Ronald B. Kemnitzer honored with emeritus status
June 9, 2014
Ronald B. Kemnitzer, professor of industrial design in the School of Architecture + Design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2004, Kemnitzer was a beloved teacher and advisor to countless students. He was selected three times as one of DesignIntelligence's 30 “most admired” design educators in the United States.
Kemnitzer provided strong leadership and service as chair of the university’s Industrial Design Program, instituting a number of significant academic and curricular initiatives and guiding the industrial design program to a top 10 ranking among all industrial design programs in the nation as selected by DesignIntelligence.
He was a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several interdisciplinary design research projects, including a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
In addition, Kemnitzer served as president of the Industrial Designers Society of America. He was also chairman of the board and education vice president, serving six terms on the IDSA Board of Directors. In 2003, he was elected to the prestigious IDSA Academy of Fellows for his distinguished service to the profession.
Kemnitzer had a distinguished career as an industrial design professional, holding 19 U.S. and international patents for his design work. He received recognition through many design awards and competitions, including a Gold Good Design Award, a Bronze Industrial Design Excellence Award, and an IBD Gold Award for his best-selling "Bola" chair, used extensively in public seating areas throughout the world.
Before coming to Virginia Tech, he was a faculty member and chair of the Industrial Design Program at the University of Kansas and was the Nierenberg Distinguished Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University.
Kemnitzer was a member of an interdisciplinary research team that received Virginia Tech’s XCaliber Award in 2012.
Kemnitzer received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois 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.