BLACKSBURG, Va., July 5, 2012 – Dr. Shane Ross, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, is the 2011-12 recipient of the Liviu Librescu Prize. Based on accomplishments over the year, the prize is awarded annually to a young scholar working in the area of mechanics at Virginia Tech.
The ESM Honorifics Committee, which consists of Professors Jack Duke (chair), Romesh Batra, Wally Grant, Roop Mahajan, and Mahendra Singh, was unanimous in its selection.
During the year, Dr. Ross published several journal articles in archival volumes, which added to his impressive record of published scholarship which, according to Google Scholar, has been cited over 1650 times and with an h-index of 21. During the 2011 calendar year alone, his work was cited 257 times.
Dr. Ross was invited to three high-profile international venues within the dynamical systems community during the 2011-12 academic year: (1) as a Keynote Speaker at a Lorentz Centre Workshop on Coherent Structure and Dynamical Systems, Leiden, The Netherlands; (2) as a Plenary Speaker on Computational Methods in Dynamics at Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy; and (3) as an Invited Speaker at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), in Vancouver, Canada. He used these venues to promote his research program and students, and increase the visibility of ESM and Virginia Tech.
He also organized a two-day minisymposium on Mechanics in Biology at the Pan-American Congress on Applied Mechanics, an event dedicated to bringing together North and South American researchers. This minisymposium was the largest of the congress and was well attended. It has led to the planning of an American Academy of Mechanics sponsored minisymposium to be held at Virginia Tech later this year.
In terms of teaching and advising activities, Dr. Ross received the College of Engineering Certificate of Teaching Excellence and also advised the ESM senior design team which won both of the senior project awards. Either of these accomplishments by themselves would be noteworthy; to have both occur during the same year is exceptional.
In fall 2011, Dr. Ross received a new three-year NSF project, “Dynamical Mechanisms Influencing the Population Structure of Airborne Pathogens: Theory and Observations,” sponsored by the Dynamical Systems program. This project seeks to understand the nonlinear dynamics underlying the mixing of airborne populations of microorganisms, via testing of hypotheses that blend theoretical considerations of dynamical atmospheric structures with aerobiological sampling and analysis. The research will lead to better understanding about crop security, disease spread, and perhaps even the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity.
His promise for advancing the frontiers of dynamical systems research and education was recognized in January 2012 through the award of the prestigious NSF CAREER grant. His project will extend the theoretical tools of dynamical systems theory to realistic systems based on experimental data or large-scale simulations. It will provide a new and fruitful approach for conceptualization, visualization, and extraction of information regarding the possible behaviors of a system, with applicability to mechanics and beyond.