Daniel Atkins elected to National Academy of Engineering

Professor Daniel E Atkins III has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineering scientist.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

Atkins, who is the W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community Information, School of Information, and professor of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering, was recognized for leadership in development of radix algorithms and cybertechnical collaborative systems.

“The National Academies were created by Congress and members serve as advisors to the federal government,” said UMSI Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason. “Election is rare and highly selective. This is wonderful news and we are delighted that Dan is being honored with induction into this distinguished company.”

Atkins is the founding dean of the School of Information and was one of the prime movers in establishing the school in 1996, which inspired a worldwide movement to launch information schools. Prior to coming to UMSI, he served as Dean of the College of Engineering. In a notable career that spans over 50 years, 40 of them at the University of Michigan, his achievements are many and are distinctive because of their interdisciplinary focus.

He has made major contributions to high-performance computer architecture, including developing high-speed computer arithmetic used in every processor chip today. He led the U-M Digital Library Initiative and helped to pilot the Mellon Foundation’s JSTOR project, used by millions for research, teaching and learning. He directed development of the world's first virtual laboratory, or collaboratory, which pioneered many of the socio-technical systems that now support routine global collaboration in scientific and engineering research.

He is a consultant to the Kellogg Foundation for use of information and communication technology for educating at-risk youth in the United States, and for rural communities and higher education in South Africa.

He chaired the National Science Foundation Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure and from 2006-2008 he served as the inaugural director of the U.S. Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation. From 2008 to 2012 he served as the University of Michigan Associate Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure and Chairman of the U-M IT Governance Council.

Among his many other career awards, he has received the UM Distinguished Service Award, the Nina W. Mathesson Award, the Paul Evan Peters Award, an NSF Service Commendation, and the University of Illinois College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.

Of the 67 new members elected to the NAE in 2014, two are from the University of Michigan.  The other is Wallace Hopp, senior associate dean for faculty and research, Herrick Professor of Business, professor of technology and operations, and professor of industrial and operations engineering.

Posted on Thursday, February 6, 2014