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Ten graduate students named 2008 ICTAS Doctoral Scholars


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 22, 2008 – Ten exceptional Ph.D. candidates, representing five colleges and nine departments, are selected as the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science(ICTAS) Doctoral Scholars for fall 2008. This class of ten scholars brings the total of participants currently in the doctoral scholar program to 21, representing 15 departments.

The 2008 ICTAS Doctoral Scholars are:

  • Adam Bowman of Lebanon, Va., a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Science
  • Mehdi Ghommem of Tunis, Tunisia, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering
  • Matthew MacInnis of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada , a doctoral candidate in the Department of GeoSciences in the College of Science
  • Syed Mazahir of Delhi, India, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Su-Wan Myung of Seoul, South Korea , a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Karthik Pillai of Kottayam, India, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources
  • Thomas Rogers-Cotrone of Drakes Branch, Va., a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Noppadon Sathitsuksanoh of Bangkok, Thailand, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Myuao Shen of Shanghai, China, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science
  • Xiaoyue Zhang of Beijing, China, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering


The ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program was established in 2007 and 11 scholars were named in the inaugural year. The program honors exceptional Ph.D. applicants through award of full financial support for the Ph.D. qualifying period. This program is a cooperative effort supported and coordinated primarily by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, with significant contributions from participating departments, colleges, and the Graduate School. Successful candidates of the highest caliber are selected for this honor.

“This award is an investment in the university’s intellectual talent, creativity, and potential in a way that is complementary to Virginia Tech’s mission and strategic plan,” said Roop Mahajan, director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. “The initial goal for the program is to establish a steady state of 40 ICTAS fellows by 2011 and we are well on our way,” he said.

The ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program award provides full graduate tuition support plus a graduate student stipend award and associated benefits for the entire period of Ph.D. pursuit to a maximum of four years for each selected honoree. The annual graduate student stipend is $25,000. Additionally, ICTAS supports pre-approved travel for professional development and external presentations resulting from ICTAS-related research.

The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech supports and promotes cutting-edge research at the intersection of engineering, science, and medicine.