BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 24, 2008 – Ranga Pitchumani, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut, has been named a John R. Jones III Fellow in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech recently by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The John R. Jones III Faculty Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering was established in 2006 to acknowledge and reward mid-career faculty who have shown exceptional merit in research, teaching, and/or service. Jones, who earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in 1967, is a retired executive of American Electric Power, having worked 36 years for the electric utility.
Pitchumani will be appointed as a tenured professor of mechanical engineering at the start of the 2009 spring term. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992, and was with the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials prior to joining the University of Connecticut in 1995.
At Connecticut, Pitchumani has served as director of graduate studies and as the head of the Mechanical Engineering Department. His research interests are in the areas of thermal/fluid sciences, fuel cells and alternative energy conversion technologies, advanced materials processing, micro-and nanoscale processes, microfabrication, and transport phenomena.
During his career, Pitchumani has been the principal investigator or a co-principal investigator on $4.7 million in sponsored research projects. He is the author of more than 135 articles in archival journals and peer-reviewed proceedings, seven edited book volumes, and five book chapters.
He is an associate technical editor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineering's Journal of Heat Transfer, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, and has been a guest editor for Polymer Composites.
He received many professional awards including the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research in 1996, the School of Engineering Distinguished Professorship for 2003 through 2006, the School of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 1998, the Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Faculty Award in 2000, and the Olin Faculty Award from Olin Corp. in 1995.
Pitchumani also received a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor's degree from Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India.