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Engineering professor honored nationally as educator and researcher


BLACKSBURG, Va., June 6, 2006 – John G. Casali of Blacksburg, the Grado Chaired Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the Alexander G. Holtzman Distinguished Educator Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and has been named to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Oxford Research Institute.

The Holtzman award is the highest honor presented to an educator in the field of industrial engineering. With more than 15,000 members and 280 chapters worldwide, the IIE is the largest international professional society dedicated to the profession of industrial engineering.

The Maryland-based Oxford Research Institute certifies and accredits human factors engineering and ergonomics professionals and academic programs throughout the U.S.

Casali, whose human factors and ergonomics research has provided advances in fields ranging from hearing protection to wheelchair use, is director of Virginia Tech’s Auditory Systems Laboratory and co-director of the Vehicle and Aircraft Simulation Laboratory.

The recipient of Virginia Tech’s 2002 Alumni Award for Research Excellence and the 2002 College of Engineering Award for Outreach Excellence, Casali is co-author of two U.S. patents for custom hearing protection devices and has invented and patented a light-weight, detachable power/steer drive attachment for folding wheelchairs. His research spans more than 75 projects, funded for a total of more than $5.5 million.

He has received a number of national honors, including the Jack A. Kraft and Paul M. Fitts awards from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and IIE’s David Baker Award, which are premier industrial engineering research and teaching awards. He is a fellow of both IIE and HFES, and serves on the editorial board of the Human Factors Journal.

After attending public schools in Princeton, W.Va., Casali entered Virginia Tech, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, as well as his master’s degree and doctorate degree. He joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1982 and was appointed to the Grado Professorship in 1996.