Sandeep Shukla, an assistant professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, is among 88 of the nation’s outstanding young engineers invited by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to participate in the 11th annual Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Sept. 22-24 at the General Electric Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y.

Shukla and the other attendees — engineers 30 to 45 years of age and representing academia, industry or government — were nominated and selected in recognition of their contributions to the advancement of engineering and their potential as future leaders in their fields.

Shukla, who came to Virginia Tech in 2002, is a leading researcher in designing, analyzing, and predicting performance of electronic systems, particularly systems embedded in automated systems. In September 2004, he was honored at the White House as a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest national honor for researchers in the early stages of their careers.

“The computing world is moving from the desktop and workstation to an arena of embedded and wearable computers,” Shukla said. More and more, embedded computers are becoming the brains behind mechanisms that we rely on in our everyday lives — such as wireless devices, cars, automated elevators, climate control systems, traffic signals, and washing machines. Embedded computers also constitute the backbone of our complex systems, including space mission controls, avionics, and weapons systems.

In 2003, Shukla and a group of colleagues in electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and mathematics founded the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications with the goal of moving Virginia Tech to the forefront of research and education in the area of embedded systems.

Shukla received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Jadavpur University in India and his master's degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the State University of New York at Albany. He began studying embedded computers while working as an engineer with Verizon and, later, Intel. Before coming to Virginia Tech, he was a member of the research faculty of the Center for Embedded Computer Systems at the University of California at Irvine.

Frontiers of Engineering participants will hear presentations from the world's leading engineers and scientists on the topics of ID verification technologies, the engineering of complex systems, engineering for developing communities, and energy.

“Significant advances in engineering are occurring where disciplines intersect,” said NAE President William A. Wulf. “Frontiers of Engineering provides an opportunity for engineers to learn about techniques and challenges in areas other than their own. This new knowledge can spark insights and collaborations that might not have occurred otherwise.”

This year's symposium is sponsored by the NAE, General Electric Co., the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Department of Defense (DDR&E–Research), DARPA, Microsoft Corp., and Cummins Inc., as well as individual donors.

The National Academy of Engineering 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.