April 13, 2021

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Boricua graduated from the UPR is exalted to the National Academy of Engineering

The Puerto Rican engineer Louis Martin Vega He was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for his contribution to teaching and his collaboration in establishing agreements between industries and academia.

With the designation, the graduate of the Mayagüez Campus (RUM) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) will have an active role in providing consulting and engineering, research and education services to the United States Government.

Dr. Martin Vega is part of a group of only 106 engineers, 23 of them international, who in 2021 have been selected to join the prestigious organization.

The exaltation to the NAE constitutes one of the highest professional distinctions granted to an engineer at an international level, with which those professionals who have made outstanding contributions to society, in areas such as research, practice of the profession and education, are honored. engineering. In addition, they have made contributions to innovation in the field of new and developing technologies, or that allow the development and implementation of innovative approaches to engineering education.

“An award like this is never the result of just one, it is the result of many colleagues, students, the support of teachers. I owe it to the experiences and opportunities I had in Puerto Rico and at the UPR, those are my foundations. I share this designation with great pride and gratitude “Martin Vega said in a press release.

The engineer acknowledged that his selection to the NAE took him by surprise, explaining that the internal process, among peers, to choose the members of the body is a difficult one.

“It is a recognition for the institution for which I work, the School of Engineering of North Carolina State University, and it also reflects where I come from, the College of Mayagüez of the UPR, it reflects, once again, how positive these institutions have been in all aspects of my life. They represent a lot ”, stressed the also professor.

In his extensive professional career, the now exalted has emphasized and contributed to strengthen the work between engineers and industries, as well as the great opportunity for the development of research that this represents.

For his part, the president of the UPR, Jorge Haddock, highlighted the importance of this distinction for the first teaching center in the country, for the Puerto Rican archipelago and for the academy.

“On behalf of the university community, I extend our affectionate congratulations to Professor Louis Martin Vega, who has contributed significantly to the development of the profession from each of the positions he has successfully held throughout his professional career. With discipline and perseverance, it has achieved that more students are interested in Engineering, as well as the increase in research and educational alliances that benefit society. His passion for the profession, of which I bear witness as an alumnus, is an example to emulate, as well as his efforts to establish new opportunities and equality for minority groups “Haddock stated.

Likewise, the rector of the RUM, Agustín Rullán Toro, congratulated the educator for such an important achievement that adds to more than four decades of a fruitful career.

“Dr. Louis Martin Vega, a graduate of the class of 1969, from the Department of Industrial Engineering, who also worked as a professor at our institution, is a professional of excellence with a solid track record. Without a doubt, an example to follow for the new generations of schoolboys. We are very proud that his distinguished career, which includes the honor of being the first Hispanic to lead the Engineering Division of the National Science Foundation, began here at the Mayagüez Campus, where he laid the foundations for charting a future. of great impact, both for the engineering profession and for the Hispanic community. We celebrate his appointment to the National Academy of Engineering, a prestigious entity that recognizes him for his contributions to engineering education and his support for underrepresented groups in that field. Congratulations!”, said the Rector of the RUM.

At present, the engineer and academic holds the position of dean of the Faculty of Engineering at North Carolina State University, and has distinguished himself as a professor at the UPR-RUM, at the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology, University of South Florida, the University of Florida, among other institutions.

“As a teacher I focus on facilitating the success of students and other teachers. From all the leadership positions that I have held, I always focus on how I can help, because they are service positions and contribute to the success of others “said the engineer.

In addition, he revealed that no matter how many years he has been outside of Puerto Rico, he misses the country and maintains direct contact with his family in the southwest.

Martin Vega has served in multiple leadership positions as chair of the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Systems Engineering at Lehigh University, as chair of the Executive Board of the Council of Deans of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and president of ASEE; as well as as a member of the Standing Committee for the Reengineering of the 2020 Census of the National Research Council and as president of the Advisory Committee of the Engineering Directorate at NSF, among others.

His knowledge and leadership has been recognized multiple times with awards such as the Albert Holzman Distinguished Educator Award in 1999; the 2000 National Hispanic Engineering Achievement Award; and in 2011, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation. (HENAAC). He has been a member of the Panamerican Academy of Engineering since 2002, and in 2007, he received the National Hispanic Scientific Award from the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. In 2014, Hispanic Business magazine named him one of the 50 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States, among others.

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