Two faculty members in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering have been honored as “Top 40 Under 40” alumni by Purdue University in its publication Purdue Alumnus.

Dennis Hong, an associate professor with the department of mechanical engineering, and Naren Ramakrishnan, a professor of computer science, each attended Purdue before joining Virginia Tech’s faculty. Hong earned a master’s degree and doctoral degree in mechanical engineering in, respectively, 1999 and 2002. Ramakrishnan graduated with a Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue in 1997.

The July/August 2010 issue of Purdue Alumnus, according to its editors, highlights young alumni who were selected for outstanding “vision, leadership and innovation in their career,” public recognition for their work, and their involvement with charitable and community programs. The list spans a broad class of Purdue graduates, including NFL player Drew Brees.

Hong was recognized for his advancements in robotics and his work to help build a car that can be driven by blind and low-vision people. Among several previous honors and awards, Hong was named to Popular Science’s 8th annual Brilliant 10 in 2009, awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International’s Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, and named as a 2009 Forward Under 40 honoree by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Alumni Association.

Ramakrishnan was highlighted for his data mining research in various fields such as consumerism to manufacturing and bioinformatics. His past honors and accolades include recognition as a 2009 Distinguished Member by the Association for Computing Machinery, a 2009 Hewlett Packard Labs Innovation Award, and being named one of Computerworld’s own Top 40 Under 40 list in 2007.

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