Faculty in the Congressionally Chartered National Academies


Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Barbara F. Atkinson

Barbara F. Atkinson

Executive Vice Chancellor, 2005-2012
Executive Dean, 2002-2012

Barbara Atkinson, M.D., was named Executive Dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2002 and Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2005. She led the University of Kansas Medical Center's efforts to apply for National Cancer Institute designation in September 2011. She oversaw the creation of the KU School of Medicine's innovative new campus in Salina, Kan., and the expansion of the school'sWichita campus from a two-year program to a full, four-year program.

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National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

Stanley T. Rolfe

Stanley T. Rolfe

Albert P. Learned Distinguished Professor
Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

Stan Rolfe earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1956, 1958 and 1962, respectively. He spent seven years at U.S. Steel’s research laboratory before bringing his expertise to the civil engineering program at KU in 1969. As the Alfred P. Learned Distinguished Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, his leadership in fracture mechanics and fatigue helped build the university into a global leader in steel and concrete research.

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Paul Willhite

Paul Willhite

Ross H. Forney Distinguished Professor
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Willhite’s contributions to the field of petroleum engineering earned him the Improved Oil Recovery Pioneer Award at the 14th Society of Petroleum Engineers/Department of Energy Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery in 2004. He is the recipient of the John Franklin Carll Award, the Lester C. Uren Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, each from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He holds numerous U.S. patents. He has served in a variety of leadership roles at the department, school and university level during his tenure at KU. He is a distinguished member of the SPE and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi and the American Society for Engineering Education.

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Ross E. McKinney

Ross E. McKinney

NT Veatch Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Civil Engineering

McKinney was the first NT Veatch Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and a recipient of the 1992 Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award. He left the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1960 with a desire for his research to stand out beyond the MIT brand. His advanced approach to biological engineering of waste-water treatment did much more, generating international acclaim. He received dozens of awards including a 1985 Award of Excellence from students and the 1982 Thomas R. Camp Medal and a 1991 international award from the Water Pollution Control Federation. His research and design were behind more than 75 municipal and industrial treatment plants, and during his 32-year career he trained more than 200 graduate students who have gone on to design systems worldwide.


National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Stanley T. Rolfe

Thomas N. Taylor

Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Senior Curator, Paleobotany, Biodiversity Institute

Dr. Tom Taylor’s research focuses on Antarctic paleobiology, fossil fungi, fossil plants, and the origin and evolution of land plants and the colonization of the land.

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Joe Lutkenhaus

Joe Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Microbiology
Molecular Genetics and Immunology

Joe Lutkenhaus, Ph.D. is a University Distinguished Professor of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology at the KU Medical Center. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Louisa Gross Horwitz Award for Biology and Biochemistry from Columbia University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and has received the Higuchi Research and Chancellor’s Club Research Awards from the University of Kansas and a Merit Award from NIH.

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Charles D. Michener

Charles D. Michener

Watkins Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Michener was the first scientist in Kansas to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is recognized as a pioneer in the study of bees, and remains one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject more than 20 years after his retirement as Watkins Distinguished Professor of Entomology. His 2000 book The Bees of the World, updated in 2007, is the definitive resource on the subject and one of over 340 publications. From the time he joined the KU faculty in 1948 a substantial amount of the world’s research on bees and social insects was done at KU.