Nicholas Peppas, professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, pediatrics, surgery and pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin and an expert in biomaterials and drug delivery systems, has been elected as a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).

Membership in the CAE is the highest engineering distinction in China, and the academy is among the most prestigious engineering communities in the world. Once elected, foreign members hold lifelong memberships. Peppas is one of 18 foreign members elected in 2017 and the only member elected from the state of Texas.

Peppas, who holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #6 at UT Austin, was elected for his seminal contributions to biomaterials, drug delivery and chemical engineering.

“Nicholas is a pioneer in oral drug delivery systems, and his numerous discoveries and inventions have had a significant impact on society,” said Sharon L. Wood, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “This honor certainly reflects his remarkable contributions on a global level.”  

Peppas has been an accomplished professor, researcher and entrepreneur throughout his distinguished career. He has six honorary doctorates from Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Spain, 45 U.S. patents pending or issued, three companies founded and more than 1,650 papers published with 105,000 citations. He joined the UT Austin faculty in December 2002 and served as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2009 to 2015.

Among his accolades, Peppas has received the Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering, the Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal, the Giulio Natta Award from Italy, the Founders Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society for Biomaterials, and the Benjamin Garver Lamme Excellence in Engineering Education Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. He is the recipient of the Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Pierre Galetti Award from the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He was recognized by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers as one of the “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” and with a symposium honoring his “40 Years of Impact at the Frontiers of Science and Engineering.” In addition, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the National Royal Academy of Spain, the National Academy of France, the Academy of Athens (Greece) and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences of Texas (TAMEST).

In China, Peppas has received Honorary Professorships from Sichuan University (Chengdu) and Peking Union Medical College (Beijing) and Master Lecturer recognitions from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai) and Peking Union Medical College (Beijing).

There are 882 total members in the CAE, of which 66 have foreign member status. Elections occur every two years. Among the foreign members of this year’s class are Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on June 8, 2018, in Beijing, China. View the full list of newly elected CAE members.

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