BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 8, 2008 – William R. Knocke, W.C. English Professor and head of the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, was awarded the 2008 Virginia Outstanding Civil Engineer Award at the Virginia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) banquet, held recently in Williamsburg, Va.
According to the ASCE announcement, Knocke was presented with the award for his 29 years of research focusing on the physical and chemical treatment of water and wastewater, chemistry of aquatic systems, sludge treatment and disposal, and hazardous waste assessment and treatment. ASCE also cited Knocke’s contributions to an improved environment and quality of life for all Virginia residents.
Special emphasis was placed on the significant growth and recognition of the civil and environmental engineering department at Virginia Tech. U.S. News and World Report ranks it among the top ten civil engineering programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering also ranks among the top ten for the total number of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees awarded in a given year.
External research funding has quadrupled under Knocke’s leadership, placing the department among the top three on the Virginia Tech campus. During his tenure, the department also secured six Outstanding Faculty Awards by the State Council on Higher Education and 15 National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards, a unique number within Virginia universities.
"I am very appreciative and humbled by the action of the Virginia Section of ASCE in selecting me to receive this award in 2008. In many ways this award reflects the dedicated work of the faculty and staff as it is through their efforts that the department has made such substantial strides in terms of national reputation and ranking.
“Educating the fine young women and men who come to Virginia Tech to study civil engineering is an obligation that we all take very seriously. We take great pride in the success of our graduates and their impact on the civil engineering profession. My sincere thanks as well to the leaders of the ASCE Roanoke Branch who took the time to prepare my nomination. Our branch is lucky to have such dedicated leaders,” Knocke said.
Civil engineers are the principal designers, constructors, operators, and caretakers of many of the constructed facilities and systems that contribute to the high quality of life enjoyed in the United States. The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers educational programs in all areas of civil engineering practice.