Virginia Tech's College of Engineering recently inducted five new members at its 18th annual Academy of Engineering Excellence.
The academy consists of 146 alumni who have achieved exceptional career success.
The college has more than 66,000 living engineering alumni.
“All of our new members have led exceptional careers, and this award is one way to recognize them for their incredible achievements,” said Don Taylor, interim dean of the College of Engineering and the Charles O. Gordon Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “We are honored to present them with this esteemed distinction and look forward to their continued success.”
The academy inductees are: David A. Christian, of Fairfax, Virginia; Alan T. Lingerfelt, of Richmond, Virginia; John W. Montague Jr., of Richmond, Virginia; James N. Strawbridge, of Los Altos, California; and Horacio Valeiras, of La Jolla, California.
The academy was founded in 1999 by F. William Stephenson, former dean of the College of Engineering and by the college's advisory board.
2017 Academy of Engineering Excellence inductees
David A. Christian
Bachelor’s degree, mechanical engineering
Class of 1976
David A. Christian received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering as a member of the Class of 1976.
Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, Christian earned his M.B.A. at Averett College and simultaneously completed the executive program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business — all while working as an assistant engineer for Virginia Electric and Power Company. While there, Christian rose through the ranks, from supervisor, to superintendent, to assistant station manager of the Surry Power Station, to station manager, to vice president of nuclear operations, and finally, in 2000, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of the company.
After nine years, Christian accepted a position at Dominion Resource's national power generation group, where he currently serves as executive vice president and chief innovation officer.
He also serves as a member of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Committee of 100, the Dominion Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Board, and more.
Alan T. Lingerfelt
Bachelor’s degree, civil engineering
Class of 1976
Alan T. Lingerfelt received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering as a member of the Class of 1976.
Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, Lingerfelt followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps and founded Lingerfelt and Associates, a Richmond, Virginia-based commercial real estate investment firm. For 41 years, Lingerfelt has served as president, while also taking on other roles as founder and president of Lingerfelt Development Corporation, chairman of Lingerfelt Development LLC, and senior vice president of Liberty Property Trust.
Currently, Lingerfelt works as chairman and CEO of Lingerfelt Commonwealth Partners and serves as a member of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Committee of 100 and president of the Richmond Real Estate Group, the Virginia Commonwealth University Circle of Excellence, and the Skidmore Hunt Association.
He has also served as a member of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering Advisory Board, Ut Prosim Society, and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Board.
John W. Montague Jr.
Bachelor’s degree, industrial engineering
Class of 1967
John W. Montague Jr. received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering as a member of the Class of 1967.
Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, John W. Montague Jr. landed a job as an industrial engineer for Albemarle Paper Company. Not long after, he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to pursue his master's of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
For the next two years, Montague moved from New Orleans to Atlanta while working as a plant engineer and regional manager for Continental Can Company, a U.S.-based manufacturer of metal containers and packaging. Montague then returned to his Richmond roots and founded John W. Montague Jr. Custom Homes Inc., where he remained president until 2004.
In that time, he also served as board member and chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee for the Virginia Home for Boys. Today, Montague serves as a board member for both the W. E. Skelton 4-H Center and the Advisory Board of the Virginia Tech Industrial Engineering Department.
In his free time, Montague rides motorcycles and recently traveled to his 50th state on a motorcycle.
James N. Strawbridge
Bachelor’s degree, industrial engineering and operations research
Class of 1984
James N. Strawbridge received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research as a member of the Class of 1984.
Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, Strawbridge pursued his law degree at the University of Virginia. With his juris doctor in hand, he started working as an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. and soon moved up the ranks to became a partner.
He would later go on to become executive vice president and chief financial officer of RealNames Corporation, a privately held technology company. Two years later, he made the switch to Worldview Technology Partners, a venture capital firm, where he acted as general partner and chief operating officer.
After 13 years, Strawbridge once again became a partner at Palo Alto, California-based law firm Cooley LLP. Strawbridge returned to a chief operating officer position in 2015, when he joined Stemcentrx Inc., a privately held biotechnology company acquired by AbbVie Inc.
Today, Strawbridge works as an independent consultant and serves as an advisor to a handful of privately held technology companies.
Bachelor’s degree, chemical engineering
Class of 1980
Horacio Valeiras received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering as a member of the Class of 1980.
Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, Horacio Valeiras went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley to earn his master’s degree in chemical engineering and M.B.A., respectively. After graduating, Valeiras joined First Boston Corporation as an equity research analyst covering European technology companies.
Once involved in the capital markets, Valeiras was hooked, and later continued his work at Credit Suisse First Boston as an international strategist. In 1992, he became a partner at Miller, Anderson & Sherrerd, a Philadelphia-based money management firm with $33 billion under its control until it was acquired by Morgan Stanley in 1996. It was at this point that Valeiras became managing director for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, until 2002, when he took on the role of chief investment officer at Nicholas Applegate Capital Management.
Seven years later, Valeiras took on the same role at Allianz Global Investors, where he stayed until becoming managing partner of HAV Capital LLC in 2012.
In addition to his role at HAV Capital LLC, Valeiras serves as the member of several boards, including Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors and the Association of Governing Board of Colleges and Universities. Previously, Valeiras served as board chairman of the Virginia Tech Foundation.
Written by Erica Corder