Sudipta Sengupta is a professor in structural geology in Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, and a trained mountaineer. She is one of the first Indian women (along with Aditi Pant) to set foot on Antarctica. She is also popularly known in India for her book Antarctica in Bengali and numerous articles and television interviews on geosciences. She has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals of structural geology.
Professor Sengupta was the youngest daughter of three, born to Jyoti Ranjan Sengupta and Pushpa Sengupta in Calcutta, India. Her father was a meteorologist and their family spent a lot of time in both India and Nepal. Professor Sudipta Sengupta graduated from Jadavpur University with top honors in both the B.Sc. and M.Sc. examinations. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from Jadavpur University in 1972 under the supervision of Professor Subir Ghosh. She worked as a geologist in the Geological Survey of India between 1970 and 1973. In 1973, she received the prestigious scholarship of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 from U.K. and carried out post-doctoral research work for the next three years at the Imperial College, London. In 1977 she joined the Institute of Geology of Uppsala University, Sweden as a docent for six months and thereafter carried out research as a visiting scientist in connection with the International Geodynamics Project which was supervised by Professor Hans Ramberg. On her return to India in 1979, she joined the Geological Survey of India as a Senior Geologist. In 1982, she joined Jadavpur University as a lecturer where she is at present working as a Professor.
Sudipta Sengupta is an expert mountaineer and was trained in Advanced Mountaineering by Tenzing Norgay in the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. She has participated in numerous mountaineering expeditions in India and Europe, including an unnamed virgin peak in the Lahaul Region, which they later named Mount Lalona.
Antarctic expedition and research
In 1983, Sudipta Sengupta was selected as a member of the Third Indian Expedition to Antarctica and conducted pioneering geological studies in the Schirmacher Hills of East Antarctica. Sudipta and Dr. Aditi Pant, a Marine Biologist were the first women scientist from India to take part in Antarctic Expedition. In 1989 she visited Antarctica for the second time as a member of the Ninth Indian Expedition to Antarctica. Her work in the Schirmacher Hills is of fundamental importance as it became the basis of further research in that area. In the major part of her research in structural geology, Professor Sudipta Sengupta has combined geological field studies with laboratory experiments and theoretical analyses. Apart from doing structural field studies in varied terrain, including the Precambrian structures of Peninsular India, the Scottish Highlands, the Scandinavian Caledonides and East Antarctica.
Publications and awards
Professor Sengupta has published numerous papers in Indian as well as international journals. She has edited a book with contributions by renowned structural geologists. She has also authored a book on her travels and work in Antarctica which has become a best seller in West Bengal. She was awarded the Bhatnagar Award for excellence in science by the Government of India. She is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy. Professor Sengupta also received the National Mineral Award and the Antarctica Award from the Government of India, along with numerous other awards like the Profession and Career Award of the Lady Study Group.
- Sengupta, Sudipta. Antarctica. Ananda Publisher, 1989, ISBN 81-7066-091-2
- Chaturvedi, Arun (2004). "Indian Women in Antarctic Expeditions: A Historical Perspective". Department of Ocean Development, Technical Publication 17: 277–279.
- Tiwari, Anju (2008). Story of Antarctica. Goa: National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research. ISBN 978-81-906526-0-5.