Two researchers from Virginia Tech received 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

This year’s recipients are Wing Ng, an Alumni Distinguished Professor and the Christoper C. Kraft Endowed Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, and Timothy Long, a professor of chemistry in the College of Science and director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute in the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.

Established in 1987, the Outstanding Faculty Awards were created by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the commonwealth’s coordinating agency for higher education, to recognize faculty from institutions across the state that exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship, and service, as described by the agency. Virginia Tech faculty are consistently honored by the state council: 37 faculty have received the award since 1987.

Ng and Long are part of a group of 12 recipients narrowed from among 85 nominees in a process that involves review by peers and selection by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. The honorees will attend an awards ceremony in Richmond in March. 

Wing Ng

For more than 37 years, Ng has worked to advance knowledge and innovation in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and aero-acoustics of gas turbine engines and aero propulsion. Since he joined the Virginia Tech community in 1984, Ng and his research team have pioneered multiple applications of active flow and noise control in turbine engines.

“I feel very fortunate to receive this prestigious and competitive award,” said Ng. “I am very thankful to my department and Virginia Tech for providing the resources to help me advance my career. I am truly blessed.”

Ng has published more than 300 articles for propulsion-related research areas, including transonic turbine blade aerodynamics, the development of advanced diagnostic techniques for flow measurement in turbine engines, the acoustics of jet noise, and the acoustics of drones and unmanned air vehicles.

As the co-director of Virginia Tech’s Advanced Propulsion and Power Lab, Ng helps lead a team of mechanical engineering and aerospace and ocean engineering researchers as they examine critical areas like supersonic jet noise reduction, turbulence modeling, and intake distortion flow quantification.

In 1998, Ng founded Techsburg Inc., a Blacksburg-based company that provides engineering services and precision manufacturing to defense, aerospace, and energy industries. Ng’s contributions included classified and proprietary engineering work for major U.S. engine manufacturers and engineering system integrators, such as Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, and Solar Turbines. In recognition of his work with Techsburg, Ng was named to the Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2017. Ng continues to provide leadership and strategic planning to guide the company to its current success.  

Ng has been recognized on multiple occasions for his achievements as a teacher and researcher throughout his time at Virginia Tech, having received the Ralph R. Teetar Educational Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1986, the Virginia Tech Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Engineering Subjects in 1987, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2013, and the university’s William E. Wine Award for teaching excellence in 2014. He has received the College of Engineering Certificate of Teaching Excellence four times.

In 2019, Ng was elected as a Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and in 1996 as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has held the Christopher C. Kraft Endowed Professorship since 1996.

Ng received his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and 1984, respectively.

Tim Long

Long graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1987 and then spent a decade as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company and Eastman Chemical Company. Since his return to Blacksburg as a faculty member, Long has chalked up more than 50 patents in the field of macromolecular science and engineering and more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. 

He and his research team have received more than $50 million in research funding during the past 18 years.

Among the materials he has developed or co-developed are a biomedical gel designed for use in cervical cancer treatment and a new way to print a high-temperature polymeric material known as Kapton into solid 3-D shapes rather than flat sheets ⁠— a win for its main usage to insulate space craft and satellites from extreme heat and cold. 

“Receiving this prestigious distinction requires a team of exceptional graduate students, a university with unwavering support for our international leadership in polymeric materials, and a supportive wife and family, and without this collective support that surrounds me, this award would truly not be possible,” Long said.

Among his awards are the 2010 Virginia Tech Alumni Research Award, the 2012 American Chemical Society POLY Mark Scholar Award, the Adhesion Society’s Robert L. Patrick Fellowship Award in 2014, a 2015 Virginia Scientist of the Year honor, and the 2019 Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award by the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, as well as the IBM Faculty Award, and the 3M Faculty Award.  

He also has served as editor-in-chief of Polymer International, a Wiley publication.

Written by Suzanne Irby and Steven Mackay