Alumnus Jim Rawlings Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Jim RawlingsThe National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today that alumnus Jim Rawlings (B.S. ’79) has been elected to the prestigious academy.

Rawlings joins 80 new members and 22 new foreign members elected to the NAE in 2016. Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer.

Rawlings is a chemical and biological engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. His research interests include chemical process control, state estimation and monitoring, chemical reaction engineering and virus modeling. Rawlings has authored two textbooks and is in part responsible for the Octave computational software tool used in chemical engineering education and research. Rawlings is an elected fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Rawlings was a Texas ChE faculty member from 1986 to 1995. He also formerly served on the department’s External Advisory Council.

NAE membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in the engineering field and profession.

Since 2013, eight UT Austin engineers have been elected as new members, and the university has the fourth highest total membership among all U.S. universities.

In addition to Rawlings, the NAE also elected two UT Austin faculty and one other alumnus: David R. Maidment, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering, Bridget R. Scanlon, senior research scientist in the Jackson School of Geosciences and Jennifer L. West, who received an M.S. in 1994 and a Ph.D. in 1996 in biomedical engineering from the Cockrell School.

About the newly elected UT Austin faculty members:

David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at UT Austin and has been on the faculty since 1981. His research focuses on surface water hydrology and the application of geographic information systems. He is the recipient of the Ray K. Linsley Award from the American Institute of Hydrology, the Ven Te Chow Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the AWRA Award for Water Resources Data and Information Systems, which has been permanently renamed the David R. Maidment Award for Water Resources Data and Information Systems. He received a B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Bridget R. Scanlon leads the UT Austin Bureau of Economic Geology’s Sustainable Water Resources Program, a research group that examines issues concerning water resources related to climate and land use. She has received many honors for her work, including being elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America, and she is a two-time winner of a conservation award from the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Scanlon received a B.S. in geology from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, an M.S. in geology from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Kentucky.

About the newly elected UT Austin alumni:

Jennifer L. West is a biomedical engineering professor at Duke University, where she leads the Biofunctional Materials West Lab. West’s research in biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering involves the synthesis, development and application of novel biofunctional materials, and the use of biomaterials and engineering approaches to study biological problems. She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Frank Annunzio Award from the Christopher Columbus Foundation. She received both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Cockrell School

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