Established in 1985 and sponsored by the Science Museum of Virginia, the Outstanding Scientist Award honors scientists who, through their research and commitment to science, have made a recent contribution to basic scientific research which extends the boundaries of any field of science.

In addition to the annual award presented to an outstanding scientist, an individual may be honored for a lifetime of achievement. The Lifetime Achievement in Science Award, established in 1989, is not offered annually, but at the discretion of the selection panels.

The following Virginia Tech faculty have received the Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award or the Lifetime Achievement in Science Award:

Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award

  • 2017: Marc Edwards, Charles Lunsford Professor with the Virginia Tech Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering; and Shuhai Xiao, professor of geobiology in the Department of Geosciences, College of Science.
  • 2015: Timothy Long, professor of chemistry, College of Science.
  • 2013: Harold E. Burkhart, University Distinguished Professor and Thomas M. Brooks Professor of Forestry, College of Natural Resources and Environment; and Patricia M. Dove, C.P. Miles Professor of Geosciences, College of Science.
  • 2012: Romesh C. Batra, professor of engineering science and mechanics, College of Engineering.
  • 2010: Robert J. Bodnar, University Distinguished Professor and C.C. Garvin Professor of Geochemistry, College of Science.
  • 2005: Michael F. Hochella Jr., professor of geosciences, College of Science.
  • 2004: John Tyson, University Distinguished Professor of Biology, College of Science.
  • 2002: David G.I. Kingston, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, College of Science.
  • 2001: Richard O. Claus, University Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering.
  • 2000: Neal Castagnoli Jr., Harvey W. Peters Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1997: James E. McGrath, University Distinguished Professor and Ethyl Corporation Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1994: James P. Wightman, professor of chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1993: Gerald V. Gibbs, University Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering.

Lifetime Achievement in Science Award

  • 2006: Duncan M. Porter, professor of botany, College of Science.
  • 2005: Ali Nayfeh, University Distinguished Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, College of Engineering.
  • 1991: John Cairns, University Distinguished Professor of Environmental Biology, College of Arts and Sciences.

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.

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