Conference Highlights

ASEE Prism, February 2008 | Go to article overview

Conference Highlights


MAIN PLENARY

Sponsored by Lockheed Martin

THE MAIN PLENARY IS TRADITIONALLY THE MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SESSION AT THE ASEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE, WITH OVER 2,000 ATTENDEES ENJOYING THIS IMPORTANT KEYNOTE ADDRESS. THIS YEAR, ASEE IS PLEASED TO HAVE THE PARTICIPATION OF A VISIONARY LEADER IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION.

Charles M. Vest, long an influential figure in engineering, science, education and public policy, was elected in March 2007 to a six-year term as president of the National Academy of Engineering, part of the National Academies. In addition to leading an organization made up of the nation's premier engineers, he also serves as vice chairman of the National Research Council, the principal research arm of the National Academies.

Vest was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1990 through 2004. During that time, he worked to strengthen federal-university-industry relations and undertook a number of initiatives to bring education and research issues to broader public attention. Vest placed special emphasis on enhancing science and engineering in undergraduate education. While stressing the importance of racial and cultural diversity among faculty and students at MIT, Vest also worked to build a stronger international dimension into the university's programs.

Beyond academics. Vest has used his strong engineering and science background to contribute to public policy. Following revelations of serious U.S. intelligence lapses in assessing Iraq's weapons programs, Vest was named to the bipartisan Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, led by Laurence H. Silberman, a senior U.S. appeals court judge, and Charles L. Robb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia. The panel issued its report in 2005.

Earlier, Vest led a U.S. Department of Energy task force on the future of science programs in 2002-2003 and chaired a presidential advisory commission on the redesign of the International Space Station in 1992-1994. Vest was vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness for eight years, is a former chair of the Association of American Universities, and served on the U.S. secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Vest was elected to the NAE in 1993 "for technical and educational contributions to holographic interferometry and leadership as an educator," and he currently serves on the NAE Council.

Vest was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Technology for "his visionary leadership in advancing America's technological workforce and capacity for innovation through revitalizing the national partnership among academia, government, and industry."

Among Vest's career honors is the NAE's Arthur M. Bueche Award, given in 2000 to recognize his efforts to increase government support for research. Vest has served on numerous National Academies studies, most recently the widely cited Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which highlights the roles of science and engineering in U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.

Vest earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University in 1963. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1964 and 1967, respectively, where he later held the positions of dean of engineering, provost, and vice president for academic affairs. He is the recipient of 10 honorary doctoral degrees.

DISTINGUISHED LECTURES

Tuesday, June 24

10:30 A.M. - NOON

The X-48B

DR. ROBERT LIEBECK

Project Manager, Blended-Wing-Body Program, Boeing

Dr. Robert Liebeck is currently program manager of the BlendedWing-Body Program at Boeing. In his 46 years at Boeing, he has served as program manager on numerous classified advanced-concept airplane programs, some of which culminated in successful flight vehicles. He has an extensive list of technical publications, and his airfoil work is discussed in several textbooks on aerodynamics. …

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