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Vice President for Research Clyde Briant was elected to the National Academy of Engineering Feb. 17.

Election into the academy is one of the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer and is based on a candidate's lifetime achievements in one of the many fields of engineering. Briant was recognized for his accomplishments in the "elucidation of microstructural effects on high-temperature mechanical performance of metals," according to a news release from the National Academies.

Though Briant no longer does research, his work prior to his promotion to vice president centered on perfecting new heating techniques to manipulate the performance of metals, he said. These techniques can then be applied to many areas of science and engineering.

Prior to joining the University in 1994, Briant was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for almost two decades at the General Electric Research and Development Center, according to his curriculum vitae. While at GE, Briant worked on improving enhanced filaments in light bulbs at high temperatures, and he said that this experience inspired him to further his research into structural materials.

Briant said he credits a "strong team effort" with a major part of his success throughout his career. Though he now dedicates much of his time to his duties as vice president for research, Briant said he hopes to apply his experiences and skills as a researcher to improving the research experience at the University, stressing the "importance of team approach and collaboration."

The National Academy of Engineering — one of four organizations comprising the National Academies — was founded in 1964 to advise the federal government on matters pertaining to the engineering sciences, according to the academy's Web site. The academy also "conducts independent studies" and seeks to "provide the leadership and expertise for numerous projects" in engineering and technology, according to its Web site.

The engineering academy consists of more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates who are among the world's most accomplished engineers, according to its Web site. Candidates to the academy are elected by a board of their peers and must be first nominated by an existing academy member, then voted on by the entire membership during January. Some prominent members of the engineering academy include Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.



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