January 2015 Virginia Engineers On The Move
Anderson & Associates, Inc. (A&A) welcomes Eli Mannon as Transportation Project Engineer.
The firm also wishes a Happy A&A Anniversary to Bill Bushman, P.E., Jay McGuire, P.E., and especially to
Chip Worley, P.E., who is celebrating 42 years with A&A.
The Virginia FIRST Board is pleased to welcome Stan Southworth as the new Executive Director of Virginia FIRST. Mr. Southworth is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College with a B.S. degree in Economics. He has served as the Executive Director for the Partnership for Families Northside and Partnership for Families Foundation for the past five years. Prior to that, he was the Chief Operating Officer for Presbyterian Homes and Family Services. Mr. Southworth began his career in the corporate world, holding a variety of leadership and operational roles with Bank of America and its predecessors.
Two faculty members are the first from the University of Virginia (U.Va) to be named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, an accolade created in 2010 to recognize those who invent or facilitate significant patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Thomas C. Skalak, U.Va.’s vice president for research and a professor of biomedical engineering, and John C. Herr, a professor of cell biology, biomedical engineering, urology and obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine, joined 168 other distinguished inventors from prominent research institutions of higher education, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations in the 2014 class of NAI Fellows.
Thomas Skalak, vice president for research at the University of Virginia, has been named the inaugural executive director for science and technology programs at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in Seattle, officials announced recently. The appointment is effective February 1st. Skalak, who is also professor of biomedical engineering with appointments in both the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and is a faculty affiliate of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Darden School of Business, has been at the University of Virginia for the past 28 years. Skalak received his bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California at San Diego.
Fred Lee, University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Center for Power Electronics at Virginia Tech, has received the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Medal in Power Engineering for his contributions to power electronics, especially high-frequency power conversion. Prof. Lee is an internationally recognized leader in power electronics research. As the founding director of the Center for Power Electronics, he works with other researchers to improve the performance, reliability, and cost-efficiency of electric energy processing systems using an integrated system approach. Prof. Lee joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1977. He received his bachelor’s degree from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Duke University.
Giti Khodaparast, an associate professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been awarded $1,199,998 over three years by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to probe “Nonlinear and Terahertz Studies of Electro-Optic and Magneto-Electric Materials.” The research will focus on specific material compositions and composite architectures that demonstrate the possibility of providing giant optical nonlinear conversion. She joined Virginia Tech in 2004 and received her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Oklahoma.
Kamal Rojiani who has served the civil and environmental engineering department in many capacities including as the coordinator of the Structural Engineering and Materials Program, and as a faculty academic advisor for eight years responsible for advising approximately 80 students each year, announced plans to retire this month. Dr. Rojiani’s research in the area of computing includes expert systems for structural design, user interfaces, CAD based pre- and postprocessors, programming methodologies, verification and evaluation of structural analysis and design software, finite element modeling of buildings and bridges and development of object-oriented software for structural analysis and design. He has also developed a set of web-based applications for teaching structural engineering. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.
Robert Parker, L.S. Randolph Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, has co-won a best paper award from the Journal of Sound and Vibration for his research on instability of high-speed planetary gears inside the likes of airplane engines. Prof. Parker won the 2014 Doak Award with Chris Cooley, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University and a former doctoral student of Parker’s, for a 2013 paper that focuses on unforeseen vibrations in high-speed planetary gears – a set of connected gears with smaller gears rotating around a larger central gear – that can be found in airplane engines, as well as cars and even bicycle wheels. Parker and Cooley will receive the honor at the 22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration in Florence, Italy, in July. Prof. Parker received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a master’s degree and doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley.