Becoming a Member

Members are elected to NAE membership by their peers (current NAE members). Election to membership is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer. Members have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations. 

Individuals can not apply for membership in the NAE and, thus, there are no "application forms" for membership in the NAE. The procedures for nomination and election of member and international member candidates involve a search in all fields of engineering by present members of the NAE for outstanding individuals with identifiable contributions or accomplishments in at least one of the following categories:

  • engineering, practice, research, or education,
  • pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or development/implementation of innovative approaches to engineering education
  • engineering leadership of one or more major endeavors.

A candidate for membership shall also be recognized by associates and others for professional integrity. 

A candidate nomination for member (U.S. citizen) must be made by a member of the Academy, with supporting references from two additional active or emeritus Academy members. A candidate nomination for international member (non-U.S. citizen) may be made by a member or international member of the Academy, with supporting references from two additional Academy members, at least two of the signatories (nominator + references) must be from active members; emeritus members may also serve as primary references and up to two international members may serve as supplemental references. The call for nominations and reference support occurs between February and May; nomination packets are released only to members. Nominators and references are requested to maintain secrecy with regard to those being nominated for membership in the Academy. Peer committee reviews of nominees in various fields of engineering result in recommendations to the Committee on Membership for its consideration within guidelines established by the NAE Council. The final list of nominees is voted on by the entire membership of the NAE during the month of January with the results of the vote announced to the public in mid-February. The entire process is subject to strict confidentiality.