Michael Garvin, who joined the faculty of the Virginia Tech Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on July 1, was honored at the White House on June 13 as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for 2004.

The PECASE award is the highest national honor for researchers in the early stages of their careers. Garvin was one of 20 researchers whose work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to receive the award. The awards were presented in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building by John H. Marburger III, science adviser to President George W. Bush and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Garvin, who for the past four years has been an assistant professor of civil engineering at Columbia University, is developing new methods to help municipal and higher-level officials better manage infrastructure investments. New approaches to investment strategies and procurement practices for large-scale infrastructure projects are important in the current climate of increased public expectations and decreased federal funding.

Before joining the Columbia University faculty in 2001, Garvin worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the engineering firm Stantec Inc. in Macon, Ga. While at Columbia he received three major National Science Foundation grants, including a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award for his research in infrastructure management. He will continue his work in infrastructure development and management decisions at Virginia Tech.

Garvin earned his Ph.D. in construction engineering and management in 2001 and his master’s degree in civil engineering in 1995 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his bachelor’s in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in 1989.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.