Gennaro L. Goglia

Old Dominion was still a college, five years removed from becoming a university, when Gennaro “Gene” Goglia was recruited in 1964 to chair the thermal engineering department in the School of Engineering.

That department grew into the Department of Mechanical Engineering and under Goglia’s leadership became ODU’s most productive research department both in number of grants and in total grant dollars. The university’s first doctorate was awarded in that department, and the student who received it was under Goglia’s tutelage.

Old Dominion is only about 25 miles from NASA Langley Research Center, the nation’s premier aeronautical and material sciences research lab, but initially the fledgling school was not on NASA’s radar. Goglia changed that. In his 24 years at the university, he patiently forged crucial research connections with NASA scientists. He was, in fact, a research catalyst, quick to match NASA needs with ODU faculty who could meet them. He turned ideas into research projects. Old Dominion ties to NASA have helped the school recruit top-notch faculty and graduate students.

Goglia’s personal specialty was thermodynamics, the study of energy. In 1980 he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his contributions to both mechanical engineering and engineering education.

Quest Fall 2005 • Volume 8 Issue 2