After earning his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in textile and polymer engineering, Dr. Bhat joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) in August 1990, where his research covered nonwovens – melt blown, spunbonded and biodegradable, plastics recycling, nanotechnology, sustainable materials, and high performance fibers. As the director of UTNRL he focused on production of nanofibers from thermoplastic polymers by meltblowing. In July 2016, he joined UGA as the Head of the TMI department. Dr. Bhat has published more than 200 research papers and has four US Patents. He has served as the president of the Fiber Society and is also an active member of INDA, TAPPI and the Textile Institute. Some of the notable awards/recognitions he has received include:
- Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni by Georgia Tech (1996)
- Distinguished Achievement Award from the Fiber Society (1999)
- Fellow of the Textile Institute (2005)
- TechniTex India Research Achievement Award (2008)
- TAPPI NET division Technical Achievement Award (2014).