Nine RPI Community Members Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Membership is considered one of the highest honors in the field

March 21, 2024

RPI Jonsson Engineering Center
The Jonsson Engineering Center houses the RPI School of Engineering.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently announced its newest members for the class of 2024 and nine of the inductees are affiliated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), including alumni, faculty, and a member of the RPI Board of Trustees.

Membership in the NAE is considered one of the highest honors in the field. It is awarded for “outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering.”

“That so many researchers who have studied and worked at, and on behalf of, RPI should receive this distinction as we celebrate our Bicentennial is a testament to their talent and hard work, as well as our history of innovation and education,” said Martin Schmidt ’81, RPI President. “These remarkable engineers exemplify the spirit of creativity, dedication, entrepreneurialism, and civic-mindedness that has characterized Rensselaer through 200 years at the cutting edge of pedagogy and technology.”

When this new class is inducted at the NAE’s annual meeting in September, they will join more than 80 living RPI alumni and faculty in the academy. RPI’s faculty and alumni include more than 150 members of national academies in their respective fields.

Christian L. Belady ’86

Christian Belady earned a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from RPI in 1986. He recently served as vice president and distinguished engineer for Microsoft’s Datacenter Advanced Development group in Mercer Island, Washington. The NAE has recognized him for “delivery of energy-efficient data centers and metrics to characterize their power utilization efficiency.”

Darío Gil, Ph.D.

Darío Gil, Ph.D., senior vice president and director of IBM Research, is a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees. He leads the technical community of IBM, directing innovation strategies in hybrid cloud, AI, semiconductors, quantum computing, and exploratory science. The NAE has recognized him “for advancement and practical use of artificial intelligence and quantum computing in industry and society.”

Martha R. Grabowski, MBA ’82, M.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’87

Martha Grabowski, Ph.D., earned three degrees from RPI: a Master of Business Administration in 1982, a Master of Science in industrial engineering in 1983, and a doctorate in management/information systems in 1987. She is now a senior research scientist at RPI and a professor of information systems at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she is also the McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Information Systems and the director of the Information Systems program. The NAE has recognized her for “engineering information systems that promote transportation safety and for national leadership in marine transportation policy.”

Kiruba Sivasubramaniam Haran, Ph.D. ’00

Kiruba Sivasubramaniam Haran earned a doctorate in electric power engineering from RPI in 2000. He is now Grainger Endowed Director’s Chair Professor in electrical and computer engineering and director of the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The NAE has recognized him “for high-power density electric and superconducting machinery technology and innovations in aircraft electric propulsion.”

Peter Hart ’62, Ph.D.

Peter Hart earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from RPI in 1962 and went on to earn a Master of Science and doctorate from Stanford University. He is now chairman emeritus of Ricoh Innovations Inc., which he founded in 1989 in Cupertino, California. The NAE has recognized him “for pattern classification, information theory, computer vision, and robotics.”

Nicholas W. Miller ’79, ’80

Nicholas Miller earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in electric power engineering from RPI in 1979 and 1980, respectively. The Miller family has a strong RPI legacy, as Miller’s father, brothers, daughter, and eight extended family members are all RPI alumni. He is now principal at HickoryLedge LLC in Delmar, New York. The NAE has recognized him “for reliable integration of wind and solar plants into electric power systems.”

 George J. Pappas ’91, ’92 Ph.D.

George Pappas earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical, computer, and systems engineering and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from RPI in 1991 and 1992, respectively. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He is now UPS Foundation Professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. The NAE has recognized him “for analysis, synthesis, and control of safety-critical cyber-physical systems.”

Charles A. Taylor, Jr. ’87, ’91, ’92, Ph.D.

Charles Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering as well as two master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics from RPI in 1987, 1991, and 1992, respectively. He went on to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, where he became an associate professor of bioengineering and surgery. He is now chief scientific officer of HeartFlow Inc., which he founded in 2010 in Mountain View, California. The NAE has recognized him “for patient-specific computer modeling of blood flow and the noninvasive diagnosis of heart disease.” 

Steven D. Weiner ’78

Steven Weiner earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from RPI in 1978. He went on to become director of engineering science at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and Lockheed Martin company, where he designed the X2 Technology Demonstrator helicopter. The NAE has recognized him “for development and fielding of advanced high-speed VTOL aircraft.”

Written By Tracey Leibach
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