Of the 82 of the nation's brightest young engineers selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 14th Annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium, two are from Virginia Tech's College of Engineering.

Kirk Cameron, associate professor of computer science, and Amy Pruden, a new faculty member in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for 2008-09, were chosen from more than 230 nominees for this prestigious honor.

Cameron and Pruden will attend the symposium hosted Sept.18 through Sept. 20 by Sandia National Laboratories at the University of New Mexico.

All attendees are between the ages of 30 to 45 and are performing “exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines,” according to the National Academy of Engineering.

"America's competitiveness will largely depend upon the next generation of innovators," said the academy’s president Charles M. Vest. "The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering program brings some of the country's rising-star engineers, from a diverse range of disciplines, together for an exchange of ideas that will surely help contribute to keeping us at the forefront of technological advancement and may even spark a breakthrough that changes the way we live."

Among Cameron’s previous honors, he received a Department of Energy Early Career Principal Investigator Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, both in 2004. Less than 10 researchers in the United States have received both of these awards at that time.

His research is focused on distributed systems research, including performance analysis and prediction, application and system modeling, parallel and distributed processing, computer architecture, and power-aware technologies.

Pruden is a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) recipient and a 2006 CAREER Award winner, both National Science Foundation honors.

Her most recent research projects are focused on: the quantification and source-tracking of antibiotic resistance genes as emerging environmental pollutants; the role of animal waste management in minimizing the impacts of agricultural antibiotics to the environment; bioremediation of acid mine drainage using passive sulfate-reducing permeable reactive zones; and advancing genome-enabled tools for guiding inoculum design in engineered treatment systems.

Fellow engineers or organizations nominated the participants who represent industry, academia, and government.