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Journel, McCluskey elected to National Academy of Engineering

Two professors have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering: André G. Journel, the Donald and Donald M. Steel Professor of Earth Sciences, and Edward J. McCluskey, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the Center for Reliable Computing at Stanford.

They were among 84 engineers whose election to the academy as members or foreign associates was announced on Feb. 13. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest professional distinctions that a U.S. engineer can receive. 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."

Their election brings the number of Stanford academy members to 75 out of a total U.S. membership of 1,941 and 155 foreign associates.

André Journel

Journel, who is professor of geological and environmental sciences and professor of petroleum engineering, is a founder of the field of geostatistics. The stochastic geostatistical modeling methods developed in his lab now are routinely applied to problems ranging from the reevaluation of U.S. oil reserves in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to estimations of the gold deposits in mines in Australia, to calculations of the sources of lead pollution in the air over Dallas.

"André's election to the academy is much deserved," said Franklin Orr, dean of the School of Earth Sciences. "He and his students are an important force in this area of the earth sciences."

Born in Vietnam and educated in France, Journel earned his bachelor's degree in mining engineering in 1967 at the National School of Mines in Nancy, France, and took a doctoral degree in economic geology in 1974 and a doctoral degree in applied mathematics in 1977, both from the University of Nancy. In the late 1960s, he became a protegé of Georges Matheron, a professor of probability theory at the Paris School of Mines; together, they worked to bring the power of the computer to practical problems such as the evaluation of mineral resources.

Journel introduced geostatistics to Stanford when he arrived in 1978. At the time, he recalled, the idea of stochastic modeling of geological structures was considered a little "crazy." Classic models of underground structures like an oil reservoir are calculated from whatever data are available, for example from drilling wells; underground terrain can vary dramatically between the wells, but it is difficult to account for that uncertainty. Geostatisticians start instead, Journel said, "by accepting your ignorance and then correcting it gradually by incorporating knowledge."

A stochastic model, he explained, begins with random numbers that are constrained as more data are added about the reservoir. The result is a model with multiple images, equally probable, to describe how oil in the reservoir may behave. "Those different images provide a representation of your uncertainty which you can use to manage your risk," Journel said.

Currently Journel works with 16 graduate students on a range of projects from environmental modeling to petroleum engineering. He is codirector of the Stanford Center for Reservoir Forecasting, an interdisciplinary group which students and faculty work with industrial affiliates on problems of oil reservoir forecasting.

He is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, most recently the 1998 Anthony F. Lucas Medal of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Edward McCluskey

McCluskey was cited for his contributions to logic design, computer engineering and engineering education. "Ed has made many pioneering contributions to computing, especially to understanding and designing reliable and fault-tolerant computers," said James Plummer, chairman of one of McCluskey's departments, electrical engineering. "He has won many awards, but election to the NAE is clear evidence of the impact he has had and of the importance of his work."

McCluskey received his bachelor's degree in physics and math from Bowdoin College in 1953 and a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the same year. He earned his doctorate from MIT in 1956. He served as professor of electrical engineering and director of the computer center at Princeton University before coming to Stanford in 1967.

As a graduate student at MIT, McCluskey developed a way to systematically design logic circuits, the binary electronic circuits now used for all computers. As a technician at Bell Laboratories in the late 1950s, he worked on the first transistorized electronic systems for transmitting information, as communications and computer technology shifted from relays to switches.

McCluskey joined the Stanford faculty with a joint appointment in computer science and electrical engineering, and a mandate to help introduce a computer engineering program. The Stanford Computer Engineering Program (now the computer science master's degree program) was officially founded in 1970. At the time, computer engineering programs were so rare that there were few students and it was hard to find qualified faculty. Now there are more than 300 students, staff and faculty in computer engineering.

McCluskey also founded the Stanford Digital Systems Laboratory (now the Computer Systems Laboratory) in 1969, and he was co-founder and first director of the Computer Science Department's industrial affiliates program, begun in 1970.

As for his current research, "It was not such a big leap from worrying about how to design computers to worrying about how to test them," McCluskey said. Thus he leads the Center for Reliable Computing, where 13 graduate students (lovingly dubbed "Rats") join in the Reliability and Testability Seminar, to study ways to design computer circuits that test themselves and that tolerate or minimize the effects of temporary system failures. One current project is an integrated circuit designed to put integrated circuit-testers to the test. Another technology called TOPS, for totally optimized synthesis, is a circuit design system aimed to minimize design mistakes while speeding up the design of very-high-density circuits.

McCluskey served as the first president of the IEEE Computer Society and has received the IEEE Centennial Medal along with a number of other major awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Institute National Polytechnique de Grenoble, in 1994.


By Janet Basu

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