Sandia LabNews

Sandia researchers named to National Academy of Engineering

Romig, Jakowatz, Asay elected to National Academy of Engineering

"Pretty exciting, isn’t it?"

That was how Sandia VP Al Romig put it about news last Friday that three Sandians, Jack Jakowatz, Jim Asay, and Al himself, had been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions that can be accorded an engineer.

"I am personally pleased but am absolutely delighted at the honor that having three

Sandians elected brings to the work of the Labs," says Al.

"It’s great news," said George Samara (1120), one of Sandia’s earlier elected NAE members, in spreading word around the Labs of the honors. "Heartiest congratulations to Al, Jack, and Jim."

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 accomplishment in "the pioneering of new fields of engineering, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

NAE President Wm. A. Wulf announced the awards in Washington on Feb. 14.

The three Sandians were among 77 new members and nine foreign associates elected, bringing the total NAE US membership to 2,138 and the number of foreign associates to 165.

This is the first time three Sandians have been elected to NAE membership in the same year. And, as Al points out, it means that five Sandians have been elected in the last two years. Last year Jeff Brinker and Gordon Osbourn were elected (Lab News, Feb. 22, 2002). Al says he believes this brings the number of Sandians, including retired Sandians, elected to NAE over the years to about 15.

Here are the NAE listings and citations:

Charles [Jack] Jakowatz Jr., Manager, Signal Processing and Research Dept. 5912. "For innovations in synthetic-aperture radar-image processing critical to military applications and environmental monitoring."

Alton [Al] Romig Jr., Vice President, Science, Technology, and Partnerships, and chief technology officer. "For outstanding contributions to the science and technology of materials and for innovative research and development of defense systems."

James Asay, Deputy Director, Weapon Science Applications, Sandia. "For leadership in engineering research and management of shock waves and for the development of tools that have contributed to national security." Jim retired recently from Sandia after 32 years and is now a research professor and associate director at the Institute for Shock Physics at Washington State University, Pullman. Last fall he was honored with the American Physical Society’s Shock Compression Science Award (Lab News, Oct. 10, 2002).

"I was extremely proud to hear that the National Academy of Engineering had elected three more Sandians to membership," says Sandia President and Labs Director C. Paul Robinson, who himself was elected to NAE in 1998. "Each is exceptionally worthy of membership, and it’s even more remarkable that the specialties of these three are so diverse: Al Romig, who is a premier materials scientist, Jim Asay, who is a world-recognized expert in equation-of-state technology, and ‘Jack’ Jakowatz, who has pioneered real-time SAR with many important applications.

"I’m especially proud that the Academy has seen fit to induct these individuals, particularly since some of their greatest accomplishments have been performed in the classified realm. It should be encouraging to all Sandia engineers that such outstanding work can be awarded Academy membership."