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David Gray, Ph.D.

Collegiate Assistant Professor
  • Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs
David Gray
344 Goodwin Hall (MC 0218)
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2009
M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2002
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2000

Teaching/Courses Taught

ENGE 1215: Foundations of Engineering I
ENGE 1216: Foundations of Engineering II
ENGE 2794 Design Thinking ImpACCt
ENGE 2994/4994 Undergraduate Research
ENGE 2094 Create! Ideation and Innovation
ENGE 4094 Startup and Commercialization
ENGE 4735/4736 Interdisciplinary Senior Design Capstone\

Research Interests

  • Magnetic materials and phenomena
  • Non-destructive inspection and evaluation
  • Application methods of effective pedagogies in first-year engineering 

Teaching Statement

My teaching philosophy has continued to evolve, particularly through recent developments in my career.  Mentoring new leadership personnel at TORC Robotics has enabled me to consider my own perspectives on leadership in an engineering context, and to very carefully examine what skills are most critical in providing success within an engineering discipline.  My work instructing with the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Tech has shown me the importance and power of student involvement through class participation and project-based learning. These two simultaneous roles have sharpened my skills of instruction - both in the classroom and in a professional setting.

Certain portions of my philosophy have not changed.  I am still a firm believer that teaching is only a fraction of the responsibility of an instructor.  An instructor must also serve as mentor, advocate, coach, and example. Learning involves a significant, dedicated effort from both the instructor, and the student.  Part of the role of the instructor must therefore be to encourage the student to exert that effort, and to work through the various situations that arise in life to complicate this devotion.  The instructor must also demonstrate a desire to be a student himself - continually learning about his field of study, the landscape of the organization, and the various methods for effectively presenting material and evaluating progress.


David completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the college of Engineering at Virginia Tech.  After a brief stint completing a post-doctoral associate position developing laminate composite magnetic field sensors, Dr. Gray moved into a position with a small business concern.  

In his industry role, Dr. Gray worked with a multi-discplinary team of engineers, computer scientists, technicians, and stakeholders to bring a host of novel technologies to DOD, NASA, and commercial customers.  These technologies ranged across multiple fields of engineering, including sensing, actuation, materials development, non-destructive inspection and evaluation, and energy harvesting.

Dr. Gray is well-versed in ideation, proposal generation, project and program management, and leading engineering teams.  He is keen to bring this professional experience to the classroom to help mentor the next generation of engineering professional.

The 2021-22 Charles "Butch" & Joan Nunnally Outstanding Engineering Education Faculty Member Award

Selected Publications

H. Song, Maurya D., Chun, J., Zhou, Y., Song, M, Gray, David T, Yamoah, N., Kumar, D, McDannald, A., Jain, M., and Priya, S, “Modulated Magnetothermal Response of La0.85Sr0.15MnO3 and (Ni0.6Cu0.2Zn0.2)Fe2O4 Composites for Thermal Energy Harvesters, Energy Harvesting and Systems, Vol. 4, no. 1, pp 57-65, 2017

J. H. Barton, C. R. Garcia, E. A. Berry, R. G. May, D. T. Gray, and R. C. Rumpf, “All-Dielectric Frequency Selective Surface for High Power Microwaves,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., vol. 62, no. 7, pp. 3652–3656, Jul. 2014.

M. Li, J. Gao, Y. Wang, D. Gray, J. Li, and D. Viehland, “Enhancement in magnetic field sensitivity and reduction in equivalent magnetic noise by magnetoelectric laminate stacks,” J. Appl. Phys., vol. 111, no. 10, p. 104504, 2012.

M. Li, Y. Wang, J. Gao, D. Gray, J. Li, and D. Viehland, “Dependence of magnetic field sensitivity of a magnetoelectric laminate sensor pair on separation distance: Effect of mutual inductance,” J. Appl. Phys., vol. 111, no. 3, p. 33923, 2012.

J. Petrie, D. Gray, D. Viehland, G. Sreenivasulu, G. Srinivasan, S. Mandal, and A. S. Edelstein, “Shifting the operating frequency of magnetoelectric sensors,” J. Appl. Phys., vol. 111, no. 7, pp. 07C714–07C714, 2012.

J. Petrie, D. Viehland, D. Gray, S. Mandal, G. Sreenivasulu, G. Srinivasan, and A. Edelstein, “Increased Sensitivity of Magnetoelectric Sensors at Low Frequencies Using Magnetic Field Modulation,” Bull. Am. Phys. Soc., vol. 57, 2012.analysis

Research Grants

VentureWell - Student-Lead Early Academic Career Undergraduate Research in Sustainable Materials and Processes $30k


  • Boyd, Clark Davis, Gray, David T., and Sides, Jonathan, “Methods and Systems for Detecting Non-uniformities in a Material, Component, or Structure“, US Patent No. 10,175,200 Jan, 2019

  • Gray, David T., and Coggin, John M., “Magneto-thermoelectric Generator for Energy Harvesting“, US Patent No. 9,793,829, October 17, 2017

  • Gray, David T., and Coggin, John M., “Magnetothermal Pump Device and Method of Operation“, US Patent No. 20140366558 A1,  Dec 18, 2014

  • Zerwekh, Sam, Gray, David T., and Laing, Malcolm, “Method and System for Measuring Torque and Torsional Vibration of a Rotating Body”, US Patent Application No. 62/538529, July 2017

  • Gray, David T., and Berry, David, “Anisotropic Magnetodielectric Polymer Matrix Composites and Methods of Manufacture”, US Patent Application No. 15155677, May 16, 2016 

Professional Affiliations

Associate Technical Editor for the ASNT journal Research in Nondestructive Evaluation

Career Highlights

  • Aug 2018-Aug 2019 Instructor, Engineering Education Department, Virginia Tech

    • Provided instruction, counseling, and mentorship to first year engineering students with a focus of introducing new students to engineering and to guide the selection of particular majors

  • May 2018 - Dec 2018 Senior Project Engineer, TORC Robotics

    • Managed a team of software engineers, hardware developers, and test engineers on defense-related autonomy projects

  • May 2011 - May 2018 Director of Research and Development, Prime Photonics

    • Conceptualized, proposed, executed, and sustained highly competitive research programs across a range of material science and sensing technologies including

      • magnetic materials, devices, and phenomena

      • non-destructive inspection and evaluation technologies

      • energy harvesting

      • Fiber optic sensing technologies