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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 18 - January 30, 1997

President Paul Torgersen has been appointed to the Industrial, Manufacturing and Operational Systems Engineering Peer Committee of the National Academy of Engineering for a three-year term.

The Center for Wireless Telecommunications (CWT) has received a research grant from Eagle Eye Technologies, Inc., with a matching Challenge Award from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). Warren L. Stutzman, the Thomas Phillips professor of electrical engineering and director of the Satellite Communications (SatCom) Group, is the principal investigator for the project, Propagation Effects: Eagle Eye Two-Way Satellite Pager. CWT has teamed with Eagle Eye to develop a low-cost, world-wide, paging and position-location service. Eagle Eye, based in Herndon, will provide this service on a new low-earth-orbit satellite-communication system to be launched in the next few years. Stutzman's SatCom Group will conduct simulations of the Eagle Eye communication link. The company will use the results to determine link requirements and evaluate system performance.

Darleen Pryds, assistant professor of humanities in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, has received a Humanities Summer Stipend for summer1997. She has also been nominated for a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mark Gifford, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, responded to a paper by Charles Kahn on the rise of atheism in ancient Greek philosophy at a conference on Religion and Philosophy in Fifth-Century Greece held at the University of Texas at Austin. He presented a paper titled "Loving Minds: The Philosophical Moral of Plato's Phaedrus" at the Hollins College Classical Studies Symposium and a paper titled "Aristotle on Recollection" to the Philosophy Club at the College of William and Mary. He also presented a colloquium paper on "A Fallacy in Aristotle's Ethics?" at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association held in Atlanta.

Several members of the Department of Political Science participated at the Southern Political Science Association's annual meetings in Atlanta. Charles Walcott was a discussant on a panel dealing with the presidency as an institution, Karen Hult served as a discussant on a panel devoted to bureaucratic politics in the American states, and Glenn Richardson chaired a panel on the strategies and symbols of the presidency. Chris Couples and Timothy W. Luke presented a paper on their experiences with teaching political philosophy through Virginia Tech's cyberschool on a panel concerned with multimedia teaching techniques.

Douglas A. Borer of the Department of Political Science has had his book, The Rise of East Asia: Critical Visions of the Pacific Century, accepted for publication by Routledge. He is co-editing the book with Professor Mark T. Berger of Murdoch University.

Stephen K. White of the Department of Political Science has received an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship for 1997-1998. He will do research at the University of Frankfurt on contemporary political theory.

Deborah J. Milly of the Department of Political Science has been awarded a summer research grant by the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies to continue her research during summer 1997 on the politics of immigration policy in Japan. She also presented a paper on the implications of labor migration for Asian security at the 1996 Abe Foundation Program's Tokyo Symposium on Asia-Pacific Security.

W. David Conn, professor of urban affairs and planning and special assistant to the provost, was invited to serve as one of seven judges for the first annual Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards for Manufacturers, sponsored by the Virginia Manufacturers Association. The awards emphasized accomplishments in pollution prevention.

Jeff Marion, assistant forestry professor and leader of the Cooperative Park Studies Unit in the College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, received the Outstanding Wilderness Management Program Award from the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of Interior. He was honored for his role in developing "A Strategic Plan for Managing Backcountry Recreation" at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. His plan allowed for various user groups to have input with a new backcountry trail-management program and other initiatives. In making the award, NPS Director Roger Kennedy said that the plan worked well because it focused land users and managers on the condition of trails, not on conflicts over their use. In fact, the effort was so effective that the park staff adopted collaborative management as a basic strategy in other management programs.

Chip Frazier, assistant wood science and forest products professor, presented a paper, "Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Wood-Isocyanate Adhesive Bondline," at the Third Pacific-Rim Bio-Based Composites Symposium in Kyoto, Japan, Dec. 2-5.

E. George Stern, Earle B. Norris research professor emeritus of wood construction of the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, was granted a U.S. Patent, No. 5,551,819, on "end plate for railway crossties, scaffolding planks, and other wood products and methods of use." By end-plating crossties and other wood products with this novel metal plate with two distinguished sets of integral teeth, tie end-splitting is prevented and tie life is considerably increased. This makes wood crossties more effective and efficient. As a result, wood ties become even more competitive than concrete and steel crossties. This leads to better rail-transportation economy.

With a plentiful supply in Virginia of both hardwood and softwoods suitable for the manufacture of crossties and with Virginia being a large producer of wood crossties, it is predicted that the Norfolk and Southern Railway will use more end-plated crossties of the improved design than the 17 to 20 percent of their end-plated crossties presently being installed in its tracks.

Stern's hypothesis, "Why U.S. participation in European standards activities is necessary," appeared in the October 1996 issue of Standardization News, published by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Stern concludes that non-participation by U.S. representatives would lead to loss in international commerce and trade by the United States. He has been an active member, secretary, and task group chairman in the International Standards Organization for a number of years. Stern has also been an active member of the International Council for Building Research Studies and Documentation.

Dan Dolan, associate professor of wood science and forest products, presented a paper on bridges for developing countries at the Wood in Transportation Conference in Madison WI. He also presented a paper on cyclic shear wall response at the International Wood Engineering Conference in New Orleans, La., and attended the Building Seismic Safety Meeting in Denver, Co.

Harold Burkhart, forestry department chairman, and Ralph Amateis, senior research associate, attended a conference of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they presented results from research on modeling forest stand growth. Burkhart also traveled to the University of Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany, where he gave a lecture and conducted discussion sessions on methods for forest stand modeling.

Bob Smith, assistant professor of wood science and forest products, with Ren-Jog Shiau, presented a paper, "Market Barriers to Utilizing Spent CCA Fiber in Wood Composite Products," at the 7th National Bioenergy Conference held in Nashville, Tenn. With Kim Stanfill-McMillen he presented a paper, "Perception vs. Reality: An Analysis of Timber Bridge Performance in the U.S., "at the Wood in Transportation Conference in Madison.

With Eric Hansen, Smith had the following Extension publications published during the fall of 1996 by Oregon State University: "Sales and Understanding People," "The Sales Presentation," "Personal Selling," and" Developing and Maintaining Customer Contacts."

Lori Nelson-Chin, contracts officer with the Purchasing Department, has negotiated a gift of $3,524 to the university's general scholarship fund from Boise Cascade Office Products. The amount of the gift is based upon average order size, starting at 1 percent for an average order of $120 and increasing to 3 percent if our average order reaches $251.

Kent Holliday of the music department in the School of the Arts was selected as winner of the 1996 Virginia Music Teacher's Association(VMTA)/Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Commissioned Composer Competition.

The winning work was the Tango Exotico, which Holliday wrote and recorded this past summer. He will receive a contract from VMTA President Kenneth Lee formalizing the commission for a new work to be premiered at the1997 VMTA convention in the fall.

This commission carries a cash award of $800. The commissioned work also will be entered in the MTNA national competition, where an award of $2,000 is possible.