Benson, Carbon, among nation’s elite engineers

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by in Academic Departments, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Energy Independence, Engineering Physics, Environment and Sustainability, Interdisciplinary Degree Programs, Issues, Magazine, People, Research

Craig Benson

Craig Benson

On February 9, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named two UW-Madison engineering faculty members to its 2012 class of new members. Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Geological Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Craig Benson and Engineering Physics Professor Emeritus Max Carbon are among 66 new members and 10 foreign associates elected to the NAE in 2012.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer; membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education.

The academy cited Benson for improvements in design, construction and monitoring of earthen liners and covers for municipal hazardous and radioactive waste landfills, while it recognized Carbon for establishing engineering educational programs for nuclear reactor design and safety.

Max Carbon

Max Carbon

In addition, two alumni also were among those named members of NAE. Babatunde Ogunnaike (PhDChE ‘81) is interim dean, William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering and professor in the Center for Systems Biology-DBI at the University of Delaware, Newark. NAE cited him for advances in process systems, process engineering practice, and systems engineering education. Steven Zinkle (BSNE ‘80, MSNE ‘82, PhDNE ‘85) is UW-Battelle corporate fellow and director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory materials science and technology division. NAE cited him for advancing understanding of radiation damage in metallic and ceramic components.

As a geoenvironmental engineering researcher, Benson focuses on assessing the sustainability of geological and civil engineering systems, reusing and recycling industrial byproducts for sustainable construction applications, and designing and assessing environmental containment systems for municipal, hazardous and radioactive waste. He has conducted research in these areas with government and industry locally, nationally and internationally.

Carbon was founding chair of the UW-Madison Department of Nuclear Engineering, hired in 1958 as part of a growing postwar research emphasis on designing better, more efficient nuclear power plants for generating electricity. Chair from 1958 until his retirement in 1992, Carbon led the department in establishing the nuclear engineering bachelor’s, master’s and PhD curricula; and recruited and hired top faculty and staff, an effort that has raised the program to its current status as among the best in the nation. Carbon also oversaw construction of the university research and training reactor, which achieved initial criticality in early 1961.Bucky Badger head

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