Mahendra Singh, the Preston Wade Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech, has received a two-year, extendable distinguished visiting professorship at the Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkee, India.

In making the award, Pradipta Banerji, director of the institute, said the honor was "in recognition of pioneering academic and research contributions."

The appointment is in the institute's department of civil engineering. IIT Roorkee, formerly the University of Roorkee and the Thomason College of Civil Engineering, is the first engineering college of India, established more than 160 years ago in 1847.

Singh is a two-time graduate of the Roorkee institute, receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and in structural engineering in 1962 and in 1966, respectively. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1972.

Singh is internationally known for his work in the areas of structural control, earthquake engineering, structural reliability, and random vibration. His interests also include the behavior of materials under dynamic loads and soil dynamics. His research has been supported by National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Army Corps of Engineers.

A member of the Virginia Tech engineering faculty since 1977,  Singh has also served as: the director of the Program of Architectural and Mechanical Systems for the National Science Foundation (NSF); as the director of NSF's Program of Structural Systems and Hazard Mitigation of Structures; a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago; a visiting scientist for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory; and a senior scientist and supervisor for Sargent and Lundy of Chicago.

He has received several national awards, including the 1998 Markwardt Wood Engineering Award for the best journal paper from the Forest Product Society, the 1996 George G. Marra Award from the Society of Wood Science and Technology, and the 1992 Robert J. McGratten Literature Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Pressure Vessels and Piping Division.

"This honor reflects well on the engineering science and mechanics department, the college of engineering, and the university. We are all very pleased," said Ishwar Puri, the N. Waldo Harrison Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and the department head.