Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
- Deps home
deps_leftnav_icon08 America's Energy Future
- Reports
- DEPSNews Archives
- Boards and Committees
- Contact DEPS Staff
- Our Mission
- Current Projects

DEPS Committee

The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS) is concerned with expanding basic knowledge in the physical sciences and engineering and applying these disciplines in the service of humankind. In support of these goals the Division Committee will articulate intellectual and strategic goals for the Division, with particular attention to the promotion of intra- and inter-division collaborations to capture interdisciplinary opportunities that are emerging or likely to emerge; ensure the quality of the Division’s work, perform strategic reviews of the Division’s boards, and approve board members; and provide direction on emerging issues, and review the Division’s structure and operational ability to pursue these issues. The Committee will also annually review the Division’s activities, reports, successes, and challenges, and articulate its vision of how the Division must evolve in the future.

Steven Koonin, (NAS), Chair
Director, Center for Urban Science and Progress
New York University

Linda M. Abriola (NAE)
Dean, School of Engineering
Tufts University

Ruzena Bajcsy  (NAE/NAM)
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California, Berkeley

Phillip Colella (NAS)
Group Leader, Applied Numerical Algorithms Group Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

Lance R. Collins
Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering
Cornell University

Ruth A. David (NAE)
Foreign Secretary
National Academy of Engineering

John C. Gannon
Vice President for Mission Technology
CENTRA Technology

Henry J. (Hank) Hatch (NAE)
Lt. General, Retired
U.S. Army

Fiona Harrison (NAS)
Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics and Astronomy
California Institute of Technology

Cato T. Laurencin (NAE/NAM)
Chief Executive Officer
Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

David W. McLaughlin (NAS)
New York University

M. Granger Morgan (NAS)
Lord Chair Professor, Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

Maxine L. Savitz (NAE)
General Manager, Technology/Partnerships (Retired)
Honeywell, Inc.

William Stead (NAM)
Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Chief Strategy Officer
McKesson Foundation Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Medicine
Vanderbilt University

Richard Truly (NAE)
Director (Retired)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Peter Blair
Executive Director
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

DEPS Committee Members


Linda Abriola (NAE) is Dean of Engineering and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. She also holds an Adjunct Professor appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Prior to joining Tufts, she was a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan (1984-2003), where she directed the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program (1996-2001), and was named the Horace Williams King Collegiate Professor of Environmental Engineering (2001-03). Dr. Abriola joined Tufts as Dean of the School of Engineering in 2003. During her tenure as Dean, the Tufts Engineering School has substantially expanded its administrative infrastructure, faculty, research activity, and educational programs in support of interdisciplinary education and research. Dr. Abriola is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). She is an expert in the multiphase transport, fate, and recovery/destruction of contaminants in the subsurface. An author of more than 140 refereed publications, she has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Association for Women Geoscientist's Outstanding Educator Award (1996), the National Ground Water Association's Distinguished Darcy Lectureship (1996), designation as a ISI Highly Cited Author in Ecology/Environment (2002), and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year Award in Remediation (2006, 2012). Her numerous professional activities have included service on the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, the National Research Council Water Science and Technology Board, the American Society of Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council Executive Board and the US Department of Energy’s Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research Advisory Committee. She is currently an elected member of the NAE governing Council and a member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee. Dr. Abriola received her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from Princeton University and a Bachelor's degree from Drexel University, all in Civil Engineering.


Ruzena Bajcsy (NAE\IOM) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and Director Emeritus of the Center of Information Technology Research in the Interest of Science (CITRIS). Her current research areas include artificial intelligence, biosystems and computational biology; control, intelligent systems, and robotics; graphics and human-computer interaction, computer vision; and security. Prior to joining Berkeley, Dr. Bajcsy headed the Computer Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation where she managed a $500 million annual budget. As a former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, she also served as the Director of the University’s General Robotics and Active Sensory Perception Laboratory, which she founded in 1978, and chaired the Computer and Information Science Department from 1985 to 1990. Dr. Bajcsy is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine as well as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and the American Associate for Artificial Intelligence. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering for Slovak Technical University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University.


