Four Black Scholars With Current Ties to Academia Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering has 86 new members who will be inducted in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on October 6, 2019. The new members bring the total number of U.S. members to 2,297.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. 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.”

According to an analysis of the new membership list by JBHE, there are six Black scholars among the 86 new members. Thus, Blacks make up 7 percent of the new members. A year ago, there were three African Americans among the 83 new members of the Academy. Of the six Black scholars elected this year, four have current ties to the academic world. Brief biographies of these four academics are below.

Dereje Agonafer, originally from Ethiopia, is the Jenkins Garrett Professor and director of the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is being honored for “contributions to computer-aided electro/thermo/mechanical design and modeling of electronic equipment.” Dr. Agonafer holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Gilda A. Barabino is the Daniel and Frances Berg Professor and dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York. Her citation accompanying her election stated that she was being honored “for leadership in bioengineering research and inclusive models of bioengineering education and faculty mentoring.” Dr. Barabino is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, where she majored in chemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Rice University in Houston.

Alec D. Gallimore is the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering and a professor at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on advanced spacecraft electric propulsion, especially Hall thruster technology. Professor Gallimore joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1992. Dr. Gallimore is a graduate or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he majored in aeronautical engineering. He holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University.

Darryll J. Pines is a professor and dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was cited by the Academy for “inspirational leadership and contributions to engineering education excellence in the United States.” Dr.Pines is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in mechanical engineering. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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