By Constanze Ditterich, originally posted by UC Davis Engineering.
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has honored Ralph C. Aldredge, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering and professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, with the 2021 NSBE Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Academia.
Every year, the NSBE Golden Torch Awards honor individuals, companies and institutions who have produced a consistent body of highly distinguished work, served as role models for others and advanced opportunities for African Americans in engineering. The NSBE Torch “symbolizes our everlasting, burning desire to achieve success in a competitive society and affect positive change in the quality of life for all people.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award in Academia honors those with exceptional technical achievements and leadership in higher education. Recipients have more than 15 years of significant contributions to academic engineering development, are leaders in their campus communities and are involved in education programs that benefit African American students on a national or local level. The award will be presented at the 24th Annual Golden Torch Awards ceremony on April 9.
“I am truly honored to be recognized,” said Aldredge. “I thank my sponsors and colleagues who have chosen to honor me with this distinction for my efforts to advance opportunities for African Americans in engineering and science. I am especially grateful to my students, who continue to inspire and challenge me to do all I can to expand the impact of engineering education.”
As an engineering professor and academic administrator, Aldredge has been particularly interested in increasing enrollment and retention of students from underrepresented minority groups. He has been faculty advisor to the Black Engineers Association, the UC Davis student chapter of NSBE. He was also integral to the development of the holistic-review freshman admissions policy at UC Davis, which expanded access to applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds who have overcome hardships while achieving academic success.
NSBE is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the world. The society’s members, chapters and supporters are dedicated to increasing the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
Learn more about the National Society of Black Engineers.