Michael Gregg, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education
A member of the university community since 1992, Gregg made significant contributions to the Engineering Fundamentals and Engineering Education programs. He co-founded programs students encounter early in their plan of study including the engineering fundamentals take-apart lab and the Rising Freshman Abroad Program, and activity in the American Society for Engineering Education First-Year Program Division and Director of the Green Engineering Program.
In the classroom, Gregg taught thousands of engineering students in a variety of undergraduate courses ranging across the engineering fundamentals and engineering education curricula. He co-founded and directed the Frith First-Year Design Laboratory, or Frith Lab, which aids in the retention and development of young engineers through hands-on learning, peer mentoring, and authentic problem-solving.
Gregg received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Bucknell University.
O. Hayden Griffin, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1985, Griffin has provided effective leadership as head of the Department of Engineering Education, as director of the Division of Engineering Fundamentals, and as the college’s associate dean for academic affairs. Griffin led the transformation of the Division of Engineering Fundamentals to become a nationally recognized Department of Engineering Education by expanding and diversifying the faculty, by creating a positive departmental environment, and by establishing one of the nation’s first doctoral programs in engineering education.
Griffin also led the conception, design, realization, and operation of the Joseph F. Ware, Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory, which is a signature laboratory within the College of Engineering and an inspiration for the engineering curricula’s description as “hands-on, minds-on” education.
His strong commitment to excellence as an educator was recognized by his peers with numerous awards including the Certificate of Teaching Excellence, the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, and induction into the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Griffin is currently a professor and chair of the engineering department at East Carolina University (ECU). ECU has a new, just accredited Bachelor of Science degree program in engineering.
Griffin received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.
Thomas Walker, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1988, Walker championed the use of appropriate educational technologies and pedagogies to empower student learning and respond to a changing world. He received both the university's XCaliber Award and the college's W.S. “Pete” White Innovation in Engineering Education Award.
Walker developed and taught a wide variety of undergraduate general engineering courses, critically rethinking his teaching methods to incorporate more active learning strategies in his courses, an effort that earned him recognition as a Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholar by the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Walker held leadership roles in professional organizations, including the American Society for Engineering Education and the college’s curriculum committee, which he chaired for many years.
Walker earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Richard Goff, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1996, Richard Goff was the founding director of the Frith First-Year Engineering Design Lab, the primary laboratory space utilized by thousands of first-year engineering students to this day. He also co-developed and led the precursor to the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program and served as a former director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for e-Design.
Goff also served as a team member on the first two National Science Foundation grants received by the Department of Engineering Education and served as part of a large NSF-funded coalition (SUCCEED).
In the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Goff championed the Real Outreach eXperiences In Engineering project and enabled more than 1,000 first-year engineering students to engage in community service projects.
Goff also supported the Baja SAE student team as its faculty advisor for nine years and served the engineering fundamentals program (now the Department of Engineering Education) as course coordinator from 1998 to 2003.
In the classroom, Goff has taught thousands of undergraduate engineers within the first-year, second-year, and graduate programs in engineering, consistently receiving strong teaching evaluations. He also advised several students on doctoral dissertations and helped them develop solid research programs, leading to careers in academia and industry. He was the author or co-author with colleagues and graduate students of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Goff served for eight years as assistant department head and received multiple university awards for his teaching and service, including the W.S. Pete White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education, the William E. Wine Award for a History of Exemplary Teaching, the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, and the Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching of Engineering Subjects.
Jeffrey Connor, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Education
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1999, Jeff Connor made significant contributions to the engineering fundamentals and engineering education programs. He co-developed curriculum in the early part of the engineering plan of study, including 10 hands-on discovery modules and early first-year curricular reform.
Connor also participated in the American Society for Engineering Education First-Year Program Division where he published multiple ASEE papers from 2002 to 2010, as well as an ASEE First Year Engineering Experience paper in 2015.
He led or co-led two of the first large National Science Foundation grants received by the Department of Engineering Education: Bridges to Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and Spiral Curricular Reform.
In the classroom, Connor was dedicated to ensuring that all Virginia Tech first-year engineers had a fundamental understanding of the foundations of engineering. He developed a textbook, “Engineering: A Primer,” which was written to help students in their engineering success and intended for Virginia Tech students to access at little to no cost.
He taught thousands of engineering students in a variety of undergraduate courses ranging across the engineering fundamentals and engineering education curricula as well as civil engineering, AutoCad, and surveying.
Connor died on May 23, 2019, following a long illness.