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Excellence Honored

NAE Elects Three from CMU

Three prominent members of the Carnegie Mellon University community have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (NAE) — Jacobo Bielak, University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Tom M. Mitchell, University Professor of Computer Science and Machine Learning; and Paul Nielsen, director and CEO of Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute (SEI).
NAE membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice, and who have demonstrated unusual accomplishments in pioneering new and developing fields of technology.
"Election to the National Academy of Engineering is a great honor. I want to commend Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and Paul Nielsen for achieving this recognition from their peers for their work in earthquake modeling, artificial intelligence and aerospace engineering," said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon. "To date, 36 members of our community have been elected to the NAE. Their research, professional interests and contributions to education further establish the importance of engineering leadership to U.S. global competitiveness."
For more than 15 years Bielak and his research team have collaborated with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center in developing and applying methodologies for modeling ground motion and structural performance in large basins in order to identify what can be done to prevent earthquake disasters.
Bielak currently leads a four-year, $1.6 million National Science Foundation-supported project to develop tools for high fidelity, physics-based petascale simulations of entire seismic-prone regions.
A pioneer in artificial intelligence and machine learning, Mitchell is head of the School of Computer Science's Machine Learning Department, the first of its kind when it was established in 2006. His research focuses on statistical learning algorithms for understanding natural language text and how the human brain represents information. His work with colleagues in the psychology department produced the first computational model to predict brain activation patterns associated with virtually any concrete noun, a step toward the goal of using brain scans to identify thoughts.
During his career with the United States Air Force, Nielsen led the work to completely restructure and upgrade the MILSTAR program, helped to shepherd the evolution of the aerospace sovereignty strategy for North America in the 21st century, and led the systems engineering and design phase of the national satellite program at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), including the specification and design of the satellite's sensors, control systems and on-board computers.
Under Nielsen's leadership, the SEI has expanded its technical and management programs for research and transition of software engineering, including new initiatives in networked systems survivability (CERT), software engineering process management, acquisition support, and research, technology and systems solutions. The SEI has grown to become an organization of more than 500 staff members with operating revenues of $120 million annually. Nielsen joined the SEI in 2004 after a distinguished 32-year career with the Air Force.
The NAE, along with the National Academy of Sciences and the other institutions that comprise the National Academies, advises the federal government on questions of policy in science and technology.

The NAE elected 68 new members and nine foreign associates this year, bringing the total U.S. membership to 2,267 and the number of foreign associates to 196. A complete list of Carnegie Mellon's NAE members can be found here.

Related Links: More Details  |  Carnegie Mellon's NAE Members  |  College of Engineering

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