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Don Norman Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Don Norman, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Norman was recognized “for development of design principles based on human cognition that enhance the interaction between people and technology.”

Norman is a leader in the application of human-centered design. Business Week has listed him as one of the world’s 27 most influential designers. “All design,” says Norman, “whether of a product, a company, a service or an experience is ultimately aimed at satisfying human and societal needs.” This approach requires the application of knowledge of cognitive science, engineering, and business with the skills and knowledge of the design field, helping companies produce products and services that satisfy human and societal needs, both practical and emotional.

Norman was one of the founders of the Cognitive Science Society and has been chair of the society and editor of its journal, Cognitive Science. He has been a faculty member at Harvard University and is professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, where he was founding chair of the Department of Cognitive Science and chair of the Department of Psychology.

Norman joined Northwestern University in 2001 and was a founder and co-director of the Segal Design Institute, co-director of the MMM Program, a dual-degree program offered jointly by McCormick and the Kellogg School of Management that emphasized design and operations, and professor of electrical engineering and computer science. He was Breed Professor of Design from 2007-2010.

“We are as good as the reach and influence of our ideas,” says Julio M. Ottino, dean of the McCormick School of Engineering. “By this measure, Don Norman has been exceptional.”

Norman is cofounder of the Nielsen Norman Group, an executive consulting firm that helps companies produce human-centered products and services. Norman serves as adviser and board member to numerous companies and non-profit organizations in the area of policy and education. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in the Department of Industrial Design. He has been vice president of Apple in charge of the Advanced Technology Group and an executive at Hewlett Packard. He was president of the Learning Systems division of UNext, a distance education company. He is a fellow of numerous scientific societies.

He serves on numerous company boards and advisory board and is a fellow of many organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer & Cognitive Science from the Franklin Institute (Philadelphia), honorary degrees from the University of Padova (Italy) and the Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from SIGCHI, the professional organization for Computer-Human Interaction, the Mental Health award for contributions to Business from Psychology Today, and the Taylor Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Norman is well known for his books The Design of Everyday Things and Emotional Design. Business Week called The Invisible Computer “the bible of the “post PC thinking.” The Design of Future Things discusses the role that automation plays in such everyday places as the home, and automobile. His book Living with Complexity was published in September 2010.