Term director named for critical technology and applied science institute

Rodd Hall

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 12, 2005 – Virginia Tech Provost Mark McNamee has named Roderick "Rodd" Hall term director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) and assistant vice president for research.

Hall has been associate dean for administration of the College of Engineering since 1998, responsible for the financial and operational affairs of the college, for facilitating the implementation of new initiatives, and for policy administration.

ICTAS was established in 2002 to support major research endeavors in engineering and the physical sciences. The aim is to create a highly interactive and intellectual environment for scholars and scientists from different disciplines to respond to national initiatives and opportunities. ICTAS will build on the university's strengths and focus on new initiatives in information technology and computational sciences, advanced materials, nanoscale science and technology, and biomedical engineering. Strategies include cluster hires of highly qualified faculty members in areas of critical importance, investment in research equipment important to advancements in several disciplines, and expansion of modern research space.

"I am very excited about this appointment since Rodd will bring experience, creativity, and excellent leadership to the position," said McNamee. "His strong relationships within the College of Engineering will ensure that we can build upon the foundations for ICTAS that have been nurtured within the college by lead Dean Hassan Aref and his predecessors," McNamee said.

"Rodd, who has been active in the formation ICTAS, will be an excellent term director," said Aref. "In his work with the college, he has developed an intimate knowledge of the history and aspirations for ICTAS, and possesses broad financial and administrative experience."

"Rodd has also worked closely with the deans and faculty members in the College of Science and the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, two of the leading partners along with the College of Engineering in the development of ICTAS," McNamee said.

"ICTAS is critical to the university's research objectives. Rodd Hall is eminently qualified to launch the enterprise," said College of Science Dean Lay Nam Chang. "I look forward to working with him to achieve the institute's objectives."

McNamee said Hall will continue to guide the administrative and facilities elements of ICTAS for a finite period of time after a permanent director is appointed. "This will enable the new director to focus attention on the scientific and technological elements of ICTAS," said McNamee. "It will also provide continuity in the management of the institute."

A national search will begin very soon for a permanent director, McNamee said. "In the meantime, there are pressing issues facing ICTAS, with construction the first ICTAS building underway and operational issues related to project support development, program planning, and research infrastructure."

"Our ability to attract an outstanding leader for ICTAS will depend, in part, on how well ICTAS addresses these topics during its formative stages," McNamee said.

"It is an honor to have been selected to direct the institute during this critical phase," Hall said. "ICTAS provides us an opportunity to leverage the limited funds we have to focus our research efforts on the most critical problems that face the world today. Our goal is to enable researchers to quickly respond to these emerging challenges. Being nimble and opportunistic is not usually the hallmark of large universities. We intend to change that through ICTAS."

Brad Fenwick, vice president for research, noted, "Rodd will provide the critical administrative foundation and connections to current programs that will allow ICTAS to rapidly become a powerful force in advancing the research capacity of Virginia Tech."

Dean Hassan Aref from the College of Engineering chairs the stakeholders committee which also includes the College of Science, the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School. "I greatly appreciate Hassan's support for this appointment and I pledge to do whatever I can to assist the college during the transition process," said McNamee.

Hall received his bachelor's degree in finance in 1986, his master's degree in business administration in 1989 from Virginia Tech, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration on a part-time basis. Before joining the College of Engineering, Hall served worked nine years for two of the university's affiliated corporations, serving as director of business services for the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and business manager for the Virginia Tech Foundation.