In 1976, recognizing the need for authoritative and organized technical advice for state government, about one hundred technical individuals from both academic and industrial fields formed the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering ("the Academy"), a private nonprofit corporation patterned after the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy was chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1976 as a 200-member organization whose main purpose was to advise state government and industry "in the application of science and engineering to the economic and social welfare." (Special Act No. 76-53).
Subsequently, amendments to the Academy’s enabling legislation were adopted regarding the Academy’s membership limit: (a) in 2006, Special Act 06-2 provided an increase in the membership limit to not more than 250 members; and (b) in 2009 Special Act 09-7 authorized the Academy’s bylaws to prescribe the number of members of the Academy. Subsequently, (a) in 2009 the Academy’s bylaws were amended to provide a membership limit of not more than 400 members; and (b) in 2015 the Academy’s bylaws were amended change the membership limit from 400 members to a more flexible limit that provides for continued limited growth in membership by having the Academy’s Governing Council limit the number of nominations to be considered for membership annually shall be limited to not more than 6% of the number of members as of July 1 of such year.
Individuals are nominated for election as members of the Academy by members through an annual election process. Members must live or work in Connecticut. They are elected by the current membership on the basis of their accomplishments in science, engineering and/or technology. In particular, scientists and engineers may be considered for membership on the basis of fulfillment of either or both of the following criteria:
(a) scientific distinction achieved through significant original contribution in theory or application;
(b) unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of applied science and technology.
The number of candidates to be considered for election each year shall be limited to not more than 6% of the number of members as of July 1 of such fiscal year as determined by the Academy’s Governing Council. The Academy shall consist of not more than the number of members as of July 1 of each fiscal year, plus the number of members elected in such year.
Other categories of membership including an unlimited number of Members Emeriti (Retired Members) and Corresponding Members (Members that no longer live or work in Connecticut).
A Council of eleven members, including four officers and the past president, governs the Academy.
- President : Laura Grabel, Wesleyan University
- Vice-President/President Elect: Baki Cetegen, UConn
- Secretary: Regis A. Matzie, Westinghouse Electric Company (ret.)
- Treasurer: Phillip J. Gardner, Coherent Inc. (ret.)
- Past President: Sandra Weller, UConn Health Center
- Robert Hobbs, UTRC (ret.)
- Ralph Lewis, UConn
- Edmond Murphy, Lumentum
- Christine Broadbridge, Southern Connecticut State University
- Joann Sweasy, Yale School of Medicine
- George Wisner, Wisner Assoc. & Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair
- Richard H. Strauss, Executive Director
- Terri Clark, Associate Director
- Ann G. Bertini, Assistant Director for Programs
The Academy membership is divided into ten Technical Boards (TBs), each with an area of public concern having technical content. These TBs resemble those of the National Research Council in structure and intent, and were chosen to embrace all relevant areas of Connecticut public policy. The ten TBs are:
- Agriculture, Food and Nutrition
- Biomedical Research and Health Care
- Communication and Information Systems
- Economic Development
- Energy Production, Use and Conservation
- Human Resources and Education
- Public Health
- Transportation Systems
One of the principal purposes of the Academy is to provide science and technology information and advice, usually by performing studies, on public policy issues upon request of a government agency, the General Assembly, or in some instances, private organizations. These studies result in formal Reports published by the Academy. Summaries of recent studies conducted by the Academy are available on our website.
The Academy also issues a quarterly publication called the Bulletin, which features articles on new developments in science and technology around the state. It is distributed free to members, government officials, college and high school science departments, and research libraries at the state's major private research facilities, as well as other interested individuals, upon request.
Other Academy activities include participation in technology expositions, the award of monetary prizes to student winners of science competitions, such as the CT Science Fair, the Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium, the CT Intel Science Talent Search, and the Invention Convention, and also the award of the Connecticut Medal of Science and the Connecticut Medal of Technology.
The Academy receives funding from state agencies and the General Assembly for the purpose of performing studies and other tasks. Other funding to support the mission of the Academy comes in the form of support from the Academy's Patrons, other organizations, as well as the membership of the Academy.