ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
People

Notable ECE Alumni

This list is taken from the 2011 list of Virginia Tech alumni.

William C. Bixby

William C. Bixby (electrical engineering 1942) was editor of Look magazine, a weekly general interest magazine published in the United States from 1937 to 1971. It was widely viewed as a competitor to Life magazine.

Robert E. "Bob" Castle Jr.

Robert E. "Bob" Castle Jr. (electrical engineering 1976; M.S. 1978) is the flight director in Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He has directed more than 25 space shuttle missions either as the flight director or the mission operations director, including the lead work on the first space shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Mir space station and the first shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). He led preparations for the space shuttle mission "5A" that carried the U.S. laboratory module Destiny into orbit in 2001. NASA presented him with its Stellar Award for his outstanding leadership in the development of the flight control team operations concept and Russian interfaces to support the ISS.

Gilbert L. Faison

Gilbert L. Faison (electrical engineering 1947) joined Roache and Mercer in 1959 and within two years became a full partner in the mechanical and electrical engineering consulting firm. He retired from Roache, Mercer, and Faison as president and chair. He was also a founding member of the Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Earle D. Gregory

Earle D. Gregory (electrical engineering 1923), known as the "Sgt. York of Virginia" by newspapers nationwide, was the first native Virginian to receive the Medal of Honor. At Bois de Consenvoye, France, on Oct. 18, 1918, he single-handedly captured 22 German soldiers and two machine guns, saving countless American lives. The university’s Gregory Guard precision drill team is named in his honor. (Did not graduate.)

Edward Hudson Lane

Edward Hudson Lane (electrical engineering 1910) and his father founded the Standard Red Cedar Chest Co., later known as Lane Furniture, in 1912. He played a significant role in the success of the Student Aid Association at Virginia Tech. Lane Stadium bears his name. (Did not graduate.)

Letitia Long

Letitia Long (electrical engineering 1982) is chief of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the agency that tries to make sense of what spy satellites see. Long is the first woman to head a major U.S. intelligence outfit.

Joseph R. Loring

Joseph R. Loring (electrical engineering 1947) started his private practice in 1956, Joseph R. Loring & Associates Inc., and has provided essential engineering services for many of the era’s renowned public and private building projects. They range from high-rise office towers and corporate headquarters to universities, libraries, hospitals, airport terminals, courthouses, and correctional facilities around the world.

Harold L. Martin

Harold L. Martin (electrical engineering 1980) is chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Previously, he had been senior vice president for academic affairs for the 16 institutions of higher education that comprise the University of North Carolina system.

Joseph T. May

Joseph T. May (electrical engineering 1962), a delegate in the Virginia General Assembly since 1993, was honored in 1996 with the Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award in Industry. In 2000, he received the Governor’s Legislative Leadership Award in Technology, and in 2002 he was named the Virginia Biotechnology Legislator of the Year. The owner of 22 patents and of his own business, EIT, which designs, manufactures, and sells electronic products, May is considered the resident technology expert in the General Assembly.

E. Towson Moore

E. Towson Moore (electrical engineering 1958) has served as president and CEO of Wilmore Electronics Co. Inc. since its founding. He gradually moved his company and its subsidiary, Energy Dynamics Inc., into manufacturing, employing about 100 people. The companies’ two locations provide state-of-the-art industrial power converters to a wide base of domestic and export customers.

Oren Austin Oliver

Oren Austin Oliver (electrical engineering 1909) pioneered orthodontic techniques that revolutionized the science, achieving international recognition in orthodontia by developing the lingual and labial arch technique. According to Town & Country Review, a magazine published in London, "The results in slowly guiding irregularity into regularity ... are so remarkable and so successful as to appear magical to the uninitiated." Among his numerous national and international awards were a congressional citation and medal for his work in securing dentists to examine selective service inductees during World War II and the first certificate ever bestowed by the International Dental Society.

Irving L. Peddrew III

Irving L. Peddrew III (electrical engineering) not only was the first African-American student to enroll at Virginia Tech (in 1953), he was also the first African-American undergraduate student to go to a historically white public school in the former Confederacy. The only black student on campus his freshman year, he was required to participate in the corps of cadets but had to live and eat off campus. Disillusioned by his experiences, he left at the end of his junior year and did not return. Peddrew-Yates Residence Hall was co-named in his honor in 2003. (Did not graduate.)

Thomas L. Phillips

Thomas L. Phillips (electrical engineering 1947; M.S. 1947) retired as CEO, president, and chairman of the board of Raytheon Co. Under his leadership, Raytheon developed and marketed the first commercial home microwave. Phillips also played a role in the development of two of the company’s guided-missile programs.

Hyde C. Tucker

Hyde C. Tucker (electrical engineering 1956) as president and CEO of Bell Atlantic International brokered one of the largest business deals on Wall Street in 1991. He started his career with C& P Telephone Co. and remained with some form of the communications industry for his entire career. He was named the College of Engineering’s distinguished alumnus in 1998 and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

Joseph H. Vipperman

Joseph H. Vipperman (electrical engineering 1962) served three years as a lieutenant in the strategic air command of the U.S. Air Force and then he returned to Appalachian Power, where he spent a 40-year career in engineering, finance, and various management positions, retiring as executive vice president of American Electric Power Shared Services, the parent company of Appalachian Power. In honor of his achievements, AEP presented $1 million to ICTAS for energy-related research.

Willis S. "Pete" White Jr.

Willis S. "Pete" White Jr. (electrical engineering 1947) was chairman of the board of Appalachian Power Co., which serves 929,000 customers in West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee and is part of the American Electric Power system.