University of California Irvine: National Academy of Engineers names two UCI professors as new members

Two University of California, Irvine faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to those pursuing research, education and applications in engineering and technical fields.

Farzad Naeim, adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Julie Schoenung, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, are among the 111 new U.S.-based members.

“Congratulations to Professors Naeim and Schoenung on this outstanding achievement,” said Hal Stern, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “Election to the academy is a wonderful recognition of their scientific contributions, which are helping to address key challenges in seismic design and materials engineering.”

Magnus Egerstedt, the Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering, said, “With the election of these two faculty members, the UCI Samueli School is now home to 16 National Academy of Engineering members. It is a true testament of the research expertise and impact of our professors’ dedication to solving problems that benefit society.”

The NAE citation for Naeim commended him for “advancing performance-based seismic design of tall buildings and other structures with instrumentation, isolation and energy dissipation devices.”

Naeim has been making significant contributions to earthquake engineering, technology and public policy for more than three decades. He has worked with the city of Los Angeles to develop regulations for the design and construction of very tall buildings, and his contributions have resulted in significant seismic safety improvements in Los Angeles and other major cities.

He also has taken publicly available technology and developed it into tailor-made design methodologies, analysis software and earthquake-resistant design technologies that improve seismic safety. With nearly 40 years of industry experience, Naeim is a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has won a range of professional awards.

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition and very thankful to the academy members who recognized and studied my work, valued it and accepted me to be a member of their unbelievably distinguished group,” said Naeim.

The NAE recognized Schoenung’s “innovative and interdisciplinary applications of materials engineering in trimodal composites, coatings, additive manufacturing and green engineering.”

Schoenung synthesizes, characterizes and models new materials to meet the increasing demands of ballistic, transportation and energy applications. She also studies the impacts of materials transactions on human health and environmental quality and leads efforts to advance sustainable development of materials, especially as used in manufacturing processes.

Schoenung has won numerous awards and distinctions and holds fellowships with Alpha Sigma Mu; the American Ceramic Society; ASM International; the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society; and the National Academy of Inventors.

“Being elected into the academy is indeed an amazing honor,” said Schoenung. “I wish to thank the members of the academy for their support and the nomination committee for their effort on my behalf and belief in recognizing someone with a less traditional research path. I also want to sincerely thank my students, researchers, collaborators, colleagues, mentors, staff, friends and especially my family, who have given me boundless love and support. Without my ‘village,’ this would never have been possible.”

In addition, Michael Mussallem, a UCI Foundation trustee and Engineering Leadership Council member, was also named an NAE member. Mussallem is the chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences, a medical technology company located in Irvine.

The new class of NAE members will be formally inducted during the academy’s annual meeting on Oct. 2, 2022.

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