Mehdi Ahmadian, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was recently named the Dan Pletta Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Dan Pletta Professorship in the College of Engineering is named for a former department head and professor of engineering science and mechanics who served the university from 1932 to 1972 and died in 1996. The professorship was established in 1987 from a gift by alumnus Bruce Vorhauer who earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics in 1964 and died in 1992. The recipient of the professorship holds it for a period of five-years and is renewable.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1995, Ahmadian has received international recognition for his research, publication record, and leadership in the field of vibration, and vehicle dynamics and control.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Ahmadian held engineering and managerial positions with the Lord Corp. and the General Electric Co. At Virginia Tech, he is the founding director of the Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety and the Railway Technologies Laboratory. He was the founding director of the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research and the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory.

He has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 250 conference publications. He has made more than 300 technical presentations in topics related to advanced technologies for ground vehicles, including four keynote lectures and more than 50 invited colloquiums. He holds eight U.S. and international patents, and he has edited six technical volumes.

Ahmadian has worked with other faculty on research programs totaling $17.5 million and has been personally responsible for $14.3 million in research funding.

He currently serves as editor for the International Journal of Vehicle System Dynamics, editor-in-chief of Shock and Vibration, editor-in-chief for Advances in Automobile Engineering, and senior editor of Journal of Vibration and Control. He also serves on the editorial board of the journal Smart Materials Research and Advances in Mechanical Engineering.  

In the past, he has served as associate editor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Journal, and Shock and Vibration.

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers International, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is the recipient of the 2008 Society of Automotive Engineers Forest R. McFarland Award and the 2014 SAE International L. Ray Buckendale Award that includes a plenary lecture on “Integrating Electromechanical Systems in Commercial Vehicles for Improved Handling, Safety, and Comfort.”

Ahmadian is an active member of SAE International. His activities include member-at-large of the SAE Membership Board, member of SAE International Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress Executive Council, and chairman of the SAE Chassis and Suspension Committee.

He regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in vehicle dynamics, vibrations, control, and mechanical design; leads senior undergraduate design teams; and supervises undergraduate research programs. He has advised 20 doctoral degree and 45 master’s degree students to completion.

Ahmadian received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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.