Elsworth elected to National Academy of Engineering

Derek Elsworth, professor of energy and geo-environmental engineering at Penn State, is among the 67 new members and 12 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) on Feb. 5.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to American engineers. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding 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.” 

Elsworth, professor in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and the Department of Geosciences, also served as the former associate dean for research in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He was elected for his “contributions to understanding natural processes affecting flow and transport properties of fractured rocks.”

His recent research interests have focused on understanding the role of fluids on natural and engineered processes in the Earth’s crust, particularly in the evolution of transport and mechanical properties of fractured rocks under the complex action of stress, fluid pressures and chemistry. This work has contributed to the state-of-science in the deep geological sequestration of radioactive wastes and of carbon dioxide, mining, petroleum and geothermal engineering and of volcanic hazards.

Elsworth joined Penn State’s faculty in 1985. He earned his bachelors of science (honors) in engineering geology from Portsmouth Polytechnic in England; his masters of science (distinction) in engineering rock mechanics from Imperial College in London; and his doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

The election of the 2015 class brings the total U.S. NAE membership to 2,263 and the number of foreign members to 221. With Elsworth’s election, Penn State now has 12 active members, with seven members from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

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Last Updated February 10, 2015