Howard University Professor Achille Messac Named AAAS Fellow


WASHINGTON — Howard University Professor of Mechanical Engineering Achille Messac, Ph.D., has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 29.

 “While I am indeed pleased to receive this award; in the truest sense, it squarely belongs to the faculty, students and staff I have had the honor to serve and lead over the past decades as dean, chair and professor at Northeastern University, Syracuse University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mississippi State University and Howard University,” Messac explains. “My special thanks to the faculty, students and staff, and to my colleagues nationally.”

This year, 443 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

As part of the section of Engineering, Messac was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions in the field of multidisciplinary design optimization and notable achievements in engineering education administration, particularly in challenging socio-technological settings.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

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Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational MedicineScience Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science AdvancesScience Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see

Media contact: Ramzey Smith, Office of University Communications,