BLACKSBURG, Va., April 8, 2009 – W. Samuel Easterling of Blacksburg, professor and assistant department head of the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The Montague-Betts Professorship of Structural Steel Design was endowed by William E. “Ping” Betts Jr., who received a his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architectural engineering from Virginia Tech, co-founder of the Montague-Betts Co., a structural steel fabricator.
Easterling is acknowledged to be one of the leading researchers in composite floor systems, and his work has positively impacted numerous national design codes. He has published approximately 100 papers and reports since joining the faculty, and he directed or co-directed nearly $3.6 million of external research funding across more than 60 research grants and contracts.
The quality of his research has been recognized several times, including his selection by the American Society of Civil Engineers for the Walter L. Humber Civil Engineering Research Prize and his selection to be the 2002 T.R. Higgins Lecturer by the American Institute of Steel Construction.
Easterling also is a dedicated classroom instructor within the College of Engineering. His courses related to structural engineering and steel design often are filled to room capacity. He is known for his caring and engaging approach with his students.
Easterling also has produced an exemplary record of service both to the university and to his profession. He has held committee assignments and leadership responsibilities with the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Structural Stability Research Council, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the American Iron and Steel Institute.
He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. from the Iowa State University.