Changmin Son, who will join the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech in early 2019, has been named the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The professorship enables Virginia Tech faculty to generate new research in the field of enhanced performance on aircraft engine systems. Recipients hold the title of Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor for a period of five years, and it's is renewable.

Son has excelled at scholarship, teaching, service, and outreach throughout his career, which began as a research assistant at Oxford University. He went on to work as the vice president and acting regional director of Rolls-Royce in the South Korea regional office and as a professor of mechanical engineering at Pusan National University in South Korea.

Son has excelled in the field of performance enhancement of jet engines. He has obtained external grants worth more than $27 million, including more than $5 million as the principal investigator.

In addition, Son has been an associate editor of the Proceedings of Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Part C; Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science in 2015; a technology advisor to Doosan Heavy Industry & Construction since 2015; a member of the Technology Advisory Board, LG Fuel Cell Systems from 2013 to 2015; an Overseas Advisory Board member for the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials from 2010 to 2011; and a member of the Heat Transfer Committee – International Gas Turbine Institute, ASME, since 2006.

Son has 15 current granted patents and 19 more patents in the application stage. In 2009, he received the Rolls-Royce, Sir Henry Royce Award for Technical Innovation and the High Value Patent Award for Air Impingement Cooling System.

Through his innovative teaching methods making use of interactive classroom instruction technologies combined with hands-on learning experiences, he has supported hundreds of mechanical engineering students.

He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Pusan National University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.