Joseph G. Tront, professor of electrical and computer engineering 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.

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.

Tront came to College of Engineering as an assistant professor in 1978, received tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor in 1984, and became a full professor in 1996. He has a distinguished record of practicing and providing leadership for innovative teaching using technology.

He was a contributor to the creation of the Bachelor of Science degree program in computer engineering which according to the most recent data from the American Society of Engineering Education is the nation’s largest undergraduate computer engineering program in degrees awarded.

When he served as the College of Engineering’s assistant dean for engineering computing, Tront evolved the colleges PC Initiative from a hardware focus to an emphasis on software application and impact on teaching and learning. He played an important leadership role in the Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education (SUCCEED). He was the leader in SUCCEED for technology-based education, served on the guidance team, and led the technology-based curriculum delivery thrust area.

Tront’s contributions in engineering education and education innovation have been recognized internally and externally. He received the W.S. “Pete” White Award for Innovation in Teaching from the College of Engineering, the university-level XCaliber Award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, and a college certificate of teaching excellence from the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence. Nationally, he received a Laureate Award in the Computerworld Honors Program for his contributions to the “Tablet PC-based Learning Environment” and a National Science Foundation award as a Successful Innovator in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education.

Tront received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.