The National Academy of Engineering has elected University of Kansas Distinguished Professor Paul Willhite as a member. He is one of 76 new members and nine foreign associates who were announced on Friday, Feb. 10.
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."
Willhite, who has been with KU since 1969, is the Ross E. Forney distinguished professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and co-director of the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project. He has served in a variety of leadership roles during his tenure at KU. His contributions to the field of petroleum engineering earned him the IOR Pioneer Award at the 14th Society of Petroleum Engineers/Department of Energy Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery in 2004.
With this new honor, Willhite joins Distinguished Professor Stan Rolfe, emeritus professor Dick Moore and emeritus professor Ross McKinney as the only university faculty members in the state of Kansas who are members of the NAE. KU alumni counted as members include several of KU's Distinguished Engineering Service Award honorees: Alan Mulally, Robert Eaton, Tom Robinson and Tom Murray.