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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 30 - May 1, 1997

Y.A. Liu, the Frank C. Vilbrandt professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the AspenTech Award for University Teaching Excellence for 1996. The international award is sponsored annually by Aspen Technology, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Aspen is the world's leading supplier of computer-aided design (CAD), and computer-control software, systems and services for the chemical industries. The award recognizes a lecturer who best incorporates advanced commercial CAD software into the chemical-engineering curriculum. The award consists of a certificate of achievement and a $1,000 cash prize. Liu was nominated by the 70 students in his fall semester 1996 senior design class. He was chosen as the award recipient from an international roster of nominees, and was recognized for enabling Virginia Tech chemical-engineering undergraduates to have hands-on, practical training in advanced commercial CAD software systems.

Two Virginia Tech history students recently won student scholar awards in state-wide, multidisciplinary essay competitions conducted annually by the Virginia Social Science Association. James Paxton, a graduate student in history, won first-place among graduate students for his essay on "Independence and Slavery: Confederate Perceptions of Military Life." Frank Stovall, an undergraduate history major, won first-place among all undergraduates for his essay on "The Martinsville Seven: A Trial of Southern Justice." Paxton and Stovall presented their papers at the association's annual meeting, held this year at George Mason University in March.

The Western Virginia Chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) received a Silver Award in IIE's national chapter-recognition program. Garry D. Coleman, visiting assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department, is the chapter's president. Other ISE faculty members who serve as chapter officers are John Kobza, Brian Kleiner, Pat Koelling, and Eileen VanAken.

The Industrial Design Program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies is hosting the Industrial Design Society of America educators conference at the Alexandria Architecture Consortium June 23-25. Pascal Malassigne, a previous architecture faculty member, is the chair, and architecture Professor Bill Green has been nominated as co-chair. Mitzi Vernon, an architecture faculty member, and Green will deliver papers. Six students from Virginia Tech will attend. The IDSA National Convention (industrial design practitioners) will follow in Washington, D.C.

Professor of building construction Flynn L. Auchey was a featured speaker for the Modular Building Institute (MBI) Annual Conference in Laguna Cliffs California on in February. The Modular Builders Institute has selected Virginia Tech as its primary source for educational programming for its members. Auchey, in addition to presenting a program on "Using Improved Communication to Enhance Company Profitability," met with their membership and board of directors to identify the institute's educational needs.

The Department of Building Construction Head Yvan Beliveau and Professors Thom Mills and Auchey will begin to provide workshops and seminars for MBI and other construction-related associations at the Hotel Roanoke beginning in March.

In February, Associate Professor Scott Poole was invited to The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a guest professor. During his stay, he conducted a two-week workshop and gave a lecture in the Royal Academy's Spring Lecture Series. He also was invited to speak at the School of Architecture in Arhus, Denmark, where he gave three lectures. On February 20, an exhibit of six recent thesis projects and several fourth-year exercises from the Virginia Tech Department of Architecture opened in one of Royal Academy's recently renovated buildings at their new location on the island of Holmen in Copenhagen. On March 21, Poole presented a paper at the ACSA National Convention in Dallas titled "Evoking Time for the Imagination."

On March 14-18, Assistant Professor Pia Sarpaneva exhibited and presented a first-year Foundation Studio Project, "A Brick Full of Knowledge," at the ACSA Annual Meeting, "Architecture: Material and Imagined" in Dallas, Texas. She also exhibited and presented the same project in the National Conference of the Beginning Design Student, "Not Only but Also," at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, April 3-5.

From March 17-22, Marie Wall-Paget exhibited her work in J.L. Fetcher Dean's Gallery at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. The exhibit was titled "Dimensions in Architecture."

Marsha Ritzdorf, professor of urban affairs and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and June Manning Thomas, department chair at Michigan State University, co-edited Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows, which was published by Sage in December of this academic year.

In collaboration with faculty members from Wake Forest University, W. David Conn, professor of urban affairs and planning and special assistant to the provost, organized a session at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) in Washington, D.C., in mid-March. Provost and Senior Vice President Peggy Meszaros, biology Professor Anne McNabb, and Conn gave presentations under the umbrella title "Preparing Universities for the Information Age: Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Initiatives in Information Technology at Two Research Universities."

Professor David Dugas has won an AIA Education Honors Award for his course, "Writing and Discourse in Architecture." Created in conjunction with the English department, the course offers freshmen students the opportunity to integrate the study of theoretical writings from architecture with the requirements of the freshmen English sequence.

This year, CAUS Professor Donald Sunshine was elevated by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to its prestigious College of Fellows. The honor is awarded to members who have made significant nation-wide contributions to the profession.

CAUS Dean Patricia Edwards and Theodore Koebel, director of the Center for Housing Administration, are co-chairing an international conference sponsored by Research Committee 43: Housing and the Built Environment of the International Sociological Association. Titled "Housing in the 21st Century: Looking Forward," the event will take place June 11-14, 1997, at the Radisson Hotel in Alexandria. More than 250 participants from the United States and 31 other countries will present papers on topics including health and safety issues in housing, the future of government and housing, housing an elderly society, revitalization projects, transforming the built environment in developing countries, suburbanization, rural housing, and race and ethnicity. Speakers will address current policies and issues affecting housing world-wide and identify emerging trends that must be addressed to adequately house the world's population for the future.