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Engineer named Loring Professor


BLACKSBURG, Va., July 19, 2005 – Saifur Rahman, Virginia Tech professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and the founding director of Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Division of the College of Engineering, is the recipient of the Joseph R. Loring Professorship of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Loring, a 1947 graduate of the ECE department, founded and remains chairman and CEO of LORING, a worldwide engineering firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Rahman came to Virginia Tech in 1979 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and professor in 1987. He became the founding director of the Alexandria Research Institute in 1998 and he started directing the Northern Virginia Division in 2003.

Rahman has a long and consistent record of research funding. He is an internationally known researcher in the areas of electrical power, specializing in alternate energy sources. During his distinguished career, his interests and contributions range from pioneering work in microprocessor control of power systems to solar and wind energy systems to his recent work on the proposed hydrogen economy.

He also is active in other areas that range from digital libraries to critical infrastructure protection. He consults on these topics and lectures and offers short courses for a wide variety of government agencies, United Nations programs, non-government organizations, and private companies. Rahman has been a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on 63 sponsored projects totaling more than $4 million. In addition, he has secured more than $100,000 in grants to support his research. He has published more than 80 articles in major journals and has a long list of conference publications and presentations.

Rahman is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and received the IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000 for outstanding achievements and contributions to IEEE.

Rahman’s excellence in teaching is well known. He has developed eight new courses at levels ranging from 2000 to 6000. He has supervised 18 Ph.D. and 24 master's thesis students to completion. He is now supervising seven Ph.D. students. He has developed numerous short courses for continuing education.

Rahman has organized a number of major conferences, including the 2004 IEEE Conference on the Hydrogen Economy which was widely covered in the Washington press.

Hassan Aref, the 2003-05 dean of the College of Engineering, nominated Rahman to this endowed position, concurring with the recommendations of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Honorifics Committee and the College of Engineering’s Honorifics Committee.

Rahman received his bachelor's in Bangladesh, his master's from the State University of New York, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Loring, and his wife, Sheila Johnston, reside in Arlington, Va.