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UC San Diego: Denine Hagen
(619) 534-2920,

Three UC San Diego Faculty Elected to Prestigious National Academy of Engineering

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Feb. 16, 1999 Three UC San Diego engineering faculty have received one of the highest individual honors in engineering. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) today announced that Paul Libby, professor emeritus of fluid mechanics, Frieder Seible, professor and chair of structural engineering, and Frank Talke, professor of mechanical engineering and endowed chair in the Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR), were elected by their peers into the Academy.

Robert Conn, dean of the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego said: "The election of three people to the engineering academy in one year is extraordinary, and has never occurred before in the history of UC San Diego. Each of these faculty are leaders in their fields and each has a long history of extraordinary accomplishments. Their work touches the lives of everyone who uses a computer, drives on the roadways, or flies in an airplane."

The Jacobs School of Engineering was one of just four academic institutions in the nation to have three faculty elected to the NAE in 1999. Members are elected by their peers, and the fact that three faculty were elected is a prime indicator of the Jacobs School’s stature among industry and university colleagues. With this election, the total number of National Academy faculty members affiliated with the Jacobs School increases to 15. As a percentage of the total faculty of the School, this is one of the highest faculty representations of academy membership in the country.

In addition, all three of the new UC San Diego NAE members are part of the Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES) at the Jacobs School. Since the NAE was formed in 1964, rarely if ever has one department had three faculty elected to membership in one year.

"We are extremely proud of Professors Libby, Seible, and Talke," said Forman Williams, chair of the AMES Department. "Their honor is shared by their colleagues in the department, their students and their alumni who are now working in industry and universities across the nation."

Paul Libby

Professor Paul Libby has made significant contributions to theory in the fields of aerodynamics, turbulence, turbulent combustion and combustion. In collaboration with Professor K.N.C.Bray of Cambridge University he discovered in the 1980's the important processes of countergradient, nongradient and augmented gradient transport operative within turbulent flames. These principles explain how pressure in turbulent flames changes the normal flow from hot to cold. They are now widely understood to play important roles in power generating equipment and jet engines and are therefore incorporated in many numerical codes for predicting the performance of these devices. With his UC San Diego colleague Professor Forman Williams he has edited and written chapters in the two definitive volumes currently available on turbulent reacting flows. Professor Libby recently wrote a new textbook on turbulent flow, which is receiving wide international praise.

Professor Libby came to UC San Diego in 1964 as one of the 10 founding faculty members of the Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences. He was chair of the department from 1973 to 1976, and was instrumental in establishing the first B.S. engineering degree program at UC San Diego. Dr. Libby was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1972 and a British Royal Society Guest Fellow in 1982.

Frieder Seible

Professor Frieder Seible’s outstanding achievements include the development of large-scale structural testing techniques, seismic assessment and retrofit of bridges, and the application of Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC) in civil engineering structures.

Dr. Seible helped design the technology that is being used by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to retrofit bridge columns throughout California. He is a registered P.E. (Professional Engineer) in California and serves on the Caltrans Seismic Advisory Board. He chaired the Seismic Safety Peer Review Panels for the bridge reconstruction following the 1989 Loma Prieta and the 1994 Northridge earthquakes, and he is currently a member of the Engineering Design Advisory Panel and the Seismic Safety Peer Review Panel for the new San Francisco-Oakland East Bay Bridge.

Dr. Seible developed and directs the Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories at UC San Diego. These laboratories serve as a world-wide resource for full-scale testing and analysis of structures. Dr. Seible has received numerous awards for his research including the TRB National Research Council K.B. Woods Award twice, the ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize, the PCA/ACI 1994 Concrete Bridge Award of Excellence for the Design of the Scripps Crossing Bridge, the ASCE 1995 Moisseiff Award, and the 1996 CERF Charles Pankow Award for Design Innovation.

Frank Talke

Professor Frank Talke has made significant contributions to magnetic recording technology for data storage in computers and to color ink jet printing. His studies of mechanics and materials issues of the head/disk and head/tape interface have increased the understanding of the technology and contributed to the design and implementation of improved disk and tape storage devices. While at IBM, Dr. Talke also led the development of one of the first high-resolution color ink jet printers based on drop-on-demand technology.

Professor Talke joined UC San Diego in1986 as a founding member of the Center for Magnetic Recording Research and was the chair of the AMES Department from 1993 through 1995. He was with the IBM Research and Development Laboratories in San Jose, California, from 1969 to 1986, where he received three Outstanding Contribution Awards for Technology Research in 1971, 1979, and 1984. Professor Talke holds 11 U.S. patents in magnetic recording and ink jet printing technology. His current research is in the areas of the head/disk and head/tape interface, precision instrumentation, and mechanical design related to magnetic storage devices.

About the National Academy of Engineering

Founded in 1964, the NAE is a private, nonprofit institution that advises the federal government, conducts independent studies examining important contemporary engineering issues, and provides a forum to articulate the implications of technological change on society.

The NAE is part of a complex that includes four distinct yet interdependent institutions: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

Members of the NAE include individuals from industry, government or academia who have distinguished themselves in one of 12 fields of engineering. Members are elected by their peers in recognition of important contributions to engineering theory and practice or demonstration of unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

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