Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Martin-Vega, elected “for support of engineering and engineering education through industry-academic collaboration and opportunities for underrepresented groups,” is one of 106 new members and 23 international members elected for 2021, NAE President John L. Anderson announced. With his election, the faculty of the College of Engineering includes 20 NAE members.
Martin-Vega joined NC State in 2006 after serving for five years as dean of engineering at the University of South Florida.
Under his leadership, NC State’s College of Engineering has grown to more than 10,500 students, 750 faculty and staff members, and more than $200 million in annual research expenditures. The College is internationally recognized for the excellence of its research, education and outreach programs. It also has the distinction of being one of only two colleges of engineering to lead two National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers at once and one of only two colleges to ever take the lead role in three. The College is also regularly ranked among the “top 10” colleges of engineering nationwide in annual research expenditures.
Martin-Vega has held several prestigious positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF), including acting head of its Engineering Directorate and director of NSF’s Division of Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation.
Additionally, he has served as chairman of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Lehigh University and Lockheed Professor in the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. He has also held tenured faculty positions at the University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.
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.”
Martin-Vega served as the 2013-15 chair of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Deans Council Executive Board and as president of ASEE from 2016-17.
He has served as a member on the National Research Council’s Standing Committee for Reengineering the Census 2020 and as chair of the Advisory Committee for the Engineering Directorate at NSF and as vice-chair of NSF’s Foundation-Wide Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering.
He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and a member of INFORMS, Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Pi Mu and Sigma Xi.
Martin-Vega’s many honors from IISE include receiving the Albert Holzman Distinguished Educator Award in 1999; serving as IISE president in 2007-08; receiving the professional society’s UPS Award for Minority Advancement in Industrial Engineering in 2010; and being given IISE’s highest honor, the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award, in 2012. For his commitment to college education and the promotion of diversity, Martin-Vega was recognized in 2000 with the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Award — Higher Education Category — from HENAAC, and in 2011, he was inducted into the HENAAC Hall of Fame.
In addition, Martin-Vega was inducted into the Pan American Academy of Engineering in 2002. In 2007, he received the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) National Hispanic Scientist Award. He was recognized in 2008 as the Outstanding Engineer in North Carolina by the North Carolina Society of Engineers, and in 2009, he received the Industrial and Systems Engineering Alumni Leadership Award from the University of Florida. In 2014, Hispanic Business magazine named him one of its 50 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.
He received a B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, an M.S. in operations research from New York University and M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida.
Election of new NAE members is the culmination of a yearlong process. The ballot is set in December and the final vote for membership occurs during January.
The new class of NAE members brings the total U.S. membership to 2,355 and the number of international members to 298.
Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during the NAE’s annual meeting on Oct. 3, 2021. A list of the new members and international members follows, with their primary affiliations at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments, can be found at https://www.nae.edu/248499.aspx.