Roderic Pettigrew Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

In common with the National Academy of Sciences and many other honorary societies in the United States, the National Academy of Engineering states that it has no data on the race of its 2,267 members. Yet from information provided by various members, JBHE has determined that there are very few African Americans among the society’s fellows. According to our estimates, black membership in the NAE is as low as five tenths of one percent of the overall total of NAE fellows.

This year the NAE elected 68 new members to the society. Once again, the academy does not disclose the race of its new members. But after a detailed search of the new membership list by JBHE it appears that only one of the new members is black.

The new African-American member of the National Academy of Engineering is Roderic I. Pettigrew. Dr. Pettigrew is the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, Maryland. His research has focused on producing four-dimensional views of the heart using magnetic resonance imaging.

Dr. Pettigrew is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he majored in physics. He holds a master’s degree in nuclear science and engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in applied radiation physics from MIT. He also is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Prior to his appointment at the NIH, Dr. Pettigrew was a professor of radiology medicine at Emory University and a professor of bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.