UVA Engineering Alumnus Elected to National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced on Feb. 8, 2016, that it elected UVA Engineering alumnus Charles P. “Chip” Blankenship, Jr., as an academy member, among the most prestigious and important professional distinctions for an engineer.

Blankenship is president and chief executive officer of GE Appliances & Lighting. He joined GE in 1992 after earning his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science. Blankenship has remained a strong supporter of UVA Engineering; in 2012, he and his wife established the Belinda and Chip Blankenship Scholarship Fund benefiting Materials Science and Engineering students.

“This is truly an honor,” Blankenship said. “I am grateful to the UVA School of Engineering graduate program and the Materials Science and Engineering Department for the fine experience. I had great professors as mentors, and their expectations on performance were very high. I appreciate all that my UVA experience has done for me and my career.”

Blankenship is among 80 new members and 22 new foreign members. The academy’s total U.S. membership is 2,275, and the number of foreign members is 232.

In its announcement, the academy cited Blankenship’s contributions to the incorporation of new technology in consumer products and aircraft engines.

“Chip Blankenship is an outstanding engineering leader and strong supporter of the next generation of engineers,” said UVA Engineering Dean Craig Benson, who also is a member of the academy. “He is a credit to the academy, to UVA, and to the School of Engineering.”

According to the academy’s announcement, membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”