Wesley Harris elected vice president of National Academy of Engineering

Wesley Harris elected vice president of National Academy of Engineering

MIT News

Wesley Harris

As the founding director of the MIT Office of Minority Education in the 1970s, Harris understood how important it was for minority students to have support, given his experience as an African-American student during the Jim Crow era being barred from studying physics. Photo courtesy of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Wesley Harris elected vice president of National Academy of Engineering

The distinguished professor of aeronautics and astronautics will continue to champion diversity in engineering in the new role.

MIT News, 16 August 2022

By Ashley Belanger | School of Engineering

This spring, some members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) — a group representing the world’s most accomplished engineers — were tasked with electing the institution’s next vice president. MIT’s Wesley Harris [MLK Visiting Professor 1995-1996 and 40th MLK Jr. Celebration Lifetime Achievement awardee] emerged as their top choice. Officially announced as NAE’s new VP, Harris will help advance its mission to expand U.S. engineering frontiers while based on MIT’s campus.

“It is a delight to see Wesley Harris celebrated for his substantial achievements as a researcher, educator, and mentor, and I expect as NAE’s new VP, he will continue his legacy of expertly guiding young engineers toward excellence in their fields,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

An impressive researcher and dedicated mentor, Harris is currently the Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He’s spent 50 years advancing technical research by making seminal contributions in a range of engineering fields, building joint research programs between universities, industry, and government, and inspiring young engineers to become titans in their own fields. To his students, for decades, he’s been considered the ultimate mentor.

As NAE’s next VP, Harris will remain at MIT but will be tasked to inspire an even wider field of upcoming engineers. Harris says he expects to forge a deeper connection between two of the world’s leading engineering institutions.