THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING (NAE) has announced the election of President Steven B. Sample and computer scientist Keith Uncapher to the academy, bringing the number of USC faculty in the prestigious body to 21.
In addition to serving as the 10th president in USC’s 118-year history and holding the Robert C. Packard President’s Chair, Sample is a professor of electrical engineering/electrophysics in the School of Engineering.
Digital control devices he invented are in everyday use today in hundreds of millions of appliances, including virtually every microwave oven manufactured throughout the world. Sample was cited by the academy “for contributions to consumer electronics and leadership in interdisciplinary research and education.”
Keith Uncapher founded the School of Engineering’s internationally known Information Sciences Institute in 1972. Under Uncapher’s leadership, ISI became one of the birthplaces of the Internet, developing not only software (including the familiar .com domain system), but also the first portable computer to network over phone lines. Uncapher, who now serves as associate dean for information sciences in the School of Engineering, was cited by the academy “for information technology on the national level.”
USC’s 21 NAE members now include 17 active and four emeritus faculty members. The total does not include three NAE members on the board of trustees: Richard J. Stegemeier, Allen E. Puckett and chairman Malcolm R. Currie. Dean of engineering Leonard M. Silverman credits Currie as a major force in strengthening the school.
Before the elections just announced, USC was in sixth place nationally in numbers of active NAE faculty – ahead of such institutions as Caltech, the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Carnegie-Mellon and UCLA. The five schools with more NAE affiliates – MIT, Stanford, the University of Texas at Austin, UC Berkeley and Cornell – all have much larger engineering faculties than USC. Since 1994, USC has moved from 11th place nationally in NAE members to its present position. (USC’s relative position following the 1998 elections will not be known until the NAE publishes its annual yearbook later this year.)
“These elections again confirm the rapidly growing strength and prestige of USC’s engineering faculty,” said Silverman, himself a member of the academy. “I offer my congratulations to President Sample and to Mr. Uncapher.”
Sample and Uncapher were among 84 new NAE members elected in 1998, bringing total membership in the body to 1,941. Fewer than 1 percent of all engineers in the country are members of the academy.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. The NAE shares with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government, sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers.