Dr. John Turner Whitted graduated with a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in 1978. He was the first to apply the concept of ray-tracing to global illumination in computer graphics. The Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award was established by the Faculty of the College of Engineering at NC State University in 1966. Its purpose is to honor engineering graduates who have been recognized for outstanding achievements in:
• Planning and direction of engineering work,
• Fostering professional development of young engineers,
• Contributing to knowledge in the field of engineering, or
• Bringing, in other ways, distinction to the University through engineering achievement.
Nominations for this prestigious award come from members of the Engineering faculty, and a vote by faculty representatives determines the recipients of the award.