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Hall receives enhancement award

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 05 - September 24, 1998

Christopher D. Hall, assistant professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, has received a 1998 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The award is "testimony to the promise of Dr. Hall's research career," said Alfred Wohlpart, director of research and education initiatives at ORAU.
The award certificate was presented to Hall by Leonard K. Peters, ORAU chairman of the board directors. Peters is vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School.
Hall does research in the dynamics and control of magnetic-bearing systems, such as are used for high-speed flywheels in aircraft, spacecraft, submarines, and automobiles. Most studies of magnetic-bearing systems are done with bearings sitting still while the flywheel is in motion. "But in most applications, the bearings are moving," he said. Hall and Mary Kasarda, also a junior faculty member in engineering, are doing novel basic research on the effects of base motion in magnetic-bearing systems.
Wohlpart said Hall was selected for one of 24 awards in six disciplines after peer review of 107 applications. Each ORAU member institution is allowed only two applications.
The award, which provides seed money for research, consists of $5,000 from ORAU, which must be matched by the recipient's institution.
Hall served in the U.S. Air Force for 17 years while earning his bachelor's degree at Auburn University in 1984, his master's degree at the Air Force Institute of Technology, and his doctoral degree at Cornell University. He taught at the Air Force Institute for five years before becoming an assistant professor at Virginia Tech last year.