Don Baird, professor of chemical engineering in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, is the 2008 recipient of the Jack Breslin Life Achievement Award from the Michigan State University Alumni Varsity Club.
This award is presented annually to the Michigan State University Spartan varsity alumnus whose post-college career “has brought great honor to himself and by reflection to MSU and its intercollegiate athletic programs,” according to the Michigan State University website.
Baird, an alumnus of Michigan State University, held Academic All-American, Academic All-Big Ten, and All-Big Ten honors while he was a member of the football team.
Baird was a member of the Michigan State team when it took the national championship in 1966. He played offensive guard primarily, but was also a linebacker.
At Virginia Tech he received the Alumni Research Award in 1991 and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998. The Society of Plastics Engineers International Award for Education was presented to Baird in 2002 and he received their Research Award in 2003. He also received Virginia Tech’s Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2002.
Baird who holds the Harry C. Wyatt Professorship of Chemical Engineering, holds research interests in polymer processing and rheology, composite materials and processing, and polymeric materials and properties. He is a member of the Virginia Tech Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute.
Baird received his bachelor of science in chemical and materials engineering from Michigan State University in 1969 and his master of science in materials and mechanics in 1971. In 1974, Baird received his doctorate in engineering science and mechanics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,700 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.