Lance R. Collins is the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he served as the S. C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from 2005-2010, and he was Director of Graduate Studies for Aerospace Engineering from 2003-2005. He joined Cornell in 2002, following 11 years as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. In 2011, he was part of the Cornell leadership team that successfully bid to partner with New York City to build a new Campus on Roosevelt Island focused on innovation and commercialization in the tech sector. Professor Collins’ research combines simulation and theory to investigate a broad range of turbulent flow processes. In 2007 he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and in 2014 he received the William Grimes Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He has served as vice chair, chair, and past chair of the US National Committee on Applied and Theoretical Mechanics 2008-2014. Professor Collins earned his B.S.E. in 1981 at Princeton University and his M.S. in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1987 at the University of Pennsylvania, all in Chemical Engineering.


Phillip Colella (NAS) is Senior Staff Scientist and Group Leader of the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group in the Computational Research Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a Professor in Residence in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley. He is widely recognized for his contributions in high-resolution finite difference methods, adaptive mesh refinement, volume-of-fluid methods for fronts and irregular geometries, and multidimensional shock dynamics. He has developed high-resolution and adaptive numerical algorithms for partial differential equations and numerical simulation capabilities for a variety of applications in science and engineering. He has also participated in the design of high-performance software infrastructure for scientific computing, including software libraries, frameworks, and programming languages. Honors and awards include the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award for high-performance computing in 1998, the SIAM/ACM prize (with John Bell) for computational science and engineering in 2003, election to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and election to the inaugural class of SIAM Fellows in 2009. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979. Dr. Colella received his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, all in applied mathematics.


Ruth A. David currently serves as the Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Engineering. Prior to accepting this position Dr. David served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Analytic Services, Inc. (ANSER), an independent, not-for-profit, public service research institution that provides research and analytic support on national and transnational issues. In November 1999, Dr. David initiated ANSER’s Homeland Defense Strategic Thrust to address the growing national concern of multidimensional, asymmetric threats from rogue nations, sub-state terrorist groups, and domestic terrorists. In April 2004, the corporation was selected by the Department of Homeland Security to establish the Homeland Security Institute, later named the Homeland Security Studies & Analysis Institute (HSSAI). The corporation currently operates two business units – ANSER, which supports clients in the national security, homeland defense, and public safety sectors; and HSSAI, a federally funded research and development center dedicated to homeland security – as well as the Applied Systems Thinking (AsysT) Institute, a collaborative endeavor initiated in 2007 to advance the application of systems thinking principles to critical national issues. Dr. David also was the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1995-1998. As technical advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence, she was responsible for research, development, and global deployment of technologies in support of all phases of the intelligence process. Previously, Dr. David served in several leadership positions at the Sandia National Laboratories where she began her career in 1975. She has technical experience in digital and microprocessor-based design, digital signal analysis, adaptive signal analysis, and system integration. Dr. David was elected to the NAE in 2002 and counts DEPS as one of the many NRC committees on which she has served. She is a member of the National Science Board, the Defense Science Board, and the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Dr. David has a BSEE from Wichita State University, and a MS and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.


John C. Gannon is Vice President for Mission Technology at CENTRA Technology and adjunct professor of national security at Georgetown University. He is retired President, BAE Systems Intelligence & Security, a provider of information technology, intelligence analysis and other homeland security solutions to U. S. Government agencies. Information Solutions supports the critical mission information technology and solutions needs of civilian, military and intelligence agencies. Dr. Gannon is a 20-year CIA veteran who joined BAE Systems in 2005 as vice president and senior general manager of the company's Global Analysis business, a unit of Information Solutions. In this role, he was responsible for building the business to support U.S. government and corporate analysis. Prior to joining BAE Systems, Gannon held senior posts throughout the intelligence community. He served as staff director for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, the first new House committee in more than 30 years. Prior to that, he headed the White House team that created the Department of Homeland Security Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate. As chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Gannon advised the president's national security team on top-priority functional and global issues. Dr. Gannon was the CIA's deputy director for intelligence from 1995 to 1997, supervising all of the agency's analysts and overseeing the preparation of the President's Daily Brief. Gannon inaugurated the first Strategic Plan for the Directorate of Intelligence and its first major reorganization since 1981. Gannon has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Holy Cross College and master's and doctorate degrees in history from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. The former naval officer and Vietnam veteran was awarded the National Security Medal, the nation's highest intelligence award, by President George W. Bush


