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February 20, 2003

Three Sandians elected to National Academy of Engineering

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three Sandia National Laboratories engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE): Al Romig, vice president for Science, Technology, and Partnerships; Jack Jakowatz, manager, Signal Processing and Research; and Jim Asay, a Sandia consultant and former deputy director for Weapon Science Applications.

NAE President William A. Wulf announced the awards in Washington on Feb. 14. The three Sandians were among 77 new members and nine foreign associates elected, bringing the total NAE U.S. membership to 2,138, and the number of foreign associates to 165.

This is the first time three Sandians have been elected to NAE membership in the same year. And it means that five Sandians have been elected in the last two years. Jeff Brinker and Gordon Osbourn were elected last year.

Here are the NAE listings and citations:

Charles “Jack” Jakowatz Jr., Manager, Signal Processing and Research Dept. “For innovations in synthetic-aperture radar-image processing critical to military applications and environmental monitoring.”

Alton Romig Jr., Vice President, Science, Technology, and Partnerships, and chief technology officer. “For outstanding contributions to the science and technology of materials and for innovative research and development of defense systems.”

James Asay, deputy director, Weapon Science Applications. “For leadership in engineering research and management of shock waves and for the development of tools that have contributed to national security.” Asay retired from Sandia late last year after 32 years and is now a research professor and associate director at the Institute for Shock Physics at Washington State University, Pullman. Last fall he was honored with the American Physical Society’s Shock Compression Science Award.

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 accomplishment in “the pioneering of new fields of engineering, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education,” according to the NAE.

“I was extremely proud to hear that the National Academy of Engineering had elected three more Sandians to membership,” said Sandia President and Labs Director C. Paul Robinson, who himself was elected to NAE in 1998. “Each is exceptionally worthy of membership, and it’s even more remarkable that the specialties of these three are so diverse: Al Romig, who is a premier materials scientist, Jim Asay, who is a world-recognized expert in equation-of-state technology, and ‘Jack’ Jakowatz, who has pioneered real-time SAR with many important applications.

“I’m particularly proud that the Academy has seen fit to induct these individuals, particularly since some of their greatest accomplishments have been performed in the classified realm. It should be encouraging to all Sandia engineers that such outstanding work can be awarded Academy membership.”

Sandia media contact: Chris Miller,, (505) 844-5550

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