Thomas Novak named Charles T. Holland Professor

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 11, 2004 – Thomas Novak, of Blacksburg, professor and head of the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the Charles T. Holland Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its quarterly meeting Monday, Nov 8.

The Charles T. Holland Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering was created in 1976 in honor of the former head of the department who served from 1948 to 1961.

Novak came to Virginia Tech in 2001 as the head of the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering in the College of Engineering. Previously, he held the position of department head of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Alabama where he held the Drummond Endowed Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Novak is internationally known as a leading expert in the area of electrical applications in the mining industry. His publications are extensive and provide significant contributions to the creation of new knowledge in this field. In particular, he is noted for his research related to grounding systems, longwall face equipment, and mine ventilation. In 2002 he received a Prize Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Industry Applications. He has received numerous paper awards from the Mining Industry Committee of the IEEE — Industry Applications Society. He also has developed several short courses for continuing education for professional engineers.

Novak received his bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.