Carnegie Mellon University

Image of Dr. Ed Frank

February 09, 2018

Frank Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Abby Simmons
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Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and trustee Dr. Edward Frank, who led the development of four generations of Macintosh computers, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive.

Frank earned his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science in 1985 and has been a member of CMU's Board of Trustees since 2000. He was elected to the NAE for his "contributions to the development and commercialization of wireless networking products."

Currently, CEO of Brilliant Lime Inc., Frank has held leadership positions in several Bay Area technology companies, including Apple, Broadcom and his own startup, Cloud Parity Inc., which has developed an innovative social mobile platform for dramatically improved consumer engagement.

"Carnegie Mellon benefits from some of the finest minds in the nation — on our faculty and among our students, to be sure, but just as important, on our board of trustees, as illustrated by this national recognition for Dr. Ed Frank," said CMU Interim President Farnam Jahanian. "Ed's distinction in his field allows him to bring an important lens to some of the university's most critical work, even as his provocative insights and deep commitment to CMU make him a leader in our shared stewardship for this great institution."

Frank was vice president of Macintosh Hardware Systems Engineering at Apple from 2009 to 2013, when he pioneered the development of several iterations of laptops and desktop computers.

Before joining Apple, he was corporate vice president of Research and Development at Broadcom, where he co-founded and led the engineering group for Broadcom's Wireless LAN business, one of its largest units. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Frank was a distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems, Inc., where he developed Sun's Green Project, the precursor to the Java cross-platform web programming language.

He holds more than 50 patents, serves on the boards of several technology companies and is an adviser to Bay Area venture capital firms and startups.

"Educating engineers and computer scientists who understand how humans interact with technology has never been more important, and no place does that better than Carnegie Mellon." — Dr. Edward Frank

Image of Dr. Ed Frank

Frank is the 57th NAE member affiliated with CMU.

"I am honored by the NAE's election, and proud to join a distinguished group of CMU faculty and alumni who are part of the Academy," Frank said. "Educating engineers and computer scientists who understand how humans interact with technology has never been more important, and no place does that better than Carnegie Mellon."

Frank is vice chair of CMU's Board of Trustees. He has served on numerous trustee committees and was chair of CMU's previous capital campaign. He also has been a member of eight presidential advisory boards and dean's councils.

Frank has been an avid supporter of CMU. He and his wife, Sarah, a 1983 graduate of CMU's School of Art, gave the naming gift for the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a flexible laboratory for new, interdisciplinary modes of arts research, production and presentation. The Franks are among the founders of CMU's Silicon Valley campus, which opened for classes in 2002.

Frank earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

The NAE Class of 2018 includes 83 new members and 16 foreign members. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

He will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting on Sept. 30 in Washington, D.C.