IN LOVING MEMORY
Power in Numbers
Dr. Rathin Datta, 74 years old, died in Chicago on the morning of April 17, 2023, after a very brief and unexpected illness. He died holding the hand of his loving wife of 48 years, Alicia Reyes, and surrounded by many old friends.
Dr. Datta was born in Kolkata, India. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur with a bachelor of technology degree, and from Princeton University with a PhD in chemical engineering. He went on to become a renowned chemical engineer whose many achievements were widely recognized, particularly in relation to climate solutions. For over 40 years he worked to develop and commercialize technologies in renewable resources for both established and emerging companies. Over his long career, he was granted more than 50 US patents and published over 40 papers in the areas of bioproducts, bioprocess technologies, fermentation, separation, enzyme catalysis, and energy conversion, among others. Dr. Datta received many awards, including the Ernest W. Thiele award, the Presidential Green Chemistry award, Discover magazine's Environmental Technology of the Year award, and the IIT Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award.
In addition to his scientific pursuits, Dr. Datta was a mean tennis player, a connoisseur of scotch, and a lover of music. He particularly loved opera, chamber music, and Indian classical music, and learned to play the sitar. He adored his two cats, Akbar and Saleem. He was always keen to introduce his American friends to Indian culture and cuisine, and he loved to travel the world. One of his favorite places was Delicate Arch in Utah, where he said God lived. Happily, he was able to see it once more not long before he died.
Dr. Datta, son of Amulya Datta and Karuna Datta, who both predeceased him, is survived by his beloved wife, Alicia Reyes, his sister Sucharita Negi (Ravi Negi), her sons Shantanu and Siddhartha, and his niece Dr. Rhea Datta. His brother Dr. Rajat Datta predeceased him. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Ratna Datta and two grandnieces and a grandnephew, and by the whole universe of friends whose lives he touched so deeply. Om shanti, may his soul find release on its next journey.
Leave your memories, condolences, or well-wishes.
Donations in Rathin's memory may be made to:
Moab Music Festival
58 E 300 S
Moab, UT 84532
South Asia Classical Music Society
C/o Farrukh Khawaja, Treasurer
1604 Tahoe Circle Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090