Ladies and Gentlemen of the Academies
This story by Joshua Stewart originally appeared in the Georgia Tech News Center.
Receiving the letter of welcome to membership in the National Academy of Sciences or the National Academy of Engineering is a career high point for American scholars. Election to the academies recognizes a lifetime of impact and achievement, and ranks among the very highest honors for those fields.
Likewise, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences dates back to our country’s founding and honors the nation’s most-accomplished people — all the way back to Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.
All of which makes this spring a remarkable one for Georgia Tech, with seven faculty members from all kinds of disciplines elected to these academies over the span of just a few weeks.
“Georgia Tech is regarded as one of leading research universities in the nation because of the outstanding work of our faculty,” said President Ángel Cabrera. “We are tremendously proud that seven of them were recently named to the most prestigious national honorary and leadership organizations in the nation, a fitting recognition for their respective accomplishments and a reflection of the caliber of the Georgia Tech faculty.”
Election to these academies puts new members in rarefied company: Only 2,309 people in the U.S. can call themselves members of the engineering academy, just 2,403 have been elected to the sciences academy, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences boasts 13,838 members inducted over two and a half centuries.
Adding Tech faculty to the membership rolls of all three was a bright spot in a springtime mired in dark news about the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a testament to the breadth and depth of scientific endeavors across Georgia Tech’s research enterprise.
National Academy of Sciences
The induction of three Georgia Tech scholars into the National Academy of Sciences marked a significant milestone for the Institute. It’s the the first time three members of the Tech community joined the Academy in the same year — and they represent three different colleges.
Marilyn Brown (who also joined the National Academy of Engineering and was part of a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning team) studies energy in the School of Public Policy, Randall Engle studies attention and memory in the School of Psychology, and Arkadi Nemirovski studies optimization in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (Nemirovski is also an adjunct professor in the School of Mathematics).
Until now, just one current faculty member was among the Academy’s membership.
National Academy of Engineering
Georgia Tech researchers make up more than 10% of the National Academy of Engineering’s membership, a number that grew by four this spring.
That includes Marilyn Brown. While Brown is not strictly an engineer, the Academy cited her for bridging engineering, policy, and social and behavioral studies to achieve cleaner energy.
The other new members are Thomas Kurfess, who has helped guide the digital transformation of manufacturing in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Susan Margulies, a brain and lung injury scholar and chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Alexander Shapiro in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, who studies optimization modeling that involves uncertainty.
» Four Georgia Tech Faculty Elected to National Academy of Engineering, February 10, 2020
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The list of this year’s inductees into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences includes artists and activists, lawyers and experimentalists, bioethicists and anthropologists. Singer/songwriter Joan Baez, filmmaker Richard Linklater, and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are some of the newest members.
So, too, is Susan Lozier, dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair in Georgia Tech’s College of Sciences. Lozier studies the ocean and large-scale circulation, particularly the seas’ role in climate variability and climate change.
She joins six other Georgia Tech faculty members in the Academy, which was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others to advance learning in service to the public good.
» Lozier Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, May 7, 2020