Two UW-Madison faculty members named to National Academy of Engineering

Feb. 6, 2014

by Renee Meiller

The National Academy of Engineering has named two University of Wisconsin-Madison professors to its 2014 class of members.

Nicholas Abbott

Nicholas Abbott

Nicholas Abbott, the John T. and Magdalen L. Sobota Professor of chemical and biological engineering at UW-Madison, and Charles Mistretta, the J.R. Cameron Professor of medical physics, radiology and biomedical engineering at UW-Madison, are among 67 new members and 11 foreign associates elected to the NAE.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. NAE recognized Abbott for his innovations and applications in soft-matter surface science, while it cited Mistretta for contributions to the development and application of angiographic methods in X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging.

Charles Mistretta

Charles Mistretta

Abbott earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and completed postdoctoral research in chemistry at Harvard University in 1993. His research focuses on the molecular-level design of soft materials that exhibit, for example, desirable interactions with biological systems. Other classes of soft materials he has designed change their properties in response to external fields and chemical stimuli. One area of application of Abbott's research involves the design of liquid crystalline materials that interact with their chemical environment, and as such, they offer the basis of new classes of chemical sensors. Materials emerging from his research also define functional surfaces that allow researchers to broadly control cellular and molecular interactions. Abbott holds 47 U.S. patents and is a fellow of the American Institute for the Advancement of Science.

Mistretta earned his Ph.D. in high-energy physics from Harvard University in 1968. His pioneering research in time-resolved angiography has led to significant improvements in the effectiveness, speed and image quality of such medical imaging techniques as magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray computed tomography, and interventional X-ray imaging. Mistretta holds 43 U.S. patents, is a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.