Two MIT faculty are among the 65 new members of the National Academy of Engineering. This year the NAE also installed alumnus Irwin Jacobs, '57 M.S., '59 Sc.D., as the new chairman of the academy.
Charles Vest, MIT's fifteenth president, has been president of the NAE since 2007.
The new members are:
- Robert Armstrong, the Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering and the deputy director of the MIT Energy Initiative, for "conducting outstanding research on non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, co-authoring landmark textbooks, and providing leadership in chemical engineering education."
- Arvind, the Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, who is being recognized for "contributions to data flow and multi-thread computing and the development of tools for the high-level synthesis of hardware."
"I am delighted to welcome Arvind and Bob to the highly accomplished cohort of MIT colleagues who belong to the National Academy of Engineering," said Subra Suresh, dean of engineering and an NAE member since 2002. The two were inducted at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on Oct. 5.
Election to the NAE is among the highest distinctions accorded to engineers. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
MIT has had deep connections with the NAE since its inception in 1964. Of the Academy's original 25 founding members, nearly a third were trained at the Institute. They include MIT's eleventh president, Julius Stratton, and Thomas Sherwood, dean of engineering from 1946 to 1952.
The Institute's relationship with the NAE has persisted. In each of the last 36 consecutive years, at least one member of the faculty or research staff has been elected to the NAE, and MIT has more NAE members among its faculty than any other institution in the world. Since 1964, MIT has seen 151 of its faculty, researchers, instructors and associates elected to the NAE's ranks. Of those, 109 remain actively engaged in the intellectual life of MIT today.
MIT has also had a strong presence among winners of the NAE's Charles Stark Draper Prize. Named for one of MIT's most prolific and celebrated engineers, and widely regarded as the most distinguished award in engineering, the $500,000 prize has been awarded 14 times and had 31 recipients -- seven of them with strong MIT connections, including Institute Professor Robert Langer, 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering Tim Berners-Lee, and Leonard Kleinrock, MIT PhD '63.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 8, 2008 (download PDF).