Blacksburg, Va. — Amy Pruden, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the W. Thomas Rice Professorship in Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The W. Thomas Rice Professorship in Engineering was established in 1981 through a gift from CSX Corporation. The endowment, named in honor of the former director of the CSX Corporation, who earned his bachelor's in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1934, recognizes teaching and research excellence.
A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2008, Pruden's teaching and research focuses on applied environmental microbiology. She and her collaborators have secured $18 million to support this interdisciplinary research with others across the country and around the world.
She has published 86 peer-reviewed journal articles that have been cited more than 2,800 times. She has received prestigious NSF CAREER and PECASE awards, the Paul L. Busch Award, and two best paper awards in recognition of her work. She serves the scientific and professional communities by her work on editorial boards, conferences, and short courses.
In addition, she has led numerous outreach efforts to enhance diversity in engineering.
In the classroom, Pruden teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in environmental engineering and uses a highly interactive teaching style that incorporates active learning exercises using real-world examples and fully integrates teaching and research.
Her past and current research advisees number 31 undergraduate students, 14 master's degree students, and 21 doctoral students, who have collectively received 21 awards, including best paper, best poster, best presentation, best thesis, best student, best project, among others.
She also serves as a member of the board of directors for Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties.
Pruden received her bachelor's degree and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.