Professor David Allen Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Headshot of Chemical Engerineering Professor David AllenThe National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected David T. Allen, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas of Austin, and five Cockrell School of Engineering alumni to the prestigious academy.

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering new and developing areas of technology and making major advancements in the engineering field and profession. In all, 84 new members and 22 foreign members joined the NAE in 2017.

“We are extremely proud of David, whose leadership on several influential air quality studies has led to new approaches to reducing emissions globally,” said Sharon L. Wood, dean of the Cockrell School and a member of the NAE. “In addition to his achievements in research, his work developing engineering educational programs through his innovative Engineer Your World curriculum has engaged thousands of high school students across the country. David truly exemplifies engineering leadership.”

Allen is director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources in the Cockrell School of Engineering and holds the Melvin H. Gertz Regents Chair in Chemical Engineering. NAE recognized him for contributions to improving air quality and development in the education and practice of sustainable engineering. Allen served as chair of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board from 2012 to 2015. He is a past recipient of the Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education, the Texas Environmental Excellence Award, the Lawrence Cecil Award in Environmental Chemical Engineering and the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. He received a B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Since 2013, nine UT Austin professors have been elected as new members to the NAE, and the university has 39 current and emeritus members, among the highest total membership of any U.S. institution.

In addition to Allen, five Cockrell School alumni have been elected to the academy this year: Sergio Manuel Alcocer, Ali H. Dogru, Noboru Kikuchi, Deb. A. Niemeier and Randall W. Poston.

  • Sergio Manuel Alcocer (Ph.D. CE 1991) was recognized for improvements to the seismic safety of buildings in developing countries through improved design standards and government policies.
  • Ali H. Dogru (Ph.D. PE and Applied Math 1974) was recognized for the development of high-performance computing hydrocarbon reservoir simulation.
  • Noboru Kikuchi (M.S. ME 1975; Ph.D. ME 1977) was recognized for contributions to theory and methods of computer-aided engineering and leadership in applications in the automotive industry worldwide.
  • Deb A. Niemeier (B.S. CE 1982) was recognized for developing groundbreaking tools to characterize the impact of transportation emissions on air quality and environmental justice.
  • Randall W. Poston (B.S. CE 1978; MSE CE 1980; Ph.D. CE 1984) was recognized for the development of diagnostic and repair technologies for concrete structures and leadership in concrete building code development.

More information about Allen and the five alumni members can be found on the Cockrell School website.

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