Class of 1958, BS, Aeronautical Engineering
Class of 1961, MS, Aerospace Engineering
Class of 1964, Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering
Some four decades after William Grossmann received his doctorate in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech, he continues to practice on the cutting edge of research, currently splitting his time between developing technology towers of excellence for the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Va., and creating worldwide business opportunities for the global Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from his home in Berlin, Germany.
Born in Richmond, the Eagle Scout excelled at swimming, allowing him to attend Virginia Tech on an athletic scholarship. He was voted the outstanding swimmer in the Southern Conference in 1956, 1957, and 1958. In 1990, Grossmann was the first swimmer inducted into Virginia Tech’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Grossmann received three degrees from Virginia Tech’s Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (AOE); bachelor’s in 1958, master’s in 1961, and doctorate in 1964. He received Virginia Tech’s Sigma Xi Award and NASA’s Dissertation Award. The latter provided him with a one-year sabbatical with pay, and he moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village and a post doc position with New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
Grossmann formed the computer science center at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, was part of a group at the Max Planck Institut für Plasma Physik that discovered a new form of fusion plasma heating, and developed an initiative for upgrading the information technology infrastructure at Asea Brown Boveri Germany, Ltd.
In 2006, together with his wife Judy, they established the Charlie L. Yates scholarship for leaders in aerospace and ocean engineering. The Grossmann’s also generously donate the annual prize money for the AOE department’s Adolf Busemann Prize in Aeronautics. Grossmann continues to work with Science Applications International Corporation and National Institute of Aerospace dividing his time between Berlin and Hampton, Virginia. He is also an adjunct professor in the AOE department.