Pamela VandeVord, interim department head and undergraduate program chair of biomedical engineering and mechanics in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the N. Waldo Harrison Professorship by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The N. Waldo Harrison Professorship was established in 1987 by College of Engineering alumnus Nathaniel Waldo Harrison. Harrison served as a member of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Frankfurt, Germany, during World War II, and later created the professorship to acknowledge the extraordinary education he received at Virginia Tech. The professorship is for a five-year period.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2011, VandeVord’s research focuses on understanding brain injuries, cell-repair strategies, and technologies that assist in prevention, identification, and treatment of nervous-system injuries.

She received the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her pioneering work in this area.

VandeVord has received more than $35 million in external research funding from sponsors including the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Navy. Her research has led to two book chapters and 67 peer-reviewed publications with recent papers published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  and Nature: Scientific Reports.

As the undergraduate biomedical engineering program chair, VandeVord has built a successful curriculum for the current minor program which has grown to more than 170 students in the past three years. In 2013, the College of Engineering launched a new biomedical engineering minor for undergraduate students and VandeVord is the lead designer of the proposed mechanics-based biomedical engineering undergraduate degree.

VandeVord received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

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