George M. Filz of Blacksburg, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was appointed the Charles E. Via Jr. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting August 27.

The Via Professorship is funded through an endowment established in 1987 by Mrs. Marion Via Bradley in honor of her late husband to recognize excellence in faculty research.

Filz brings an excellence in research, teaching, and service to his work at Virginia Tech. His research in environmental geotechnics has introduced improved methods for analyzing and designing subsurface barriers for environmental protection. His work in soil improvement has resulted in a number of applications, including methods of stabilizing hurricane protection levees in Louisiana. Filz has published more than 100 papers and reports since receiving his doctorate in 1992, and he has helped secure $9.7 million in external research funding as a principal or co-principal investigator.

The quality of his research has been recognized by two prestigious national awards from the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) — the 2003 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award and the 2006 J. James R. Croes Medal. Filz also is an elected Fellow of ASCE.

His teaching has been recognized by three Virginia Tech Certificates of Teaching Excellence, a CEE Alumni Teaching Award, a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a W.E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence.

Filz also serves as director of the Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research, which has 21 corporate and agency members and provides educational, research, and professional opportunities in geotechnical engineering.

Filz received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oregon, a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,500 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 1,800 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.


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