Hanif Sherali, the W. Thomas Rice Chair of Engineering in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named a University Distinguished Professor, a rank that honors select members of the faculty for widely renowned scholarly achievements.

The rank of University Distinguished Professor is bestowed by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to no more than one percent of members of the faculty whose scholarly attainments have attracted national and/or international recognition.

Sherali, who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1979, is one of the university’s most respected and sought-after teachers. He has received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and two College of Engineering Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. He is the only member of the engineering faculty to receive the Dean’s Award of Excellence in all three categories — teaching, research, and service.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has recognized Sherali’s contributions as an educator with the Outstanding Faculty Award, the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty. He also has received the Dan H. Pletta Award for Engineering Educator of the Year, presented by the Virginia chapters of national engineering societies; and the Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award, presented by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE).

Among Sherali’s contributions to engineering system design is the invention, in collaboration with graduate students, of the ground-breaking Reformulation-Linearization Technique.

His research has resulted in the publication of seven books and more than 230 refereed articles in top-tier journals, as well as a number of honors, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence; the IIE Transactions Best Paper Award; the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, which is IIE’s highest research honor; the Operations Research Challenge Competition Prize from the National Institute of Justice; and the Computer Science Technical Section Research Award and Koopman Prize for military operations research from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Sherali co-founded and co-directs two of Virginia Tech’s premier research groups, the Simulation and Optimization Laboratory and the FAA National Center of Excellence in Aviation Operations Research. He has served on the editorial boards of eight top-tier journals and has helped organize and chair a number of national and international conferences.

In recognition of this remarkable career, Sherali has been chosen by his peers from throughout the nation for three of the most prestigious honors in the field of engineering. He has been elected a Fellow of both IIE and INFORMS and, in 2000, he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction accorded an engineer.

Sherali completed his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in operations research at Georgia Tech and received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Bombay University in India.

The Board of Visitors also named Gary Downey, professor of science and technology in society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, a Alumni Distinguished Professor, and Michael F. Hochella, professor of geosciences in the College of Science, was named a University Distinguished Professor.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 5,500 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 1,900 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.


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