Three Elected to National Academy of Engineering
by Jan Ambrosini, Engineering Public Affairs
posted Mar. 4, 1998
Three UC Berkeley professors two noted engineers and a Nobel
Prize-winning physicist have been elected members of the National
Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor for an
The new members from the faculty are William C. Webster, professor
of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean for
research and student affairs in the College of Engineering; Alberto
Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, professor of electrical engineering and
computer sciences; and Nobel Laureate physicist Charles H. Townes,
University Professor Emeritus and professor in the graduate school.
Their election brings the total Berkeley faculty membership to
76 out of 1,941 nationally and 155 foreign associates. Among academic
institutions, Berkeley has one of the highest representations
in the academy with more than 7 percent of total members being
faculty or alumni.
Four Berkeley alumni also were among the 84 new members and seven
new foreign associates announced Feb. 13. The new members of the
academy will be inducted in ceremonies in October in Washington,
Academy membership honors those who have made important contributions
to engineering theory and practice, including significant contributions
to the literature of engineering theory and practice, and those
who have demonstrated unusual accomplishment in the pioneering
of new and developing fields of technology.
William Webster, who joined the Berkeley faculty in 1969, is an
expert on naval architecture and ocean engineering. He received
his PhD here in naval architecture in 1966.
He pioneered the modeling of waves, necessary for accurate basin
testing of small-scale ship models. A leader in the design of
active anti-rolling tanks, Websters designs have been incorporated
into the design of todays container ships, liquefied-gas carriers
and offshore drilling vessels.
As associate dean for research and student affairs in the College
of Engineering since 1991, Webster oversees undergraduate advising,
academic policies and special issues regarding research.Alberto
Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, an authority on circuit simulation, computer-aided
design of integrated circuits, and logic synthesis, joined the
faculty in 1976. He received his engineering doctorate from the
Politechnico di Milano in 1971 in electrical engineering and computer
His recent projects have focused on design methodologies and tools
for mixed signal integrated circuits and embedded controllers,
with applications in automotive and telecommunications systems.
In 1981, Sangiovanni-Vincentelli received the Distinguished Teaching
Award, the highest honor awarded by the Berkeley campus for teaching.
Charles H. Townes joined the physics department in 1967. He is
winner of 47 major awards, including the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics
for his invention of the maser and concepts that led to the creation
of the laser. He also has received the National Medal of Science,
the IEEE Medal of Honor and election to the National Inventors
Hall of Fame.
Townes election to the NAE comes from his significant contributions
to the engineering community through his studies of the maser-laser
principle, which spawned a new industry. He currently is involved
in astrophysics research, specifically infrared interferometry
to study young stars still imbedded in the dust clouds from which
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