Philip Spellerberg of Manassas, Va., retired laboratory specialist in the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award. 

Spellerberg retired from the university in 2012 after 30 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Spellerberg spent the duration of his career at the Occoquan Watershed Laboratory, the university’s first continuously operated research lab in the National Capital Region. He contributed to projects addressing the fundamental understanding of watershed processes, the management of water quality, and efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

“Phil has worked on dozens of projects over the years and has always served with his customary unstinting best effort, good humor, and commitment to being a reliable member of a team doing the least glamorous part of watershed research,” said Tom Grizzard, professor and director of the laboratory.

In addition to his research duties, Spellerberg trained staff, supported graduate students in their research, and participated in outreach efforts to primary and secondary education and local communities. He was an integral part of the lab’s efforts to adopt and integrate new technologies into research operations.

“Phil’s long-term commitment has contributed materially to applied research that has advanced knowledge in ways to lighten the footprint of human activity on the urban landscape,” Grizzard said. “He clearly crafted a career that embodies the university motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Catherine Doss.
Share this story