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Mark Shwartz, News Service (650) 723-9296; e-mail:

Cioffi, Gast and Nur elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Three Stanford faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineers.

Professors John M. Cioffi, Alice P. Gast and Amos M. Nur were among 74 Americans and eight foreign associates elected to the academy this year. Their election brings the number of Stanford academy members to 82.

Academy membership honors those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice, including significant contributions to the literature of engineering theory and practice," and those who have demonstrated "unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology."

Cioffi, a professor of electrical engineering, was cited for contributions to the theory and practice of high-speed digital communications. He pioneered ADSL, asymmetric digital subscriber line -- a technology that moves data at a very high speed over conventional copper telephone lines. DSL is now a standard for high-speed Internet access throughout the world.

Cioffi joined the Stanford faculty in 1985, two years after receiving his doctorate from the university. He joined the USA National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board in 1998. He was named a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator in 1987.

Cioffi is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a recipient of the IEEE's Third Millennium Medal and Kobayashi Medal. He received the 1995 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American National Standards Institute for his contributions to ADSL. Cioffi was co-founder and chief technical officer of Amati Communications Inc. in San Jose, and he serves on the board of a number of other corporations.

Gast is associate chair and professor of chemical engineering and, by courtesy, of chemistry. She also is an affiliated faculty member of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.

The academy singled out Gast for her contributions to the understanding of the structure of complex fluids, especially polymeric and electro-rheological fluids, and to engineering education.

She joined the Stanford faculty in 1985 after receiving her doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, and chaired the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. She has received a number of professional honors, including the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiative in Research, the Allan P. Colburn Award and the Alexander von Humboldt Award. She was named a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator in 1986 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 1991.

Nur is the Wayne Loel Professor of Earth Sciences, professor of geophysics and director of the Stanford Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics project. The academy cited him for founding and establishing rock physics technology used to quantify rock properties from remote seismic measurements.

Nur received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 and joined the Stanford Department of Geophysics a year later. He has served as department chair and in Stanford's Faculty Senate. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Geological Society of America and the California Academy of Sciences.

Among Nur's many professional honors are the AGU's J. B. Macelwane Award and the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Nur pioneered Stanford's rock physics program, which emphasizes applications to oil, gas and water studies.

The National Academy of Engineering has a total U.S. membership of 2,061, along with 154 foreign associates.


By Mark Shwartz

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