Ray E. Martin of Ashland, was chosen by Virginia Tech's College of Engineering to be its Distinguished Alumnus for 2003.

Martin served as Principal, President, CEO and Chairman of Schnabel Engineering Associates prior to his retirement from the firm in July 2002. During his 30 years with the firm, it grew to over 300 employees and expanded from one office to 14 offices located from New Brunswick, N.J. to Atlanta, Ga. He was responsible for the geotechnical service area of the firm, established the water resources service, and ultimately was responsible for the overall firm leadership, including planning and financial management.

Martin's experience in geotechnical engineering and engineering geology relates to building foundations, waterfront structures, industrial facilities, land stability, dams and groundwater issues. His projects include: the Landlevel Ship Construction Facility at Newport News Shipyard; the James Center Office Buildings and Omni Hotel, Richmond; Coors Shenandoah Brewery, Elkton; the Deep Creek Dam, Yadkinville, N.C.; dam inspections in Brazil; and the geotechnical design of a 242-foot high Clifford Craig Dam in Roanoke County.

At Virginia Tech, Martin was instrumental in developing a task force charged with raising a minimum of $85 million to fund the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). In 1999, he spearheaded the alumni effort to raise $1 million to build a new geotechnical facility on campus. Incredibly, he secured the pledges for this project within six weeks. In addition, Martin has served as a member of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering Advisory Board for over 20 years, including two stints as its chair. He is a past member of the Civil Engineering Advisory Board.

Martin received his undergraduate and master's degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1964 and 1968, respectively. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering from West Virginia University in 1972. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, New York, District of Columbia, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware.

He and his wife Carol have been married for 40 years and they have three grown children and three grandchildren.