President Joe Biden welcomed India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House's South Lawn with a formal State Arrival Ceremony on June 22. Among those in attendance was none other than South Dakota State University's Saikat Basu, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a native of Calcutta, India.
"It was an honor to visit the White House and represent South Dakota State University amongst the assembled diaspora," Basu said.
Basu, who has been with SDSU since 2019, was invited by the Indian delegation due to his experience and achievements in STEM fields—specifically, for his work in fluid mechanics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Basu's research was both influential and impactful, catching the attention of many top researchers around the world. His work on how upper airways impact the transmission of the virus was included in the World Health Organization's repository of free-to-use journals related to COVID-19 to help future researchers and scientists.
"It is a tremendous honor to receive an invitation to this significant diplomatic event, which serves as a testament to Dr. Basu’s exceptional reputation extending beyond his field," said Yucheng Liu, head of SDSU's Department of Mechanical Engineering. "I am delighted for him and would like to express my gratitude for his outstanding representation of our university and department during this occasion."
During the visit, Biden and Modi announced a range of academic initiatives and economic partnerships while sharing in the pageantry that have become state visits. This was the first time the United States had hosted a head of state from the Republic of India in over 10 years.
"I have no doubt that Dr. Basu will continue making remarkable progress in his career and being a distinguished ambassador for SDSU and its mechanical engineering department," Liu added.