News Release

Duke Recognizes National Academy of Engineering Members

On November 4, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering unveiled a new awards wall honoring the 23 alumni and faculty who have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering to date. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.

Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The goal of the NAE is to promote the technological welfare of the nation by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent members of the engineering profession. In addition to its role as advisor to the federal government, the NAE also conducts independent studies to examine important topics in engineering and technology.
 
L-R Turner Whitted, Robert Calderbank, Skip Bowman, Tom Katsouleas, Bob Fischell, Henry Petroski, Fred BrooksThe NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government.  They provide the leadership and expertise for numerous projects focused on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life.
 
NAE Fellows have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations.
 
Several of the Duke National Academy of Engineering members were present at the ceremony, including:

  • Frank "Skip" Bowman  T’66 - Elected in 2009 for leadership in the design of nuclear-reactor propulsion plants to support the power requirements of evolving combat systems.
  • Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.  T’53 - Elected in 1976 for contributions to computer system design and the development of academic programs in computer sciences.
  • Robert Calderbank - Elected in 2005 for leadership in communications research, from advances in algebraic coding theory to signal processing for wire-line and wireless modems.
  •  Robert E. Fischell E’51 - Elected in 1989 for pioneering contributions to satellite altitude control and for leadership and innovation in bringing aerospace technology to implantable biomedical devices.
  • Henry Petroski - Elected in 1997 for books, articles, and lectures on engineering and the profession that have reached and influenced a wide range of audiences.
  • J. Turner Whitted E’69, MS’70 - Elected in 2009 for contributions to computer graphics, notably recursive raytracing.

 
“These are very extraordinary people,” said engineering Dean Tom Katsouleas.  He also recognized some of the members who could not attend the ceremony.
 
Charles H. Townes received his Masters degree from Duke in 1936 in Physics.  He is an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and educator. He is known for his work on the theory and application of the maser, on which he got the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics connected with both maser and laser devices. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 with Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov.

John Cocke received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1946 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1953.  He was a computer scientist recognized for his large contribution to computer architecture and optimizing compiler design. He is considered by many to be "the father of RISC architecture.” His idea was to use fewer instructions, but design chips that performed simple instructions very quickly.  Later, this approach became known as reduced instruction set computing (RISC).

And our very own Earl H. Dowell, who is Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and a former Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke. Earl was elected in 1993 for contributions to aeroelasticity and structural dynamics, which provide continuing insights into the behavior of complex structural systems.
 
“This wall of recognition was made possible through the support of Pratt’s Board of Visitors and the Faculty Development Committee members in particular, Seth Watkins, Bob Anderson, Tom Burger, Stefan Dyckerhoff, Dave Pratt, and Betsy Sechrest,” said Katsouleas.

“We have 23 Duke NAE members listed and hope to add many more people to this in the near future,” he said.

Election Year Name Citation
2011 Fred Lee, '72, '74 Contributions to high-frequency power conversion and systems integration technologies, education, industry alliances, and technology transfer.
2009 Frank L. Bowman, '66, '03 Leadership in the design of nuclear-reactor propulsion plants to support the power requirements of evolving combat systems.
2009 Robert L. Cook, '73 Building the motion picture industry's standard rendering tool.
2009 J. Turner Witted, '69, '70 Contributions to computer graphics, notably recursive raytracing.
2005 Edmund M. Clarke, Jr. '68 Contributions to the formal verification of hardware and software correctness.
2005 Robert Calderbank Leadership in communications research, from advances in algebraic coding theory to signal processing for wire-line and wireless modems.
2002 Douglas M. Chapin, '62 Improvements in reliability and the prevention and mitigation of core damage accidents in nuclear reactors worldwide.
2000 Joseph A. Yura, '59 Research and educational contributions on bracing and stability for steel structures.
1999 Theodore C. Kennedy, '52 Leadership and innovation in advancing the nation's construction industry.
1998 Robert M. Koerner, '68 Design and use of geosynthetics in the constructed environment.
1998 Charles H. Townes, '37, '66 Development of the maser and laser.
1997 Henry Petroski For books, articles, and lectures on engineering and the profession that have reached and influenced a wide range of audiences.
1994 John H. Gibbons, '54, '97 Leadership in a broad spectrum of initiatives toward the development and communication of national policies for technological issues.
1993 Charles B. Duke, '59 Providing the theoretical foundations for developments in xerography.
1993 Earl H. Dowell Contributions to aeroelasticity and structural dynamics, which provide continuing insights into the behavior of complex structural systems.
1989 Robert E. Fischell, '51 Pioneering contributions to satellite altitude control and for leadership and innovation in bringing aerospace technology to implantable biomedical devices.
1986 Walter L. Brown, '53 Discovery of semiconductor surface channels crucial in field effect transistors, and for contributions to ion beam uses in semiconductor diagnostics and processing.
1986 Robert Plonsey Application of electromagnetic field theory to biology, and for distinguished leadership in the emerging profession of biomedical engineering.
1979 John Cocke, '45, '56, '88 Leadership in high performance computer design and contribution to the field of optimizing compilers.
1979 Robert R. Everett, '42, '92 Pioneering of digital computer and their application to real time control systems
1976 Frederick P. Brooks. Jr. '53 Contributions to computer system design and the development of academic programs in computer sciences.
1976 Charles H. Holley, '41 Pioneering contributions to the evolution of turbine-generator design.
1974 Lewis M. Branscomb, '45, '71 Leadership in advancing national and international science and technology.

In the Media

Oct 20, 2014
The White House Blog
Oct 8, 2014
BBC Future
Oct 7, 2014
Engineering.com