Joseph R. Loring, of Arlington, Va., whose engineering firm is known for introducing efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly building systems, is Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

The university presents the award annually, at commencement, to recognize achievement of national distinction in a field of enduring significance to society.

Loring, a native of New York, earned his bachelor’s of electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in 1948. He was sent to Virginia Tech to study engineering after enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1944.

Loring’s studies were interrupted, however, when he was assigned to work on a top-secret voice scrambling installation at the Pentagon during World War II. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant, and returned to Blacksburg to complete his degree after the war.

Loring started his own engineering firm -- Joseph R. Loring & Associates Inc. -- in 1956. Six years later, he was selected to design the electrical systems for the twin 110-story towers that comprised the World Trade Center.

Since 1995, his company has been known as LORING. The firm, with office headquarters in New York, N.Y., and additional offices in Washington, D.C., and Princeton, N.J., has received multiple awards, including the grand prize in the transportation category from the American Consulting Engineers Council in 1999.

Loring and his wife, Sheila Johnston, are members of the Ut Prosim Society, a select group of Virginia Tech’s most generous donors. He funded a scholarship, in his company’s name, as well as the Joseph R. Loring Professorship of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Loring has served on the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board and the College of Engineering Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the college’s Committee of 100, has been inducted into the electrical and computer engineering department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni and the college’s Academy of Engineering Excellence, and is the the 2012 recipient of the college's Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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