Six UC Berkeley faculty elected to NAE

Six faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley, are among 68 new members and nine foreign associates elected today (Wednesday, Feb. 17) to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

The new UC Berkeley members are Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, Fred and Claire Sauer Professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering; Eugene Haller, Liao-Cho Innovation Endowed Chair and professor of materials science; Michael Jordan, Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor in electrical engineering and computer sciences and in statistics; Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering; Arthur Rosenfeld, professor emeritus of physics; and Xiang Zhang, Ernest S. Kuh Endowed Chair and professor of mechanical engineering.

Election to the NAE is considered one of the most prestigious professional distinctions accorded to an American engineer. With today’s announcement, there are now 88 NAE members at UC Berkeley among the 2,267 total U.S. members and 196 foreign associates.

The NAE cited the newly elected UC Berkeley researchers for the following:

  • Lisa Alvarez-Cohen for the discovery and application of novel microorganisms and biochemical pathways for microbial degradation of environmental contaminants
  • Eugene Haller, who is also a faculty senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for improvements in semiconductor performance through contributions to synthesis of ultrapure and doped crystals
  • Michael I. Jordan for contributions to the foundations and applications of machine learning
  • Jay D. Keasling, who is also director of the Physical Biosciences Division at LBNL and CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, Calif., for developing synthetic biology tools to engineer the antimalarial drug artemisinin
  • Arthur H. Rosenfeld, who is also one of five members of the California Energy Commission, for his leadership in energy efficiency research, development, and technology deployment through the development of appliance and building standards and public policy
  • Xiang Zhang, who is also director of the National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, for pioneering contributions in metamaterials and creation of the first optical superlens with resolutions beyond the fundamental diffraction limit

The NAE noted in a press statement that membership in the academy recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education. This includes the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

New academy members will be inducted in October at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

A full list of new academy members is included in this NAE press release.