Recognizing National Academy of Engineering Members

New Awards Wall Established

The Pratt School of Engineering has unveiled a new awards wall honoring the 23 alumni and faculty who have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)  to date. NAE election is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.

Founded in 1964, the NAE is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Its goal 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.
The 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 NAE 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, including:
   * Charles H. Townes received his master's degree from Duke in 1936 in physics.  He is an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and educator 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).

   * Earl H. Dowell, is chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and a former Pratt dean. He 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.

A complete list of NAE members with Duke connections is available.