Henry J. (Hank) Hatch (NAE) retired from the Army in 1992 as a Lieutenant General, the Chief of Engineers and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers whose missions include military construction and environmental engineering for the Army and Air Force and the Army’s civil water resources program. After eight years in the private sector, he continues as an active volunteer in a number of professional organizations. Among these have been two boards of the National Research Council, the American Association of Engineering Societies and the American Society of Civil Engineers where he is a former member of the Board of Direction and has chaired and serves on several committees. He is a past National President of the Society of American Military Engineers and is a member of and has chaired the Natural Sciences and Engineering Committee of the US National Commission for UNESCO. Hatch earned his Bachelors from West Point and his Masters from The Ohio State University. He is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, a Distinguished Member of ASCE, a Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and a Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Engineering of The Ohio State University.


Fiona Harrison (NAS) is the Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in the Space Radiation Laboratory. She is the principal investigator for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) Small Explorer, launched in 2012. Dr. Harrison's primary research interests are in experimental and observational high-energy astrophysics. In addition, she has an active observational program in gamma-ray, x-ray, and optical observations of gamma-ray bursts, active galaxies, and neutron stars. Dr. Harrison was awarded the Robert A. Millikan Prize Fellowship in Experimental Physics in 1993 and the Presidential Early Career Award in 2000. She was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News and the Kennedy School of Government in 2008 and received the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal in 2013. She has also served on the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division Executive Committee and several Spitzer Science Center and Michelson Science Center Oversight Committees. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and a fellow of the American Physical Society (APA). She was a NASA graduate student research fellow from 1989-92 and received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. She has served on several NRC committees including the NRC ‘s Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010, the Committee on NASA's Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation, the Committee on the Physics of the Universe (producing the “Quarks to the Cosmos” report), and she was a member of the Space Studies Board.


Steven Koonin (NAS) is the Director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) which is an applied science and engineering institute created by NYU as a consortium of world-class universities, global technology corporations, and innovative urban designers. Dr. Koonin was confirmed by the Senate in May, 2009 as Undersecretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, serving in that position until November, 2011. Prior to that, he was BP’s Chief Scientist, where he was a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternate fuel sources. Dr. Koonin came to BP in 2004 following almost 3 decades as Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, serving as the Institute’s Vice President and Provost for the last nine years. Most recently, Dr. Koonin held a position at the Science and Technology Policy Institute of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, DC. Dr. Koonin’s research interests have included nuclear astrophysics; theoretical nuclear, computational, and many-body physics; and global environmental science. He has been involved in scientific computing throughout his career. Dr. Koonin has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Cato T. Laurencin (NAE/IOM) is Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery. He previous served as the UConn Health Center’s Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the UConn School of Medicine. Prior to his arrival at the UConn Health Center, Dr. Laurencin was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, as well as Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Virginia Health System. In addition, he was designated as a University Professor at the University of Virginia, one of the University’s most prestigious titles, and held professorships in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. Dr. Laurencin is an expert in shoulder and knee surgery and an international leader in tissue engineering research. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons. President Obama named Dr. Laurencin a 2009 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence, awarded to science, math, and engineering mentors. He is also the winner of the Pierre Galletti Award, the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering’s highest honor. Dr. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. from Princeton University, a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.D. the Harvard Medical School.


David W. McLaughlin (NAS) is Provost of New York University, and had previously served as head of NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He was elected to the NAS in 2002; his citation notes that he is "a multidisciplinary applied mathematician who has demonstrated that mathematics is intensely needed throughout modern science. His work focuses on dispersive waves and on the regular or chaotic temporal behaviors of large-scale nonlinear systems. His efforts range from computational models of experiments involving laser beams to models based on the behavior of individual cells within the large-scale neuronal network of the visual cortex." He brings the Board strong credibility with the broad mathematical sciences community and, through his position as Provost of a major university, connections to leaders in other disciplines and in industry.


