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3 engineering faculty elected to National Academy of Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering Profs. Linda Abriola and Richard Woods and Chemical Engineering Prof. Ronald Larson have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer. The honor recognizes those who have made important contributions to engineering theory, practice and education.

"We are extremely proud that three of our most prestigious faculty have been honored in this manner," says Stephen W. Director, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. "Linda Abriola, Ronald Larson and Richard Woods each made substantive and vital contributions to their fields, and their work has made a difference."
Abriola (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

Abriola, the Horace Williams King Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was recognized "for advancing our knowledge of contaminant fate and transport in groundwater and subsurface systems." Since joining the college in 1984, she has become one of the world's foremost researchers in groundwater contamination and remediation. She is former director of the college's Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program. In 1996 she received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists and was designated the Darcy Distinguished Lecturer of the National Ground Water Association. Abriola's leadership has been crucial in understanding the impact of groundwater contaminants and developing new techniques and models for their management.


Larson (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)

Larson, the George Granger Brown Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the department, was recognized "for elucidating the flow properties of complex fluids at the molecular and continuum levels through theory and experiment." He joined the University in 1996 and is widely regarded as a leading researcher in chemical engineering. Larson's work in the rheology (science of the deformation and flow of matter) of complex fluids has broad implications for the polymer, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. In 2002, he received the Bingham Medal, the highest annual award bestowed by the Society of Rheology. Prior to arriving at U-M, Larson was employed by AT&T Bell Laboratories for 16 years, rising to the level of distinguished member of the technical staff.


Woods (Photo by David Smith Photography)

Woods, professor emeritus of civil engineering, was cited "for applications of soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering to the design of foundations for vibration-sensitive and vibration-robust facilities." His pioneering research in soil dynamics, earthquake engineering and dynamic soil-structure interaction has had a great influence on the way machine and building foundation systems are designed and constructed today. Woods is former chair of the college's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and he co-founded the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was the driving force behind the U.S. Universities Council on Geotechnical Engineering Research, and the Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Society. He has been a member of the faculty since 1967.

Abriola, Woods and Larson were among the 77 new members NAE honored this year. The total U.S. membership is now 2,138. There are now 20 College of Engineering faculty members who have received this honor.

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