Fri, September 07, 2018

Washington, September 07, 2018 —

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2019 nominating committee1 has recommended John L. Anderson, President Emeritus and distinguished professor of chemical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), to stand as the sole candidate2 for the NAE presidency. NAE members will vote in March 2019 to elect a new NAE president to a six-year term beginning July 1. If elected, Anderson will succeed C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., whose term will end June 30, 2019.

“John Anderson is a superb nominee for president of the NAE,” said NAE Council chair Gordon England, former secretary of the U.S. Navy.  “He is a highly recognized leader in the academic community and has years of experience in many NAE positions, including being a current member of the Council. John is personable, very engaging, and a natural leader – just what we need to continue moving the NAE forward to better serve the nation.”

The National Academy of Engineering is part of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. These independent, nonprofit institutions advise the government and the public on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. NAE members are the nation's premier engineers, elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements. Established in 1964, the NAE operates under the congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. The NAE president is a full-time employee of the organization at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and also serves as vice chair of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academies.

Anderson was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1992 “for contributions to the understanding of colloidal hydrodynamics and membrane transport phenomena.” In addition to his current service on the NAE Council, he has served on numerous NAE and Academies committees including as chair of the Committee on Determining Basic Research Needs to Interrupt the Improvised Explosive Device Delivery Chain and chair of the Committee on Review of Existing and Potential Standoff Explosives (Suicide Bomber) Detection Techniques.

Anderson served as the president of Illinois Tech from 2007 to 2015. He is currently a distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Illinois Tech’s Armour College of Engineering. His past academic leadership positions include chair of biomedical engineering, department head of chemical engineering, and dean of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as provost and executive vice president at Case Western Reserve University.

Since receiving his B.Ch.E. at the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Anderson has served on the faculties of Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, and Illinois Tech.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, Anderson was visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1982 to 1983, and he has held visiting professorships at Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen (Netherlands, 1994) and the University of Melbourne (Australia, 1995). He has served on advisory boards/visiting committees for Carnegie Mellon University, University of California, Santa Barbara, Cornell University, University College Dublin, University of Delaware, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Toronto, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Virginia. Anderson has mentored 26 doctoral students.

In 2014 Anderson was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been awarded the Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering (1989) and the National Engineering Award by the American Association of Engineering Societies (2012).

Anderson is married to Patricia Siemen Anderson; they have two children and five grandchildren.


1 The members of the NAE nominating committee represent each of the 12 sections of the Academy and are elected by the members of each section. The three largest sections place two members on the committee, resulting in an elected membership of 15. The chair of the nominating committee is selected from among these 15 members by the NAE Council, the governing body of the NAE. In addition, one member of the council serves as its representative on the nominating committee, the NAE vice president and home secretary serve ex officio, and the chair of the previous year’s nominating committee also serves. No member may be elected to serve on the nominating committee more than once in six years. The members of the committee were as follows:

G. Wayne Clough (chair), Smithsonian Institution and Georgia Institute of Technology, ret., Section 4

Mark P. Board, Hecla Mining Co., Section 11

Ross B. Corotis, University of Colorado Boulder, Section 4

Brenda J. Dietrich, IBM Analytics, Section 8

Eduardo D. Glandt, University of Pennsylvania, ret., Section 3

James S. Harris, Stanford University, Section 7

Mary Jane Irwin, Pennsylvania State University, Section 5

John G. Kassakian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Section 6

George T. Ligler, GTL Associates, Section 12

Robin K. McGuire, Lettis Consultants International Inc., Section 4

David A. Thompson, IBM Almaden Research Center, Section 7

David A. Tirrell, California Institute of Technology, Section 2

Stephen M. Trimberger, Xilinx Inc., ret., Section 5

Ward O. Winer, Georgia Institute of Technology, Section 10

Michael I. Yarymovych, Sarasota Space Associates, Section 1

Steven J. Zinkle, University of Tennessee, Section 9


Cherry A. Murray (immediate past chair), Harvard University, Section 7

Corale L. Brierley (NAE vice president, ex officio), Brierley Consultancy LLC, Section 11

Julia M. Phillips (NAE home secretary, ex officio), Sandia National Laboratories, ret., Section 9

Yannis C. Yortsos (Council representative), University of Southern California, Section 11

2 According to the bylaws of the NAE, a candidate may be added to the ballot for any position by petition. Such petition must be signed by 5 percent of the active members of the Academy, representing at least 10 different institutions, and must be submitted by January 15 of the election year.

Randy  Atkins
Contact Randy Atkins
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National Academy of Engineering