A psychology professor and an engineering professor from the University of Central Florida are among 15 honorees selected for induction to the Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL), a group that brings together the nation’s most distinguished scholars who live and work in Florida.

The induction of UCF Pegasus Professors Deborah C. Beidel and Sudipta Seal, and 13 others from throughout the state, expands the membership of the not-for-profit ASEMFL, all of whom are top scholars and researchers committed to addressing key issues and challenges impacting Florida. The 15 inductees bring the membership to 181. An induction ceremony will be held in the fall of 2021.

Members of ASEMFL seek to work with state and local agencies and planners — and contribute their expertise on issues such as mitigating COVID-19 transmission and impact, making coastlines more resilient, increasing transportation efficiency and safety and ensuring senior-citizen health — by producing cutting-edge unbiased studies.

ASEMFL was founded in 2018 at UCF, granting inaugural membership to the 140 members of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine who live or work in Florida. National Academy membership is considered the highest career distinction for scholars in these fields in the United States. Those who live or work in Florida have automatic membership in ASEMFL.

ASEMFL members are from universities, public agencies and industries statewide. Election into the Academy is a lengthy process that starts in August and concludes the following April.

“With ASEMFL, we have assembled an impressive organization of brainpower and leadership in Florida to help address the state’s toughest problems to improve lives and livelihoods,” says Gavriel Salvendy, ASEMFL president and member of the National Academy of Engineering. “Throughout their distinguished careers, ASEMFL members have advanced science, engineering and medicine to benefit the nation, and are now uniquely positioned to do the same for the state of Florida.”

To carry out its mission, ASEMFL is actively seeking partnerships with state agencies and municipalities. City managers, agency leaders, program managers and others are encouraged to connect with ASEMFL with their unique challenges and projects.

UCF’s 2021 ASEMFL new members:

Deborah Beidel in a white long sleeve shirt with arms crossed under her chest

Deborah C. Beidel, Pegasus Professor and Trustee Chair, UCF Department of Psychology, inducted for development, validation and implementation of effective social treatment for children, and PTSD treatment for veterans.

Man in white coat and protective glasses sits at a lab bench
Sudipta Seal, Professor and Chair, UCF Department of Materials Science and Engineering, inducted for outstanding research in multi-functional redox active nano-engineered oxide, and leadership in MSE and nanotechnology education.