Leo Piilonen, professor and chair of the Department of Physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed the William E. Hassinger Jr. Senior Faculty Fellow in Physics by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The William E. Hassinger Jr. Senior Faculty Fellowship was established in 2007 by its namesake to enhance the national and international prominence of Virginia Tech’s Department of Physics. The fellowship supports research programs considered most likely to generate important scientific breakthroughs of a fundamental or applied nature. The fellowship appointment is for three years and is renewable.

Piilonen has a long and consistent record of research funding. Uninterrupted since 1989, he has served as principal or co-principal investigator on research grants totaling approximately $9.6 million. He has authored or co-authored 453 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and conference proceedings.

Piilonen has a distinguished record of leadership in his professional community. He is a co-spokesperson of the Belle collaboration and an executive board member of the second-generation Belle II collaboration, which brings together more than 560 physicists from 94 institutions around the world to pursue elementary particle physics research in Japan.

Previously, he chaired the Institutional Board of both collaborations. As IB chair, he was responsible for policy formulation, processing of new member applications, and the biennial election of the spokespersons for these organizations. Piilonen hosted the general meetings of both collaborations at Virginia Tech in July.

Piilonen joined the Virginia Tech Department of Physics in 1987 as an assistant professor, was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 1993 and promoted to professor in 2002.

He has supervised nine doctoral students and has trained seven postdoctoral fellows. In 2011, Piilonen received the university's 2011 William E. Wine Award which recognizes excellence in teaching.

Piilonen is a member of the American Physical Society. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto in Canada and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.