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Researchers to be recognized on WVTF

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 32 - June 4, 1998

The names of 20 Virginia Tech researchers have been submitted to WVTF as the third part of a year-long public recognition program sponsored by Research and Graduate Studies.
Week-long recognition of a specific faculty member for his or her outstanding research takes the form of 14 20-word announcements. The first 12 individuals were selected from among university and alumni distinguished professors. The remaining 38 individuals were nominated by department heads with the ADP/UDP group and Len Peters, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, making the final selections.
"We are focusing on research achievements that can be described succinctly in a way that will allow people to realize the impact of the work, possibly on their own lives," said Peters, whose idea the program was.
Scholarship as well as applied research results will be recognized. "People should be able to understand that scholarship has resulted in increased understanding or enjoyment of our world," Peters said.
"Of course, there are limitations to this format," he said. "It is a challenge to describe an individual's research and its contribution in 20 or fewer words. Still, this is an opportunity to tell people what we are doing and to recognize the people who are doing it."
The program began on October 26. Those to be recognized beginning June 1 are:
June 1--Chemistry researcher Harry Gibson, whose new molecules self-assemble into supra-molecules with properties superior to the individual components.
June 8--Wildlife scientist Mike Vaughan, who studies black bears in Virginia, both to conserve wildlife and to benefit hunters.
June 15--Civil engineering Professor Clifford Randall, whose nutrient-removal wastewater-treatment processes aim to improve the Chesapeake Bay's water quality.
June 22--Forestry researcher James Burger, who developed guidelines that reduced reclamation costs and increased forest productivity on Virginia's coal fields.
June 29--recognizing Power Electronics Center Director Fred Lee for research to create small, powerful, efficient power sources and controls.
July 6--Math Professor Yuriko Renardy for her study of fluid flows to improve the production of plastic materials.
July 13--Fiber and Electro-Optics Research Center Director Richard Claus for pioneering the use of optical-fiber sensors in materials and structures.
July 20--Chemistry Professor John G. Dillard, who is doing research on using adhesives to make airplanes stronger and safer.
July 27--Biology Professor Klaus Elgert, contributing to America's war on cancer by studying how cancer cells outsmart the immune system.
August 3--Biology Professor David Popham, who studies how spores produced by bacteria survive boiling temperatures and persist for centuries without food.
August 10--Geochemistry Professor Mike Hochella, who studies processes near the earth's surface that affect water chemistry and the environment.
August 17--Management Professor Steve Markham, who works to develop visualization tools and methods to improve the performance of complex organizations.
August 24--Physics Professor R.K.P. Zia, who studies how complex patterns, such as snow flakes, arise from simple forces between atoms.
August 31--Political science Professor Karen Hult, whose research on White House staff organization helps us understand how the presidency works.
September 7--Veterinary immunologist Gerhardt Schurig, for his research in brucellosis, a global health threat to people and animals.
September 14--Biology Professor Brenda Shirley, who is studying how proteins that carry out biochemical reactions are organized within living cells.
September 21--Geological sciences Professor Richard Bambach for research on the history of life.
September 28--Political science Professor Charles Walcott, whose research on White House staff organization helps us understand how the presidency works.
October 5--Veterinary College Professor William Pierson for infectious disease control in the Virginia poultry industry.
October 12--Geological sciences Professor Fred Read for research on carbonate rocks as petroleum reservoirs and global climate indicators.
During the two weeks of fundraising, a general announcement of support will be read: "Support for WVTF is provided by Research and Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech. Research is vital to Virginia Tech's mission to seek, teach, and share creative solutions to problems."