The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected Eric W. Kaler, Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President of Brookhaven Affairs, as one of 68 new members and nine foreign associates.
Election to the NAE 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.”
“I’m very pleased to see that Eric Kaler’s outstanding body of work has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. “This formal recognition is a well-deserved honor and a testament to Eric’s research and discovery as a distinguished chemical engineer. It is a great honor for him and for Stony Brook University.”
According to the NAE, Kaler, who is also a professor of engineering and of chemistry at Stony Brook, was selected for his work on elucidation of structure-function relationships in surfactant systems that has led to novel formulations of complex, self-assembled media.
“What that means,” said Kaler, “is that I study ‘complex fluids’ containing many kinds of molecules, including surfactants, polymers, proteins, or colloidal particles, either separately or in mixtures. These fluids can be found in numerous commercial products, including pharmaceutical formulations, paints, oil field chemicals, coatings, and foods, and have many practical applications. Our work also points the way to enhanced separation methods, particularly for proteins, that can be used in the biotechnology industry. Additionally, I am interested in policy issues in higher education, particularly around science and math education and globalization.”
Kaler was appointed as the ninth Provost of Stony Brook in October 2007. Prior to that he served on the faculty of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering from 1989 to 2007, where he rose to the rank of Dean in 2000, and served as Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1998 to 2007. Prior to joining the Delaware faculty, he was an assistant professor and an associate professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington from 1982 to 1989.
In 1984 Kaler was one of the first to receive a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He also received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award from the American Society of Engineering Education in 1995, the American Chemical Society Award in Colloid or Surface Chemistry in 1998, and distinguished lectureship awards around the world. He is the author or co-author of one edited book, more than 200 papers, and holds 10 U.S. patents. His research has been cited more than 8,000 times.
The Induction Ceremony, a formal inauguration of new members and foreign associates into the Academy, will be held on October 3 during the NAE Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.