Clemens Schmidt

The National Academy of Engineering has elected Noel T. Clemens, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin, to the academy for 2024. Christine Schmidt, who received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UT and later served on the University’s faculty from 1996 to 2012, has also been elected.

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in the engineering field and profession. In all, 114 new members and 21 foreign members joined the NAE in 2024.

“Throughout his career, Noel has been a global leader in experimental laser imaging systems and techniques, and as an educator and department head, he has been a passionate supporter of his students and faculty colleagues,” said Roger Bonnecaze, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “We are extremely proud of the contributions both he and Christine have made to the advancement of their fields and the impact they have had on society. On behalf of our entire community, I offer my congratulations to both of these outstanding Texas Engineers for this tremendous professional honor.”

During the past decade, more than 15 UT professors have been elected to the academy, and the University has nearly 50 current and retired members.

About the new members representing the UT community:

Clemens holds the Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the Cockrell School of Engineering. He is being recognized for laser-based measurements to understand and control high-speed reactive and nonreactive flows. He applies this expertise to hypersonics, experimental gas dynamics, experimental methods and combustion.

Currently, Clemens is the director of the ULI FAST for Hypersonics Aerodynamics Measurements (AFOSR/NASA) that focuses on developing a new measurement technology for hypersonic flight. This novel technique will redefine sensing and analysis of hypersonic vehicles and could eventually be applied to lower-speed aircraft as well.

He has served on the faculty since 1993 and as aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics department chair from 2012 to 2020. A fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Clemens is also a former National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty fellow and former editor-in-chief of the journal Experiments in Fluids.

Schmidt earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from UT in 1988. She returned to serve as a faculty member from 1996 to 2012, where she held positions in both biomedical engineering and chemical engineering. Schmidt was one of the inaugural inductees into the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2023.

She is being recognized for biomaterials and tissue engineering for neural regeneration and improved wound healing, and for leadership in diversifying bioengineering. Today, Schmidt is the Pruitt Family Endowed Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida and chair of the department.

A fellow and former president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Schmidt is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, and more.