Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Richard Barnwell honored with emeritus status


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 29, 2006 – Richard W. Barnwell of Newport News, Va., professor of aerospace and ocean engineering and engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title, “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board’s quarterly meeting August 28.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

Barnwell joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1995, serving in residence at the Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities Ph.D. program in Hampton, Va.

He is an internationally recognized researcher who established himself as a major contributor in many different areas of theoretical, computational, and experimental aerodynamics. His contributions include helicopter rotor-fuselage interactions and wind tunnel wall interference effects, as well as numerous contributions to theoretical boundary layer theory understanding for two-dimensional and three-dimensional laminar and turbulent flows, transonic and hypersonic aerodynamics and aerodynamic design methods. He also made key contributions to the prediction of the aero-thermal loading environment on NASA’s Space Shuttle thermal protection tiles.

Barnwell is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received many NASA awards, including the Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work on wind tunnel wall interference and NASA Langley’s highest technical honor, the H.J.E. Reid Award for theoretical work in transonic aerodynamics. Barnwell received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,500 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 1,800 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. 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 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.