Edgar Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Thomas F. Edgar, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and director of UT Austin’s Energy Institute, is one of four professors from the Cockrell School of Engineering to be elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (NAE) this year.
The academy also elected Gregory L. Fenves, executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin; Yale N. Patt, professor in the Department of Electrical & 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 of any university in the United States this year.
“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.”
Edgar is being recognized for his contributions to mathematical modeling, optimization and automatic control of chemical and microelectronics processes and for professional leadership. Since joining the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering in 1971, he also been a leader in energy research, including 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.
Edgar was awarded the F. J. and Dorothy Van Antwerpen Award for Service from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2010 and the Pruitt Award from the Council for Chemical Research in 2009. He has published more than 450 articles and book chapters and supervised the research of more than 80 Ph.D. and 45 M.S. students. Edgar received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University.
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