Richard Goff of Blacksburg, Va., associate professor and assistant head of the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the W.S. “Pete” White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its quarterly meeting March 27.

The W.S. "Pete" White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education was established by American Electric Power to honor Pete White, a 1948 graduate of Virginia Tech, and to encourage new interest in the teaching of engineering and improve the learning process..

Since joining the Virginia Tech College of Engineering faculty in 1996, Goff’s achievements as an educator have been recognized with numerous awards, including the university’s William E. Wine Award for Outstanding University Teaching (2003), induction into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence (2003), the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award (2001) and the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001). During a previous period of employment in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics from 1981 to 1985, Goff won the Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching of Engineering Subjects (1982) and was the recipient of a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Goff has been instrumental in development of hands-on active classroom leaning experiences, frequently developing and piloting activities that were later adopted for all first-year engineering students. He serves as the director of the Frith Freshman Engineering Design Laboratory in Engineering Education, which is used extensively in teaching first-year engineering courses.

In addition to his work in the classroom, Goff has presented and co-authored numerous papers at conferences, including the American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, IEEE Frontiers in Education, the Harvey Mudd Design Workshop and the International Society of Optical Engineering.

Goff received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and 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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