UCSB’s already esteemed College of Engineering just got another boost.

Three UCSB engineering professors, Glenn H. Fredrickson, Sanjit K. Mitra and Shuji Nakamura, were elected this month to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.

NAE is an independent, nonprofit institution that guides the nation through critical problems and issues with engineering resources. The academy provides advisory services to the federal government through studies and projects.

“We provide advice for the government when asked,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean of the College of Engineering and an NAE member himself.

The NAE also conducts independent studies to explore important topics in engineering and technology.

Members are nominated by their peers for their technical achievements and innovations. Election to the academy is considered among the highest honors an engineer can receive.

UCSB now has a total of 22 members in the academy. UCSB has had a “steady stream of new academy members,” Tirrell said. “In the past four years, the number has increased from 13 to 22. This brings great distinction to this university and enhances the reputation of the College of Engineering.”

Chancellor Henry T. Yang, also a member of the NAE, spoke on behalf of this year’s election of his faculty colleagues to the academy, saying, “I am absolutely thrilled by this news, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions that each of these three scholars has made to engineering and to research.”

“I am proud to salute my distinguished colleagues, and I know that our campus and community join me in applauding their achievement,” Yang said.

Fredrickson, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials, was elected for his contribution to the understanding of block copolymers and other polymeric and complex fluids – also known as plastics.

“To be elected a member to the NAE is “a great recognition of the work I’ve done in the past,” Fredrickson said.

Mitra, professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept., was elected for his contributions to signal and image processing as well as for textbooks he has written.

“I am extremely pleased and honored to be selected,” Mitra said.

Nakamura, professor of materials, was elected as a foreign associate of the academy. He invented the first blue laser while working for Nichia Chemical Industries in Japan. He was elected for his contributions to optoelectronic engineering of gallium nitride materials.

“This is a great honor for me,” Nakamura said. “I am very lucky to work for UCSB.”