NEW YORK, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nikhil Gupta, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), has been awarded a Young Leader Professional Development Award from the Structural Materials Division of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, known as TMS. This organization encompasses the entire range of materials science and engineering professionals, from minerals processing and primary metals production to basic research and the advanced applications of materials. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20091027/NY99197LOGO ) Gupta's recent research focuses on developing lightweight materials with high damage tolerance for helmets, body armor and automobile structures—work with enormous practical applications in both peacetime and on the battlefield. In addition to fundamental research supported by federal agencies, he is currently working with several small companies on developing innovative technologies and products such as lightweight composite automotive brake rotors that could significantly improve fuel economy and lightweight blast-resistant materials for the military. He has been widely acknowledged for his ability to convey to the general public the complex science behind his discoveries, and among the high-profile print and broadcast outlets that have covered him are the Discovery Channel, Reuters and Scientific American. His explanation of the science behind athletic helmet construction was featured by NBC as part of a National Science Foundation-sponsored video series for the 2012 Summer Olympics that attracted more than 125 million viewers. NYU-Poly Acting President and Provost Katepalli R. Sreenivasan said, " Nikhil Gupta is doing important research work, and we are exceptionally proud that he is a part of NYU-Poly. His students learn from his example that solid research and groundbreaking discoveries can result in technologies and products of practical significance. " Gupta holds a master's degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science and a doctorate in engineering science from Louisiana State University. His many other honors include the 2007 and 2009 Visiting Lectureship Award from the American Society for Metals-Indian Institute of Metals and an ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship from the Air Force Research Laboratory. "I am grateful to the TMS for recognizing me and for always being supportive of my professional development," Gupta said.