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Engineers Club of Hampton Roads Presents Distinguished Service Award to Linda Vahala

The Engineers Club of Hampton Roads recently presented its Distinguished Service Award to Linda Vahala, associate dean of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University.

Vahala received the honor at the ECHR's annual Engineering Excellence Banquet in late February. It's only the second time the ECHR board of directors has presented the award. Vahala has served as club treasurer, director and president during her time on the ECHR board of directors.

Matt Maxwell of the ECHR board said Vahala was chosen for the award because she has enriched the Hampton Roads community through her pursuit of engineering excellence.

"She is well accomplished and continues to be involved in many different professional endeavors," Maxwell said. "She makes time for her students, is an active ECHR member and has truly made a difference at many different levels within our community. She is one of many reasons why Old Dominion University is such a distinguished institution of higher learning and an important partner within Hampton Roads.

"She remains extremely active in the lives of the engineering student, in particular, providing guidance to first-year students for the appropriate engineering discipline. Engineering is not for everyone, and to have an associate dean of her caliber providing direction serves the students and university well."

An associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Vahala joined ODU in 1987. In addition to her role as associate dean, she serves as director of the Engineering Fundamentals division.

Vahala, who received a Ph.D. in applied physics from ODU in 1983, has published articles on plasma physics and atomic physics, with an emphasis on laser interactions with plasma and with neutral/rare gas collisions.

She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Physics Society, Eta Kappa Nu Association, Sigma Pi Sigma and Society of Woman Engineers.

Vahala has received awards and honors from multiple honor societies and is a Gordon Bell finalist for Super Computing. She was recognized as the Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Member at ODU in 1999, and received the Peninsula Engineer of the Year Award in 1995.

This article was posted on: March 16, 2012

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