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Honors and Awards

Colgate, Mahmassani Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Leaders in robotics, transportation and operations, receive highest professional distinction accorded to engineers

Northwestern Engineering’s J. Edward Colgate and Hani Mahmassani, leaders in robotics and transportation and operations, respectively, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer.

These faculty from the McCormick School of Engineering now stand among the 106 new domestic members and 23 new international members announced by the NAE today, February 9. They will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting on October 3, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

J. Edward Colgate

New inductees are elected by current NAE members. Members have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations.

“We are extremely proud that Ed and Hani have been recognized at the highest level in our field,” said Julio M. Ottino, Northwestern Engineering dean. “They are both outstanding as innovators, researchers, and educators, pushing the limits of their fields. This is well deserved.”

Colgate, professor of mechanical engineering, primarily focuses on human-robot interaction. He has worked extensively in the areas of haptic (touch) interface, co-operative robotics, remote manipulation, and advanced prosthetics. In recent years, Colgate’s research has focused on bringing haptic feedback to touch-based interfaces such as touch screens and touch pads. He is active in commercialization, with a history of successful start-ups and intellectual property.

He was cited for “for development of haptic interface technologies, including surface haptics for touchscreens.”

Hani MahmassaniMahmassani is William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation and professor of civil and environmental engineering and (by courtesy) of industrial engineering and management sciences. He specializes in multimodal transportation systems analysis, planning and operations, dynamic network modeling and optimization, transit network planning and design, dynamics of user behavior and telematics, telecommunication-transportation interactions, large-scale human infrastructure systems, and real-time operation of logistics and distribution systems. He directs the Northwestern University Transportation Center.

He was cited “for contributions to modeling of intelligent transportation networks and to interdisciplinary collaboration in transportation engineering.”

Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. It has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government, who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers.