Congratulations to Dr. Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor of Engineering, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Aerospace Engineering for his election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Dean Gallimore is one of only 2,297 engineers, nationwide, who have this honor.
An engineer is elected to the NAE for their contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”
In his 27-year career at the University of Michigan, Dean Gallimore has embodied these values. During his first year on the Department of Aerospace Engineering faculty, he founded the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory (PEPL), now a world leader in electric propulsion research. He still serves as co-director with Assistant Professor Benjamin Jorns. The lab is home to a series of Hall-effect thrusters and to the Large Vacuum Test Facility (LVTF), a nine-meter-long vacuum chamber. Dean Gallimore’s primary research interests include electric propulsion, plasma diagnostics, space plasma simulation, electrode physics, nano-particle energetics, and hypersonic aerodynamics’ interaction with plasma; he’s written two book chapters and over 350 archival journal articles and conference papers on these subjects. Most importantly, his 55 former students from PEPL are international leaders in aerospace engineering, serving as faculty members in top schools of engineering and as leaders in industry and government labs.
In addition to his leadership in PEPL, Dean Gallimore has served as director for the NASA Michigan Space Grant Consortium and for the Michigan/Air Force Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion. In 2010, he became an AIAA Fellow.
Dean Gallimore has been recognized for his excellence in education. To receive the Arthur F. Thurnau professorship, one must demonstrate a “commitment to and investment in undergraduate teaching [that] has had a demonstrable impact on the intellectual development and lives of their students.” He was awarded the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professorship on the basis of his research accomplishments.
NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr. announced Dean Gallimore’s membership – along with 85 other new members and 18 foreign members – on Thursday, February 7th. He will be formally inducted into the NAE during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 6th, 2019.