Congratulations to the faculty of Virginia Tech Engineering being honored with a 2024 Dean’s Award for Excellence.

Virginia Tech is celebrated in the commonwealth and throughout the nation for the excellence of our programs in engineering education, research, and public service. The Dean's Awards for Excellence recognize our faculty members' incredible work, which has directly or indirectly impacted the success of our students.

Among this year’s award winners was Kevin G. Wang, associate professor, and Joseph Schetz, Fred D. Durham Professor Emeritus. Wang, Schetz and fellow winners were recognized by Dean Julia Ross in late April.

Excellence in Teaching: Kevin G. Wang

Dean Julia M. Ross, Kevin G. Wang, and Ella Atkins

Examples of activities that may be recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award include: classroom teaching improvements, new course development, curricular reform, distance learning and web-based courses, guidance of student projects, or a stellar record in graduate student supervision.

Wang is an active and accomplished researcher in the field of computational fluid structure interaction, supporting a team of Ph.D. and master’s students through grants from ONR, the US Air Force, Department of Transportation and National Institutes of Health. He is also active in service, leading the diversity, equity and inclusion committee within the department and in serving the profession through AIAA, ASME. 

Wang is recognized in 2024 for his dedicated and successful efforts in teaching improvement over the last several years, and his development and successful implementation of two key graduate courses in the department, Numerical Methods for Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (AOE 5404) and Fluid-Structure Interaction (AOE 5164). 

His proactive approach to identifying gaps in the curriculum and addressing emerging trends engineering research has significantly enriched the educational experience for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Recognition of Exceptional Research Mentorship: Joseph A. Schetz

Ella Atkins and Joseph Schetz

Dr. Joseph A. Schetz, the Fred D. Durham Professor Emeritus, recently reached the milestone of advising 80 Ph.D. graduates over 50+ years at Virginia Tech. 

For more than five decades, Schetz’s reputation for research and distinguished leadership has stretched wide across the aerospace and ocean engineering communities. Although he officially retired in 2022, he is regularly seen in the office and has been mentoring a new faculty member in hypersonics. He even worked with the Mitchell Hall architects to lay out the hypersonic tunnel lab in the plans. 

Advising 80 Ph.D. students is an impressive feat. For context, the next highest number of advised Ph.D. students among the current aerospace and ocean engineering faculty is in the 50's. 

In light of this momentous occasion, Dean Julia Ross and Department Head Ella Atkins recognized Schetz with a special mentorship award, for his unwavering dedication, guidance, and wisdom shared with 80 Ph.D. graduates over 50+ years at Virginia Tech.