College of Engineering Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership

This special award honors an exceptional individual whose sustained pioneering spirit and outstanding leadership has inspired others and has had a profound economic, environmental or societal impact. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated ingenuity, creativity and dedication to improving our world. This award may not be awarded every year.

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2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership Recipient

Robert M. Nerem

Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech, Robert M. Nerem has been active in bioengineering for more than 40 years and is considered a pioneer in the field.

Nerem’s academic career began at Ohio State in 1964 when he joined the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. In 1972, he was promoted to full professor and later served as associate dean for research in the graduate school. He was professor and chair of the University of Houston’s Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1979 to 1986, before he was named Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine at Georgia Tech.

He has spent much of his career exploring critical health-related topics such as blood flow in large arteries, the role of hemodynamics in the onset of atherosclerosis, and more recently, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He is the author of more than 200 publications.

Among a litany of awards and honors, in 1988 Nerem was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 1992, he was also elected a member of the Institute of Medicine, resulting in a rare combination. He is a Fellow and was the founding president of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and he is past president of the Tissue Engineering Society International.

Nerem is also very interested in the next generation of engineers. To increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, he and colleagues at Georgia Tech created Project ENGAGES in partnership with three public high schools in Atlanta.

Nerem earned his bachelor’s degree (’59) from the University of Oklahoma and his master’s (’61) and PhD (’64) in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Ohio State.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership Past Recipients

Year Recipient Graduation Department/Year
2017 Robert M. Nerem AAE 61, 64
2016 Ralph A. Rockow ME 58, 58
2015 Thomas E. Claugus CHE 73
2014 William C.Y. Lee EE 60, 63
2013 Kurt M. Dubowski CHE 47, 49