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Richard Goff, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1981
M.S. Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1976
B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1967

Research Interests

Curriculum development
Design with multidisciplinary teams
Structural Dynamics and Control
Assessment of Active Learning in Classrooms
Motorcycle Fuel Economy

Research Statement

My research is currently focused on assessment of gaming tools and online activities related to teaching wireless communication through the implementation of cognitive radio challenges. I am also involved with a multidisciplinary vertically integrated student team competing in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.


Richard M. Goff is a former aircraft structural test engineer for the Navy, Peace Corps Volunteer, motorcycle racer, engineering consultant, and computer systems entrepreneur; he holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Dr. Goff was the founding director of the Frith Freshman Engineering Design Laboratory, longtime Assistant Department Head in Engineering Education, faculty advisor for the Baja SAE team for nine years, and former director of the NSF I/UCRC Center for e-Design. He has served on several university task forces and has authored or co-authored over 90 peer reviewed scholarly works as well as participating in numerous invited panels and talks.

Richard has been teaching and engaging in research in multidisciplinary engineering design education for over twenty years. Dr. Goff, a member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence, is the recipient of several teaching awards including the W.E. Wine Award, Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, and the Sporn Award for Teaching of Engineering Subjects, as well as outreach awards, and best paper awards. His passion is creating engaging learning environments by bringing useful research results and industry practices into the classroom as well as using design research results to inform engineering practice.

Awards & Honors

  • Recipient of College of Engineering Excellence in Outreach Award for ROXIE with Team: 2009

  • Recipient of Key Stakeholder Award from Service-Learning Center: 2008

  • W.S. Pete White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education: 2006-2008

  • Member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence: 2003-present

  • Recipient of the W.E. Wine Award for a History of Exemplary Teaching: 2003

  • Recipient of the Dean of Engineering Faculty Fellowship Award: 2003

  • Recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching: 2001

  • Recipient of the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award: 2001

  • Recipient of the Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching of Engineering Subjects: 1982

  • Recipient of Certificates of Teaching Excellence at Virginia Tech: 1980, 1981, & 1982

  • Honor Society Membership in Alpha Psi Omega, Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Theta Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Gamma Tau, Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Phi Omega, and Who's Who in American Colleges & Universities.

  • Member and Honorary Advisor of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity

Selected Publications

Terpenny, J.P., Goff, R.M., Vernon, M.R., Green, W.R., Utilizing Assistive Technology Design Projects and Interdisciplinary Teams to Foster Inquiry and Learning in Engineering Design, Special Issue on Learning and Engineering Design, International Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 22, no. 3, 2006

Nurdan Demirci Sankir, Jeffrey B. Mecham, Richard M. Goff, William L. Harrison and Richard O. Claus; Novel ductile polyaniline/sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) composites; Institutes of Physics Publishing Smart Materials and Structures 15 (2006) 200-203

Participant in Special Report: The National Engineering Education Research Colloquies, Journal of Engineering Education, October 2006, Vol. 95, No. 4., 257-261

Terpenny, J., Goff, R., Lohani, V., Mullin, J., and Lo, J., Preparing Globally and Socially Conscious Engineers: International and Human-Centered Design Projects and Activities in the First Year, Special Issue on Design and Engineering Education in the Flat World, International Journal of Engineering Education, March 2008,VOL. 24, No. 2, 409-419

Goff, R., Williams, C., Terpenny, J., Gilbert, K., Knott, T. and Lo, J., ROXIE: Real Outreach eXperiences In Engineering First-Year Engineering Students Designing for Community Partners, Special Issue on Sustaining Sustainable Design, International Journal of Engineering Education, 2010,Vol. 26, No. 2,1-10.