Danesh K. Tafti, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the William S. Cross Jr. Professor of Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The professorship was created by Cross Sales and Engineering Co., which established in 1984 an endowment for the College of Engineering as a tribute to William S. Cross Jr., a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1941, on the occasion of his retirement from the company.

Tafti began his academic career at Virginia Tech as an associate professor of mechanical engineering in 2002. He was awarded tenure in 2006, and promoted to the rank of professor in 2008. Since August 2008, he has served as chairman of the mechanical engineering department's promotion and tenure committee.

He previously was a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. His research resulted in the development of new computational tools for high-fidelity predictions of thermal-fluid systems in the areas of energy and power.

He has worked extensively with fluid power systems, including gas turbines, rocket motors, micro-air vehicles, and auxiliary systems such as automotive and aerospace heat exchangers which are critical components of fluid power generation systems.

Tafti has received more than $7.8 million in research funding while at Virginia Tech from several sources, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Army Research Office, Air Force Research Laboratory, and private industry. He has written 62 peer-reviewed journal publications and 79 peer-reviewed conference papers. He is active in the American Society of mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Physical Society.

Tafti received his bachelor's degree from Bombay University, India; a master's degree from Texas Tech, University; and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University.

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