Former Colorado State University President Ray Chamberlain, a major contributor to the field of transportation research, has been elected to the elite National Academy of Engineering. He is the fourth person associated with Colorado State’s College of Engineering to be elected to the 2,000-member academy.
Other Colorado State professors who have received the award are Jack Cermak, University Distinguished Professor emeritus, in 1973; Larry Roesner, Harold H. Short endowed chair, in 1990; and Tom Vonder Haar, University Distinguished Professor, in 2003.
"This is a very prestigious honor, and we are thrilled that Ray is getting the recognition he deserves," said Sandra Woods, interim dean of the College of Engineering. "He is a wonderful representative of the university and our college."
Chamberlain received his doctoral degree in civil engineering from Colorado State, known then as Colorado A&M, in 1955. He was the first person ever awarded a doctoral degree by the university. He now is vice president of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a worldwide engineering consulting firm in transportation and power.
Chamberlain was a member of the faculty at Colorado State for 24 years and was president of the university for more than 10 years. He served as chairman on the governing board of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.
When serving as executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Chamberlain was elected president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. He spent four years in Washington, D.C., as vice president of freight policy for the American Trucking Association and served several years on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council, including a term as its chairman.
The National Academy of Engineering is one of the four branches of the National Academies that advise the U.S. government in science, technology and medicine. The National Academies were first created by the government in 1863 during the Civil War with a focus on service to the nation. The engineering branch of the academies was established in 1964 to keep up with the need for scientific knowledge in government.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive in the United States. The academies consist of members nominated and elected by their peers based on achievements and contributions to their fields.
Cermak, University Distinguished Professor emeritus in fluid mechanics and wind engineering, is considered the father of wind engineering. He was a professor at Colorado State for nearly 50 years and founded the Fluid Dynamics and Diffusion Laboratory at the university in 1959. Cermak’s groundbreaking research on the effects of wind on man-made and geological structures led to his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973.
Roesner holds the first endowed chair in the Department of Civil Engineering (Harold H. Short endowed chair for urban water infrastructure systems). Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1990, he is a nationally recognized expert in the development and application of hydrologic, hydraulic and water quality simulation models. He served as chief technical officer and senior vice president at Camp Dresser and McKee Inc. before coming to Colorado State in 1999. Roesner’s area of specialization since 1970 has been urban hydrology and nonpoint source pollution control.
Vonder Haar, currently director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, received his doctoral degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He joined the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State in 1970 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003 for his work on fundamental analysis of the Earth’s radiation balance and its impact on climate. He used early earth satellites to make and publish the first observations of Earth’s Thermal Engine which drives all the winds and the ocean currents – a breakthrough measurement for understanding Earth’s climate. His numerous awards include the American Meteorological Society Second Half Century (Charney) Award and distinguished professor at Colorado State.