Randy Atkins is the director of communications/media relations for the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), where he assists journalists with coverage of stories about engineers and engineering. He led a high-profile effort, involving a blue-ribbon committee of leading technological thinkers to identify the 21st Century's "Grand Challenges for Engineering" which is having wide-ranging impacts, especially in education. Since 2003, Randy has been reporting weekly "Engineering Innovation" stories on the Washington, D.C. region’s most listened-to radio station, WTOP (FM), an all-news format CBS affiliate, and on Federal News Radio, WFED (AM), for which he has won several awards. He was involved in the conception and design of a nationwide workshop series called "News & Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis" and was the project leader, working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Radio Television Digital News Association.
Before joining the NAE, Randy worked as senior science writer at the American Chemical Society and senior media relations coordinator for the American Physical Society. Previously, he was a producer and reporter of the nationally-distributed Inside Science TV News and an on-air television reporter for NBC network affiliate WVVA-TV. Early in his career, Randy worked as a microbiologist in laboratories at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He attended Bucknell University and the University of Florida and holds a degree in microbiology.