By Andy Fell
Gary S. May, chancellor of the University of California, Davis, and Jay Lund, distinguished professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the university’s Center for Watershed Sciences, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the academy announced today (Feb. 7).
Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, 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.
Counting May and Lund, UC Davis now has 15 faculty members — including retirees — in the National Academy of Engineering. It is one of four organizations that comprise the National Academies, established by Congress to advise the nation on a wide range of scientific and technical issues.
The National Academy of Engineering’s new class comprises 99 engineers. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 18 during the academy’s annual meeting, to be held this year in Washington, D.C.
“I am honored to be included in the National Academy of Engineering Class of 2018,” May said. “It is gratifying to be recognized for my research in semiconductor manufacturing and for creating programs to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers. All of us can play a role in inspiring people of all ages to find ways to follow their dreams.”
May took office as UC Davis’ seventh chancellor on Aug. 1, 2017, after having served as dean of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the largest and most diverse school of its kind in the nation, with 450 faculty and 13,000 students.
Throughout his career, May has championed diversity in both higher education and the workplace. He has developed and led programs to attract, mentor and retain underrepresented women and ethnic minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. President Barack Obama honored May in 2015, presenting to him the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring.
May has won numerous awards for his work in computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits and other devices. He has authored more than 200 technical publications, contributed to 15 books and holds a patent in this topic.
May earned his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees at UC Berkeley, all in electrical engineering and computer science.
Lund, the Ray B. Krone Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said his election to the academy “rests on the culture, location, students and colleagues I have enjoyed at UC Davis — a wonderful place to build a productive and useful scholarly career.”
His major research interests are in systems analysis, economics and management of large-scale water systems, integrated urban water supplies, and water transfers and markets. He has led the development and application of large-scale modeling for California’s water supply, as well as other modeling studies for the management of flood control and environmental purposes.
Lund has been a member of numerous state and federal advisory boards, including the Advisory Committee for the 1998 and 2005 California Water Plan updates. He has served as convener of the California Water and Environment Modeling Forum, and president of the Universities Council on Water Resources and the Delta Independent Science Board.
He is the co-author of a number of books and reports on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and has studied alternatives to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to the city and county of San Francisco. He has also carried out modeling studies of other major river systems in the United States and internationally.
Lund earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in regional planning and international relations at the University of Delaware, then went to the University of Washington where he earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering, a master’s in geography and a Ph.D. in civil engineering.
In addition to May and Lund, Norman Abrahamson, chief engineering seismologist at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was also elected to the NAE for contributions to seismic hazard assessment and for leadership in engineering seismology and earthquake engineering.
This article was updated to include Adjunct Professor Norman Abrahamson, whose primary association is with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.