Roop Mahajan, the Lewis A. Hester Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has received the university’s 2018 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach at Virginia Tech. Recipients are selected based on their contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech and the global impact, significance, and sustainability of their work.

Mahajan is the founding director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). As the director, he made international collaboration and impact as one of the core missions of the institute. In order to initiate ICTAS-led outreach activities, he has visited countries such as China and India. During these visits, he worked to form new partnerships for Virginia Tech and increase the number of connections across academia, industry, and agencies. He has caused ICTAS to grow to be a premier international institute known for transformative research for a sustainable future.

He worked closely with university leadership to promote successful research and educational and outreach programs. The result of his efforts was a Virginia Tech India Research and Education Forum (VTIREF), also known as Virginia Tech India, headquartered in Chennai.

“Thanks to Professor Mahajan and his sustained efforts over eight to 10 visits over the last two years, each time with innovative ideas for the advancement of the center, today Virginia Tech India has a state-of-the-art research lab carrying out formidable research projects in 2-D materials, graphene, energy, and other related areas,” wrote MK Padmanabhan, director of the Virginia Tech India Center, in a letter of nomination.

Mahajan has actively served as a mentor and advisor to Service Without Borders (SWB) since its inception in 2015. He has guided students in drafting the SWB’s vision, mission, and operations, and has provided organization and personal support to help SWB reach its objectives.

Mahajan has more than 200 refereed publications, several book chapters, and review articles, an authoritative book, and a number of patents and invention disclosures to his credit. He has presented almost 200 invited and keynote talks and paper presentations at conferences nationally and internationally.

In 2013, Mahajan received the 75th Anniversary Medal of the ASME Heat Transfer Decision in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2016, he was named as an ICTAS Global Ambassador.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019

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