Greg Adel, a 27-year veteran of the department of mining and minerals engineering at Virginia Tech, has become department head, effective April 25. He has served as the interim head for the past academic year.

Dr. Adel successfully led the department through its accreditation board for engineering and technologyvisit this past year, and multiple budget cuts. He has a strong track record of soliciting scholarship support for his students, and he has been very effective at increasing alumni support of the department,” said College of Engineering Dean Richard Benson in making the announcement.

“Under the leadership of Dr. Adel’s predecessors, including Richard Lucas, Mike Karmis and Tom Novak, Virginia Tech’s mining and minerals engineering department is considered to be one of the best in the country, if not the best. Dr. Adel will continue this strong commitment to mining education, especially in this era of energy uncertainty,” added Benson, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Chair of Engineering.

Adel said of his leadership skills, “My philosophy was established in my early years at Virginia Tech when Paul Torgersen was dean. Paul felt the role of administration was to enable the faculty to be productive. It was not uncommon for Paul to visit a faculty office and ask, ‘What can I do to make your job easier?’ To this day, I firmly believe that is the most important role of a department head.”

Adel will head a department of eight faculty, including one member of the National Academy of Engineering. Approximately 160 undergraduates and 25 graduate students are enrolled. The research expenditures of the department are in excess of $3 million a year, and much of the technology developed has been transferred to industry. One example is an efficient process to dewater coal that will improve recovery of the mineral and reduce the environmental impact of coal mining.

Adel has served as chair of the Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division of SME and as a member of the SME Board of Directors. He also has chaired and organized numerous technical sessions and symposia, and has more than 75 publications and five patents in the areas of image analysis, optical sensors, mineral and coal characterization, and modeling and simulation of mineral and coal processing operations. During his career, Adel has been involved in approximately $9 million in research with over $3 million attributed as his personal share.

Adel earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metallurgical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1978 and in 1979, respectively. He received a doctorate in mineral processing from the University of California at Berkeley.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 5,700 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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