Zafer Gurdal, professor of engineering science and mechanics and of aerospace and ocean engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was granted the title "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board’s quarterly meeting March 27.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1985, Gurdal made teaching and research contributions in the areas of composite materials and structures and structural and multidisciplinary optimization. He authored 177 publications, three books, and two book chapters, and served in several international professional technical societies. He is an Associate Fellow and Lifetime Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Gurdal received his bachelor’s degree from Middle East Technical University (Turkey), a master’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,500 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 1,800 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

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