The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today that Gregory L. Fenves, executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of four professors from the Cockrell School of Engineering to be elected to the prestigious academy this year.
The academy also elected Thomas F. Edgar, director of the Energy Institute and professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering; Yale N. Patt, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science in the College of Natural Sciences; and Bob E. Schutz, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.
They are four of 67 new members and 11 foreign associates to join the academy in 2014. UT Austin reported the highest number of new members elected to the academy this year among universities across the United States.
“Provost Fenves and Professors Edgar, Patt and Schutz are exactly the type of UT Austin faculty who change the world every day,” said Bill Powers, the university’s president. “Their research and their distinguished careers as teachers have shaped generations of engineering students and enhanced our understanding of the world.”
Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education.
“We are extremely proud to have four faculty members elected to the NAE,” said Sharon L. Wood, interim dean of the Cockrell School and an NAE member. “This is further confirmation that the Cockrell School is at the forefront of engineering research and education.”
New members representing the Cockrell School of Engineering:
Thomas F. Edgar, director of the Energy Institute at UT Austin and the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Engineering, is recognized for contributions to mathematical modeling, optimization and automatic control of chemical and microelectronics processes and for professional leadership.
A chemical engineer who has been on the Cockrell School faculty for more than 40 years, Edgar’s energy research includes renewable energy, combined heat and power, energy storage and improved oil recovery. Edgar serves on the board of Pecan Street Inc., a public-private partnership focused on renewable energy and smart grids in Austin. He is also principal investigator for the Pecan Street demonstration project, funded by the Department of Energy, and for the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program. He is past president of the American Automatic Control Council and past president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Gregory L. Fenves, executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin, is recognized for contributions to computational modeling, creation of open-source software for earthquake engineering analysis and for academic leadership. Prior to becoming provost, Fenves served as the eighth dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
Fenves came to UT Austin from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, assistant director at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center and professor of structural engineering, among other positions.
Yale N. Patt, the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was elected for contributions to high-performance microprocessor architecture.
Patt joined the Cockrell School faculty in 1999. He has received many international awards for his research and teaching, including the prestigious Eckert-Mauchly Award in computer architecture from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society. Among his many teaching commendations are the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the university’s Texas Excellence Teaching Award and membership in the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
Bob E. Schutz, the Joe J. King Chair of Engineering in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, was elected for his contribution to the use of satellite laser ranging and GPS tracking to study Earth system dynamics.
Schutz was the science team leader for NASA’s Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, an instrument used to measure topography that operated on the Ice, Cloud, Land and Elevation Satellite in Earth’s orbit for several years. Schutz has served on the Cockrell School faculty since 1969. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Geophysical Union and the American Astronautical Society.