Sam Easterling, former professor and head of the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of Montague-Betts Professor Emeritus of Structural Steel Design by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community from 1987 to 2019, Easterling recently returned to his alma mater, Iowa State University, to become the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering.

During his Virginia Tech career, Easterling’s research and scholarship have contributed greatly to improvements in many aspects of structural steel design, with specific focus on the areas of composite and cold-formed steel structures.

His work has been acknowledged by his receipt of numerous major professional awards, including the American Society of Civil Engineers Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the American Institute of Steel Construction T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award, the ASCE Shortridge Hardesty Award, and the Structural Stability Research Council Lynn S. Beedle Award.

While at Virginia Tech, he taught thousands of civil engineering students in many areas of structural engineering. He has advised approximately 60 graduate students through their master’s degree and Ph.D. research work.

Easterling served as department head for 10 years and assistant department head the prior 11 years. He has served on the Faculty Senate, including terms as president, vice president, and secretary.

He received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from West Virginia University and Ph.D. from the Iowa State University.