Amy Bell, an associate professor in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a 2006 Outstanding Student Branch Advisor Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE), the world’s largest professional organization for electrical and computer engineers.

Bell is one of only seven student branch advisors to be honored by the institute, which has more than 1,400 student chapters worldwide. She was nominated by the 307 members of the Virginia Tech branch, the 14th largest IEEE student chapter.

This recognition is especially noteworthy in light of the fact that the 2005-2006 academic year was Bell’s first as the Virginia Tech IEEE advisor. Winners of the advising awards were chosen for their commitment to the educational, professional and technical development of students. The winning advisors and their branches received cash awards from IEEE.

Since joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 1997, Bell has received a number of honors, including three of the National Science Foundation’s most highly competitive research grants — a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award, a Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE) Award and an Information Technology Research (ITR) Award.

Bell, who also is the director of Virginia Tech’s Digital Signal Processing and Communications Laboratory, was invited by the National Academy of Engineering to participate in the 2004 Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering.

As a graduate student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she completed her Ph.D., Bell received her first student-nominated honor, an Outstanding Teaching Award. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh.

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.