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Charles Reinholtz receives Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 16, 2004 – Charles Reinholtz, of Blacksburg, assistant department head and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, received the university’s 2004 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Established in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two outstanding teachers selected by the Academy of Teaching Excellence. The recipients are chosen from a university-wide pool of faculty members who have received certificates of teaching excellence from their respective colleges during the preceding three years.

Reinholtz held the first rotating W.S. White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education and received the University Wine Award, three College of Engineering Certificates of Teaching Excellence, the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Engineering, the Ingersoll-Rand Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Faculty Member Award by student vote (twice), and the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award for Teaching and Research Excellence.

Reinholtz said of his philosophy of teaching: "Get people excited about what they are doing, and get them motivated to achieve, and all good things will follow...People hunger to participate to apply their broad abilities in solving problems, to be recognized, and to compete."

A student with fond memories of Reinholtz’s guidance said, "While Dr. Reinholtz’s prowess in preparing me for success in research was monumental, it pales next to his most important legacy: the joys of teaching.

Reinholtz serves as faculty adviser to the Virginia Tech Student Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which is consistently among the largest and most active in the nation and has won the Ingersoll-Rand Award as the best in the world four of the five years the award has been offered. Reinholtz has served as adviser to the Human-Powered Vehicle Team and the Grand Challenge Team and has received the ASME National Faculty Advisor Award. His students consistently win top awards in design, writing, and professional and technical presentation contests. In addition, he has helped shape the department’s world-renowned senior design program.

Reinholtz wrote the textbook Mechanism and Dynamics of Machinery, has served as assistant head of the department and chair of the mechanical engineering curriculum committee, and was chair of the Academy of Teaching Excellence. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He earned a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part0time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.