Thomas Budinger
Home Secretary, National Academy of Engineering
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Biography

Tom Budinger holds concurrent positions as a professor emeritus in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), and senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). From 1976 to 2008 he was professor of bioinstrumentation, electrical engineering, and computer sciences, and in 2004 he completed a six-year appointment as founding chair of the UCB Department of Bioengineering. He is also professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, where he was director of the Magnetic Resonance Science Center (1993–1997). He previously served as a senior oceanographer for the University of Washington. He is a member of the National Academies of Engineering and of Medicine, home secretary of the NAE, and past president of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and the World Society for Molecular Imaging.

Dr. Budinger was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996 “for contributions in quantitative medical imaging and safety of space exploration and experimentation.” He has also received numerous awards, such as the Berkeley Citation (2004) for his undergraduate and graduate teaching and mentoring; the ISMRM Distinguished Service Silver Medal (1989); the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award (1996) and Paul C. Aebersold Basic Science Award (1989) from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging; the Ernst Jung Preis für Medizin (1989) from the Jung-Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Germany); and the Gold Medal (2009) from the American Roentgen Ray Society. In 1998 he was elected  one of the Best Doctors in America and in 1969 he was recognized among the Outstanding Young Men of America.

He has contributed to a variety of National Research Council activities since 1993, serving on the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society Advisory Committee, the NAS/NAE/IOM Joint Governance Committee, and committees on the Review of Test Protocols Used by DOD to Test Combat Helmets, to Assess the Current Status and future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States, on Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Review, on Strengthening the Linkages between the Sciences and Mathematical Sciences (chair), on Integrating Engineering and the Biological Sciences: Revolution in the Making, and on the Mathematics and Physics of Emerging Dynamic Biomedical Imaging (cochair), among others. He has also served on numerous NAE governing committees.

As NAE home secretary for 8 years, Dr. Budinger has been responsible for the conduct of membership affairs, including the election of members and foreign members, and overseen the process to select members for positions of leadership as NAE officers and councillors. He created best practice documents for search executives to help the peer committees meet the council’s membership objectives, and worked with the section chairs to include them in the process for replacing section liaisons and to update section governing documents.

Dr. Budinger’s military service was in the US Coast Guard (top man, OCS 1957), with active duty in the Arctic and Antarctica, and as science officer for the International Ice Patrol from 1957 to 1960. His science and engineering contributions include the text Ethics of Emerging Technologies: Scientific Facts and Challenges (with Miriam Budinger; Wiley, 2006), over 450 papers and abstracts, and 10 patents in the areas of oceanography, space radiation, nuclear medicine, and medical imaging innovations.

He received his BS in chemistry at Regis College magna cum laude (1954); MS in physical oceanography from the University of Washington, Seattle (1957); MD from the University of Colorado, Denver, with the Gold-Headed Cane Award for promise as an outstanding physician (1964); and PhD in medical physics from UC Berkeley (1971). 

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