University of Texas at Austin


Oden Faculty and Collaborators Among National Academy of Engineering Class of 2024

By Joanne Foote

Published Feb. 14, 2024

Image courtesy of the NAE.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected Noel T. Clemens, Charles A. Taylor, Jr., and Stephen J. Wright to the NAE Class of 2024, all of whom are currently or have been affiliated with The Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.



Noel T. Clemens

Noel T. Clemens

An affiliated faculty member at the Oden Institute, Noel Clemens is also a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at UT Austin. 

Clemens is being recognized by the academy “for laser-based measurements to understand and control high-speed reactive and nonreactive flows.” His research focuses on hypersonics, experimental gas dynamics, experimental methods, and combustion. He specializes in measurement technology using laser imaging diagnostics to study mixing, combustion, ablation, shock/boundary layer interactions, and other high-speed unsteady flows.

A fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Physical Society, Clemens is also a former National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty fellow and former editor-in-chief of the journal Experiments in Fluids, Clemens is also part of the Predictive Engineering and Computational Sciences (PECOS) center at the Oden Institute.

“Noel plays a critical role in UT Austin's DOE PSAAP III center, contributing his expertise in experimental diagnostics for reacting flows to enable validation of our computer simulations. We could not be prouder of his election to NAE and to have him on the team,” said Bob Moser, director of the PECOS center and deputy director of the Oden Institute.

Clemens holds the Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering. He joined the aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics faculty in 1993 and served as the department chair from 2012 to 2020.


Charles A. Taylor, Jr.

Charles A. Taylor, Jr.

Charles A. Taylor, Jr., who has interacted with the Oden Institute in a number of capacities, including as a long-time collaborator and adjunct faculty member, was elected to the NAE “for patient-specific computer modeling of blood flow and the noninvasive diagnosis of heart disease.” 

At the Oden Institute, Taylor is collaborating with Thomas J.R. Hughes, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, along with colleagues and students on a grant to further improve the identification of patients at risk of heart attacks.  "I am looking forward to our continued collaborations with Charley, which began when he was a Ph.D, student at Stanford. Most recently we made progress through an NSF Partnerships for Innovation grant with UT Austin, aimed at improving the non-invasive prediction of risk of a patient having a heart attack," said Hughes.

Taylor is also a founder and board member at HeartFlow Inc., based in Mountain View, CA, with offices in Austin and elsewhere.  Previously, Taylor was an Associate Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Surgery at Stanford University. “For me this has been an extraordinary journey spanning more than 30 years. It started as a graduate student and then a faculty member at Stanford University and culminated in founding HeartFlow, Inc. I am particularly excited about the collaborations with Professor Hughes and my colleagues at the Oden Institute as we continue this journey to improve the diagnosis and management of heart disease.”


Stehen J. Wright

Stephen J. Wright

Stephen J. Wright was elected to the NAE “for theory and design of optimization algorithms and their application in signal processing and machine learning.” 

In academic year 2021-2022, Wright spent several months at the Oden Institute as a J. Tinsley Oden Faculty Fellow hosted by Oden Institute Director Karen Willcox. Wright collaborated with Willcox and Oden Institute faculty member Omar Ghattas, professor of mechanical engineering, on research on machine learning for physics-based systems. 

“Steve Wright has long been an exceptional research leader and educator in the theory and application of optimization. It was a privilege to host him as a JT Oden Visiting Faculty Fellow in 2021 and 2022, during which time he dedicated countless hours to meeting with Oden Institute students and postdocs. Steve is an inspiration to our community -- we are so thrilled to see him recognized with election to the National Academy of Engineering,” said Willcox.

Wright is the George B. Dantzig Professor of Computer Sciences, Computer Sciences, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in the engineering field and profession. 

During the past decade, more than 15 UT professors have been elected to the NAE, and the University has nearly 50 current and retired NAE members. Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during the NAE's annual meeting on Sept. 29, 2024. For more information follow this link.