Ali Butt, assistant professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, has been named one of 88 of the nation's brightest young engineers.

Butt has been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 15th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

His colleague, Naren Ramakrishnan, also a professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, is one of the organizers of this year’s event. He was recently named an award recipient in HP’s 2009 Innovation research Program and, in 2007, one of Computerworld’s 40 innovative information technology people to watch who is under the age of 40.

Engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines will come together for the two-and-a-half-day event. The participants — from industry, academia, and government — were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from approximately 240 applicants.

"In today’s challenging economic times, we look more than ever toward our engineering innovators," said NAE President Charles M. Vest. "The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a diverse group of this country's most promising young engineers, and gives them a forum to discuss multi-disciplinary ways of addressing the issues that will carry us into tomorrow's economy."

Butt is a 2008 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award recipient for his research in high performance computing power. The goal of his research is to address the increasing performance gap between computing power and storage technology, especially for high performance computing (HPC) environments.

The symposium will be held Sept. 10-12 at the National Academies' Beckman Center at the University of California, Irvine, and will examine engineering tools for scientific discovery; engineering the health care delivery system; nano/micro photonics and new applications; and resilient and sustainable infrastructures. A featured speaker will be Bradford W. Parkinson, Edward C. Wells professor of aeronautics and astronautics emeritus at Stanford University. Parkinson is credited with being the father of the Global Positioning System and is a recipient of the prestigious Draper Prize and a member of the NAE.

Sponsors for the 2009 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering are The Grainger Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Department of Defense (DDR&E-Research), the National Science Foundation, Microsoft Research, and Cummins Inc.

The NAE is an independent, nonprofit institution that serves as an adviser to government and the public on issues in engineering and technology. Its members consist of the nation's premier engineers, who are elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements. Established in 1964, NAE operates under the congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863.

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