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Shi selected to participate in the NAE US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

5/31/2019 Mike Koon

Honghui Shi, an adjunct research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is one 100 of the nation’s brightest young engineers who have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 25th annual US Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) Symposium. Shi earned both a master of science degree (2016, ECE) and a PhD (2017) in computer engineering from Illinois and is currently a research staff member at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center.

The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a select group of emerging engineering leaders (ages 30-45) from industry, academe, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors over three days. The goal of the meetings is to introduce these outstanding early career engineers to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration in engineering, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders in order to sustain and build U.S. innovative capacity.

Participation is by invitation following a highly competitive nomination and selection process, with only 80 of the 350 highly-qualified nominees from across the country selected. Previous USFOE alumni include current Dean of the Grainger College of Engineering Rashid Bashir, who attended in 2003, and Hillery Hunter (PhD04, ECE), who attended in 2010 and is currently the Chief Technology Officer for IBM Cloud and an IBM Fellow.

Shi’s current research focuses on accurate visual understanding, an active research area that not only lies at the core intersection of computer vision and machine learning but also is critical for many real-world AI systems and applications. He has demonstrated his leadership in research and engineering by delivering award-winning AI systems to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and winning multiple major international AI competitions since he was a PhD student.

The 2019 US Frontiers of Engineering will be hosted by Boeing in North Charleston, South Carolina on September 25-27, and will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Advanced Manufacturing in the Age of Digital Transformation, Engineering the Genome, Self-Driving Cars: Technology and Ethics, and Blockchain Technology.

Sponsors for the 2019 NAE’s US Frontiers of Engineering are The Grainger Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DOD ASDR&E Laboratories Office, Microsoft Research, and Cummins.

Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. A meeting program and more information about Frontiers of Engineering are available at