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Reifsnider new associate provost

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 33 - June 13, 1996

Kenneth L. Reifsnider, Alexander Giacco professor of engineering science and mechanics, director of the Virginia Institute for Material Systems, and director of the Virginia Tech Center for Composite Materials and Structures, has been named associate provost for interdisciplinary programs in Research and Graduate Studies (RGS) at the university.

The half-time position is effective July 1. Reifsnider will retain his faculty position in ESM, according to Len Peters, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School.

"As associate provost for interdisciplinary programs, Dr. Reifsnider will provide the organization and leadership that will allow us to fulfill the president's strategic plan to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration to address the needs of society," Peters said.

"In addition to being an outstanding scholar, Dr. Reifsnider is one of the most knowledgeable people about Virginia Tech's interdisciplinary programs and activities, and has a clear understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and teaching."

Reifsnider has been at Virginia Tech since 1968. He is co-founder of the Center for Composite Materials and Structures, Institute for Material Systems, the Materials Response Group, and the NSF Science and Technology Center for High Performance Polymeric Adhesives and Composites. For 19 years, he chaired the Materials Engineering Science Doctoral Program, which draws on the faculties of three colleges.

He was named the first recipient of the Alexander Giacco endowed chair in 1990. His research is widely published; and he has been an invited speaker world-wide, served on many national committees, including the National Materials Advisory Board and the National Research Council, on the editorial boards of six journals, and on the boards of directors of the American Society for Testing and Materials, and the Institute of Standards Research, chairing the latter. He has directed more than 61 research projects with funding from 28 organizations. His research contributions and professional work to communicate the results of research have earned several awards, including those from the American Society for Composites, the Virginia Academy of Science, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

He has directed 39 graduate student programs, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in engineering science and mechanics, and has developed seven new courses.

Reifsnider earned undergraduate degrees in mathematics from Western Maryland College and in mechanics from Johns Hopkins University. His master's in mechanics and Ph.D. in metallurgy and solid mechanics are also from Johns Hopkins.

Research and Graduate Studies also recently filled a position for a half-time associate provost for program development. The new positions are a result of the reassignment of the position held by Ernest Stout, associate provost for research, who retires July 1.

"RGS has shifted its human resources to meet the priorities identified by the TQM teams last year," Peters said.