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Adjunct professor also named as foreign member

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (02/12/2018) — University of Minnesota Professor Emerita Efi Foufoula-Georgiou has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. She was honored for her “contributions to hydrology and hydroclimatology with applications to engineered systems across scales.” She is one of only 83 engineers nationwide elected to the academy this year.

Foufoula-Georgiou was a McKnight Distinguished Professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo- Engineering from 1989-2016. She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine.

Foufoula-Georgiou’s area of research is hydrology and geomorphology, with special interest on scaling theories, multiscale dynamics and space-time modeling of precipitation and landforms. Her work gives us new clues to better understand water, sediment and land processes in response to climate and human disturbances.

While at the University of Minnesota, she was the Joseph T. and Rose S. Ling Chair in Environmental Engineering, and a Founding Fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment. She has served as director of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center “National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics” (NCED) and director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.

“I am humbled by this great honor,” Foufoula-Georgiou said. “Such recognition fuels even more of my passion and enthusiasm for impactful research and a commitment to propel my colleagues and students to reach their very best.”

Foufoula-Georgiou has served as associate editor of Water Resources Research, J. of Geophysical Research, Advances in Water Resources, Hydrologic and Earth System Sciences, and as editor of J. Hydrometeorology. She has also served in many national and international advisory boards, including the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation Advisory Council for Geosciences, NASA Earth Sciences Subcommittee, and European Union advisory boards, as well as a member of several Nuclear Regulatory Commission studies.

She has also received several awards, such as the John Dalton Medal of the European Geophysical Society, the Hydrologic Sciences Award of the American Geophysical Union, and the Horton Lecturer of American Meteorological Society. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society, and a member of the European Academy of Sciences.

Adjunct professor elected as foreign member

John A.L. Napier, a University of Minnesota adjunct professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo- Engineering, was also elected as a foreign member to the National Academy of Engineering for his “contributions to computational simulation of rock fracture around underground excavations.”

Napier is a professor in the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa, with special expertise in rock engineering and numerical methods. He visits the University of Minnesota each year to collaborate with the geomechanics research group to model physical phenomena such as damage and fracture, wave propagation, and fluid transport.

Newly elected members of the National Academy of Engineering will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2018. To see a full list of this year’s inductees, visit the National Academy of Engineering website.


Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering,, 612-626-7959

Lacey Nygard, University News Service,, 612-625-0552