Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international research at Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project. Recipients are awarded $2,000.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2008, Müller has helped internationalize the university’s research abilities through his establishment of an international joint research laboratory that is located at the central campus of Shandong University in China.
Müller's research focuses on bat species with particularly sophisticated biosonar systems that are abundant in China. The goal of his work is to find explanations for the performance gaps that remain between technical sonar systems and the biosonar of bats; to this end, the laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for analyzing the biosonar sensing system of bats and related topics, such as bat flight. The laboratory has received local attention from scientists in Japan, India, Russia, and Vietnam, as well as other researchers from North
America. Müller's collaborative work with Shandong University has resulted in publications in leading journals and invitations to speak at conferences and institutions across the globe.
"The Shandong University - Virginia Tech International Laboratory that professor Müller has established in 2010 and has been directing since then, has proven itself an excellent platform for international research collaboration, as well as student and faculty exchange,” wrote Hu Jinyan, professor and vice president of Shandong University, in a letter of nomination.
Müller received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from the University of Tübingen in Germany.