Dr. Rakesh Gupta's research is directed mainly at understanding the (non-Newtonian) flow behavior of polymer solutions, polymer melts, solid-in-liquid suspensions and emulsions. In addition to explaining observed phenomena, the knowledge gained is of use in modeling operations used to process these materials. Consequently, one can relate process conditions to structure and the structure to properties. This allows one to engineer materials with enhanced properties. Such an approach has been employed to examine and modify such diverse materials as fiber-reinforced plastics, lubricants, wall joint compounds, thermal grease, ceramic slurries, polymer blends, wood/plastic composites and nanocomposites. Current work is related to electrospinning of polylactic acid, thermoforming of semi-crystalline polymers, promoting the use of composites in infrastructure, durability of thermosetting-polymer composites, recycling of polymers and polymer-matrix composites, the removal of microplastics from water, enhancing the barrier properties of polymer films used for food packaging, relating the flow properties of wheat dough to sheeting behavior and flame retarding polymer-matrix composites.
Rakesh Gupta was recognized in May 2021 with a Research Most Valuable Player Award by the WVU Provost for
important COVID-19-related research throughout the pandemic. He was elected
“Honored Service Member” of the Society of Plastics Engineers for
demonstrated long-term, outstanding service to, and support of the Society and
its objectives in April 2014. More recently, he was elected
of the Society of Plastics Engineers in March 2019.