Two members of Cornell's engineering faculty -- Harold Craighead, the Charles W. Lake Jr. Professor of Engineering, and Éva Tardos, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science -- are among 64 new members and nine foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineering faculty members.
"These individuals have earned this prestigious honor by virtue of their impact on their field," said Kent Fuchs, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering. "To have faculty members elected to the academy for a second straight year is a source of pride for the college and the entire university." Last year, Toby Berger, the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor of Engineering emeritus, and Jean-Yves Parlange, professor of biological and environmental engineering, were elected.
According to the academy, Craighead, director of Cornell's Nanobiotechnology Center, was selected for "contributions to the fabrication and exploitation of nanostructures for electronic, optical, mechanical and biological applications." He has been a pioneer in nanofabrication methods and using nanostructures as tools in biological research. His research group has created devices that can detect and identify single bacteria and viruses, nanoscale gas sensors and nanofluidic devices that can separate, count and analyze individual DNA molecules.
Craighead, who received his B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1974, and his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell in 1980, joined the Cornell faculty in 1989. He was the first director of the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center when the center was created in 2000 and served as interim dean of the College of Engineering in 2001-02.
Tardos was chosen for "contributions to the design and analysis of efficient algorithms for network problems." Her research focuses on "optimization," in which a computer is asked to find the most efficient way to organize a large number of elements. She has developed approaches that approximate ideal solutions and prevent the computer from becoming lost in unsolvable problems. The work has applications in the design, maintenance and management of communication networks and problems that arise from vision. Recent work focuses on algorithmic game theory, network games and the price of anarchy.
Tardos, who received her Ph.D. from Eötvös University in Budapest in 1984, joined the Cornell faculty in 1989. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a Packard fellow, a Sloan fellow and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and the recipient of the Fulkerson Prize in 1988 and the George B. Dantzig Prize in 2006.
The NAE was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act of incorporation that established the National Academy of Sciences.