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Four MIT engineers named to the NAE

Among 65 new members announced Feb. 6

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced the names of 65 new members and nine foreign associates on Feb. 6, which included three current MIT researchers and one emeritus professor -- Yet-Ming Chiang, Jack B. Dennis, Mark Drela and Edwin L. Thomas.

The announcement, from Charles Vest, MIT's 15th president and NAE president since 2007, brings the NAE's total U.S. membership to 2,246 and the number of foreign associates to 197.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature."

Chiang, the Kyocera Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), was named to the NAE for his contributions to the understanding of new energy storage materials and their commercialization.

Dennis, professor emeritus in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, was honored for contributions to sharing and protection in computer systems and parallel architectures based on data flow principles.
Drela, the Terry J. Kohler Professor of Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, was cited for creation of breakthrough aircraft designs and design software that enabled operation in new flight regimes.

Thomas, department head and Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was honored for development of novel photonic materials and determination of the morphology of block copolymers.

Subra Suresh, dean of the School of Engineering, applauded the four for their work and said he looks forward to working with them at the academy in the future.

"I am delighted to welcome Yet, Jack, Mark and Ned to the distinguished cohort of MIT faculty members who belong to the National Academy of Engineering. I look forward to formally recognizing and celebrating their induction with MIT colleagues and friends in Washington in October," Suresh said.

In addition to the active MIT inductees, several MIT-affiliated researchers were also named to the NAE on Friday, including Kristi Anseth, a former postdoctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Diran Apelian, a former student and former visiting committee member, DMSE; William Dally, former faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS); Sanjay Gheawat, former EECS student; Steve Umans, longtime EECS staff member; and Larry Wein, former MIT Sloan School of Management faculty member.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 11, 2009 (download PDF).

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