Two engineering professors honored with NAE membership

Professors Mahta Moghaddam (left) and Berok Khoshnevis (right) were elected to the National Academy of Engineering earlier this month. (Photo from Viterbi School of Engineering)

Viterbi School of Engineering professors Mahta Moghaddam and Berok Khoshnevis were elected to the National Academy of Engineering, a nonprofit institution dedicated to promoting leaders in engineering and fostering an innovative environment Feb. 7.

“Election to the National Academy of Engineering is the highest achievement and recognition for an engineer,” Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos said.

Moghaddam serves as the director of new research initiatives within Viterbi and is involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Antennas and Propagation Society, an international organization that specializes in the interaction between waves and their terrestrial surroundings.

Moghaddam’s research includes using remote sensors to find patterns in weather and hydrologic cycles to demonstrate how water resources are becoming depleted in the world. As a microwave engineer, she focuses on designing, building, transmitting and repairing electronics that transmit small electromagnetic waves, or microwaves.

Her work as the director of the Microwave Systems, Sensors and Imaging Lab led to innovative approaches to environmental mapping and breast cancer treatment.

Khoshnevis is among one of the key developers of 3-D printing, particularly for large-scale structures and buildings.

“In general, my interest has been on invention, technology and development,” Khoshnevis said. “I have inventions in many different fields including fabrication, energy, wind, biomedical and dentistry.”

Khoshnevis holds over 100 patents related to 3-D printing. In 2017, Khoshnevis founded the Contour Crafting Corporation,  which aims to apply 3-D printing to the construction industry.

“Khoshnevis is essentially one of the key people who developed 3-D printing,” Yortsos said.

Only 12 other Viterbi faculty members have been elected to NAE since 2008, according to Viterbi.

Khoshnevis said he was humbled by the distinction and grateful to be inducted into the prestigious collective of intellectuals.

“Having been selected by a group of accomplished engineers to become a member of NAE is an endorsement for me that I am a good engineer,” Khoshnevis said.

Moghaddam said she was honored by her election to the academy and aims to continue her engineering endeavors.

“I hope to be able to do my part to inspire and support and to do all I can to live up to … the expectations of this wonderful institution that is USC, and of course, USC Viterbi,” Moghaddam told USC News.

The NAE induction ceremony will take place Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.