Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has named Saied Mostaghimi of Blacksburg, Va., director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and the associate dean for research and graduate studies, effective Dec. 1.
Mostaghimi has headed the biological systems engineering department at Virginia Tech since 2003. Mary Leigh Wolfe, professor of biological systems engineering, has assumed interim leadership of the department.
In this role, Mostaghimi will provide leadership to the college’s comprehensive basic and applied research programs as well as to the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station’s 12 agricultural research and extension centers (ARECs), which are comprised in the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. He will also head the college’s graduate studies program and foster the development of interdisciplinary research, mentoring, and fellowship opportunities for graduate students.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Mostaghimi to further strengthen the college’s existing successes in research, graduate programs, and at our ARECs. The Department of Biological Systems Engineering has been thriving under his leadership. I am confident that we will greatly benefit at the college level from his diverse background, commitment to excellence, and consensus-building skills,” Dean Alan Grant said.
Describing his goals for his new role, Mostaghimi said, “I look forward to the opportunity to create a more supportive environment for faculty to enhance their research programs and active scholarship on campus and at our ARECs throughout the state to the benefit of Virginia, the nation, and the world. My hope is to put particular emphasis on promoting collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts in the college and across all other colleges at the university. I have been very close to graduate students all of my career and would like to see graduate education at the college further organized and enhanced so that we can continue to attract the best students and create a supporting environment for them to excel.”
Mostaghimi joined Virginia Tech in 1984 and is the H. E. and Elizabeth F. Alphin Professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. He has been internationally recognized for his outstanding research, outreach, and educational programs in soil and water conservation and in nonpoint source pollution assessment and prevention.
His research programs have concentrated on the design of water quality monitoring systems, the integration of modeling and monitoring for assessing the impacts of human activities on water quality, and the development and/or validation of computer simulation models for use by agencies involved in water resources planning and management. His research has been supported by more than $16.3 million in competitive funds. Mostaghimi has published more than 380 archival and conference publications in the field of nonpoint source pollution assessment and control.
Mostaghimi has received numerous honors and awards, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Awards for Graduate Advising and for Excellence in Outreach, the Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award, and Merit Awards from the Soil and Water Conservation Society. He is a Fellow and long-standing member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Mostaghimi also serves on the executive board of the Chesapeake Bay Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and on the external advisory boards for the biosystems and agricultural engineering department at Michigan State University and the biological and agricultural engineering departments at North Carolina A&T State University and Florida A&M University.
His international experience includes servicing as principal investigator for a multi-institutional project with European Union countries and four U.S. institutions, external examiner for the biosystems engineering department for University College Dublin in Ireland, and program committee member of the 21st Century Watershed Technology Conference.
Mostaghimi received his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.