Dr. Donald R. Wilton, a professor emeritus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, has added another impressive honor to his career of distinction with his election to the 2021 Class of the National Academy of Engineering.
Wilton joined the university’s faculty in 1983, and served as a professor of electrical engineering for 29 years, retiring in 2012. Wilton earned his B.S., Masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1964, 1966 and 1970.
Wilton's primary research interest is on the application of mathematical and numerical methods for solutions of antenna, guided wave and electromagnetic scattering problems. Regarded as one of the leading authorities in the field of computational electromagnetics, he is perhaps best known for establishing a framework for using computer modeling to study electromagnetic scattering by irregular surfaces, such as the curved wing of an airplane. A 1982 paper on the subject has been cited more than 3,700 times.
In 2014, Wilton was the recipient of the inaugural Harrington-Mittra Award in Computational Electromagnetics from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Antennas and Propagation Society. The next year, he was selected as a Technical Field Award winner. He also received the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, and he is a Life Fellow of the organization, at times serving as an associate editor for their publications and a distinguished lecturer.
Wilton received the inaugural Computational Electronics Award from the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society in 2013. In 2009, Wilton won a Cullen College Outstanding Teaching Award.
Election to the academy is one of the highest marks of distinction in the field. The total United States membership for the academy is 2,355, with another 298 international members. Wilton was elected “for contributions to computational electromagnetics of highly complex structures,” according to the organization.
Wilton is the 20th faculty member or University of Houston graduate to be honored with membership in the NAE. For a full list of NAE members with UH ties, click here.