of marine-related energy sources, energy efficiency, coastal waters, ocean plastics, hazards, and tourism.
“General resilience in coastal communities has been mostly regarded in the perspective of policies and planning, and I would like to go beyond [that] and look at best ways for implementation of some of these plans,” said Sengupta. “I am really interested in trying to bring in perspectives from science and technology on how to turn these plans into action.”
Sengupta has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University and worked as the Associate Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Gas and Fuels Research Center. She has also been the food-energy-water nexus coordinator for the Texas A&M Energy Institute. Her current research interests include disaster-resilient manufacturing systems, integrated food, energy, and water technological systems, hydrogen technologies, and theoretical/analytical methods development for sustainability and resilience.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Sengupta lead the growth and direction of Texas Sea Grant’s coastal resilience program,” said Texas Sea Grant Senior Associate Director and Extension Leader Cynthia Lyle. “Her expertise and background in a wide variety of topics that impact community resilience will assist communities in building capacity across economic, environmental, and coastal hazard resilience.”
As the coastal resilience program manager, Sengupta aims to work collaboratively to implement more resilience and sustainability strategies in coastal communities.
“I am excited to get the opportunity to bring more information from research perspectives to the public domain, work with non-profits, local businesses, policy, and decision-makers and make that [information] useful for coastal communities in Texas,” said Sengupta.