Joseph Schetz, the Fred D. Durham Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of Fred D. Durham Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1969, Schetz made significant contributions to the area of hypersonic and supersonic vehicles, skin-friction measurements, sensor development, and the multidisciplinary design optimization of the Truss-Braced Aircraft.

Schetz held leadership positions in his professional organizations, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society for Naval and Marine Engineering. He was elected fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

As head of the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Schetz led its transformation from a predominantly undergraduate teaching department to a powerhouse in both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research.

Schetz achieved a rare distinction of guiding 77 students to complete their Ph.D. dissertations and helped them develop successful careers in academic, government, and industrial settings. In the classroom, he taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses.

Schetz received his bachelor’s degree from the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture and two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

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