Professor Theodore S. Rappaport, founder and director of the Department's Mobile & Portable Radio Research Group, has been named the James S. Tucker Professor of Engineering.
Rappaport joined the faculty in 1988 and has been a leader in wireless communications education and research. In 1991, he developed Tech's first wireless engineering course, and in 1995, he authored the first textbook on the topic of wireless communications.
Rappaport has generated more than $7 million in research funding. His work led to the first statistical radio-channel model for in-building radio propagation and a patented wireless measurement instrument. He also founded an annual international symposium on wireless personal communication.
He has received numerous awards, including the Marconi Young Scientist, the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award, and the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence.
Jih-Sheng (Jason) Lai has joined the Department as an associate professor. Lai is an expert in power electronics and has extensive experience teaching electrical engineering. He comes to Tech from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was the power electronics lead scientist and concurrently was an adjunct associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to that he worked at the Power Electronics Applications Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Tennessee.
Before coming to the United States, Lai was chairman of the Electrical
Engineering Department at Ming-Chi Institute of Technology at Taipei, Taiwan.
Earlier he was an instructor of electrical engineering at Chung-Hua Institute
of Technology at Taipei. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee,
Knoxville in 1989, and his M.S. in 1985. He has authored 16 journal publications
and two books, and holds 11 patents and invention disclosures. He has received
two IEEE IAS Prize Paper Awards and the Lockheed Martin Energy Systems Technical
Guo-Quan (GQ) Lu has joined the Department with a shared appointment with Materials Science and Engineering. Lu is an expert in processing and characterization of electronic materials and microelectronics packaging.
Since 1992 Lu has served as an assistant professor of MSE. He has earned the Virginia Tech Sporn Award for excellence in teaching engineering subjects and an NSF CAREER Grant. Before coming to Tech, Lu was a senior scientist and staff engineer at the ALCOA Technical Center. He earned a double-major bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Engineering and Physics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics/Materials Science from Harvard University.
Kathy Atkins Department business manager, has been named chief financial and administrative officer. Her responsibilities include supervising the Department budgeting, purchasing, accounting and personnel functions, and assisting with space assignments, special events and projects. She has been in the Department since 1986, in positions including accountant and program support technician. She has a B.S. in business from Tech and is pursuing an M.A. in higher education administration.