M. Granger Morgan (NAS) is the Lord Chair Professor in Engineering and Head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Much of his work has involved the development and demonstration of methods to characterize and analyze uncertainty in Quantitative Risk and Policy Analysis. He has worked extensively on issues in climate change and the problems of decarbonizing the energy system. In this context he directs the NSF center for Energy and Environmental Decision Making. He also co-directs and is conducting research at the CMU Electricity Industry Center where he works in areas such as distributed resources, carbon management, and basic technology research to support clean energy. He has worked extensively in risk analysis, communication and ranking. Dr. Morgan received a B.S. in physics from Harvard University, an M.S. in Astronomy and Space Science, and Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Information Science from the University of California, San Diego.


Maxine L. Savitz (NAE) is a retired general manager, Technology/Partnerships at Honeywell, Inc. formerly AllliedSignal. She is also member and current vice president of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Savitz was employed at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies (1974-1983) and served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Conservation. Dr. Savitz serves on the board of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, and on advisory bodies for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She serves on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology visiting committee for sponsored research activities. In 2009, Dr. Savitz was appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology. Past board memberships include the National Science Board, Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Defense Science Board, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRU), Draper Laboratories, and the Energy Foundation. Dr. Savitz’s awards and honors include: the Orton Memorial Lecturer Award (American Ceramic Society) in 1998; the DOE Outstanding Service Medal in1981; the President’s Meritorious Rank Award in 1980; recognition by the Engineering News Record for Contribution to the Construction Industry in 1979 and 1975; and the MERDC Commander Award for Scientific Excellence in 1967. She is the author of about 20 publications.


William Stead (IOM) ) is Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Chief Strategy Officer, McKesson Foundation Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. He leads strategy development for the medical center, facilitating structured decision making to achieve strategic goals, and concept development to nurture system innovation. Dr. Stead received his B.A., M.D., and residency training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology from Duke University. He came to Vanderbilt in 1991and guided development of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and operational units providing information technology infrastructure to support the health care, education and research programs of the medical center. He aligned organizational structure, informatics architecture and change management to bring cutting-edge research in decision support, visualization, natural language processing, data mining and data privacy into clinical practice. The resulting enterprise-wide electronic health record, clinical communication/decision support tools and population-scale research resources support his current focus on system-based care and research leading toward personalized medicine and population health management. Dr. Stead is a Founding Fellow of both the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Institute for Engineering in Biology and Medicine. He is a member of the Council of the Institute of Medicine, the Division Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences of the National Research Council and the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics of the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to his academic and advisory responsibilities, Dr. Stead is a Director of HealthStream.

Richard Truly (NAE)) is a member of the National Academy of Engineering Council. After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1959, Truly began his 30-year career in the U.S. Navy. After distinguished service as a naval aviator, he became one of the first military astronauts and transferred to NASA. Among his accomplishments as an astronaut, he piloted the Space Shuttle Columbia and was commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger for the first night launch and landing in the shuttle program. In 1983, he became the first commander of the Naval Space Command, the principal naval space operations element of the Department of Defense. Called back to NASA as associate administrator for space flight, Truly led the accident investigation and rebuilding of the space shuttle program following the Challenger accident. From 1989 to 1992, Truly served as NASA’s eighth administrator under President George H. W. Bush. Following his career at NASA, Truly served as vice president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute and director of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Truly was awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal by President Ronald Reagan, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and is the recipient of five honorary doctorates of science and/or engineering. He is a trustee of Regis University and the Colorado School of Mines and previously served on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Army Science Board, and the Defense Policy Board.


Executive Director

Peter Blair is Executive Director of the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences of The National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC). He was formerly Executive Director of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and publisher of American Scientist (1996-2001). Earlier, at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (1983-1996), he served as Energy Program Director and then as Assistant Director of the agency and Director of the Division on Industry, Commerce, and International Security. He received OTA’s distinguished service award in 1991. Prior to his government service he was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (1976-1985) and Co-Founder of Technecon Analytic Research, Inc. (1978-1985). He is a fellow of the AAAS and holds a B.S. in engineering from Swarthmore College, an M.S.E. in systems engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in energy management and policy from the University of Pennsylvania.