William Devenport, professor of aerospace and ocean engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Stability Wind Tunnel at Virginia Tech, has been named the Crofton Professor in Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Kevin Crofton Professorial Endowment in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering was established with a generous gift from alumnus Kevin Crofton. The endowment supports the work of outstanding professors within the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, including support for tenured professors, faculty fellowships, and assistance in retention of top-performing faculty members. 

Devenport will serve as the Crofton Faculty Professor for a five-year term.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1985, Devenport has attained international recognition for his groundbreaking research in aerodynamics and aeroacoustics. He is the co-inventor and developer of the hybrid aeroacoustic wind tunnel concept that has resulted in Virginia Tech’s preeminence in aeroacoustic research throughout the world. 

In support of his scholarship, Devenport has received more than $23 million in research funding, including more than $7 million in industrial funding. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications including a book and numerous peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals. 

Devenport has successfully applied the scientific knowledge he has generated through his pathfinding research to create innovative, practical, and cost-effective engineering solutions to reduce noise produced by jet engines and wind turbines and provide important insight to the flows around aircraft and marine vehicles, through their engines and in the wakes and vortices they generate. 

While excelling at research and scholarship, William has proven himself to be extremely effective in the classroom. One of his most impressive teaching innovations involves development of effective means of integrating research and teaching to create a truly “hands-on, minds-on” experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Devenport received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Exeter, Great Britain, and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, Great Britain.

Related stories:

Aerospace engineering labs continue on through faculty’s creative approach

Virginia Tech enters partnership with NASA to conduct benchmark Stability Wind Tunnel experiments

Turbine blades inspired by owl feathers could boost efforts to increase wind farming, sustainable energy