Sam Easterling, professor and head of the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis.
The Montague-Betts Professorship of Structural Steel Design was endowed by William E. “Ping” Betts Jr., who received a his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architectural engineering from Virginia Tech, to recognize faculty excellence. Betts, who died in 2009, co-founded the Montague-Betts Co., a structural steel fabricator that was involved in major construction projects, including New York’s World Trade Center. In 2005, Betts received Virginia Tech’s highest honor, the William H. Ruffner Medal.
Easterling has held the Montague-Betts Professorship since 2009.
Easterling is acknowledged to be one of the leading researchers in composite floor systems, and his work has positively impacted numerous national design codes. He has directed or co-directed approximately $4 million of external research funding across more than 65 research grants and contracts.
Easterling has published approximately 170 papers and reports since joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 1987 and has made more than 175 presentations at conferences and professional meetings.
The quality of Easterling’s scholarship has been recognized several times, including his selection by the American Society of Civil Engineers for the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, his selection to be the 2002 T.R. Higgins Lecturer by the American Institute of Steel Construction, his Educator Special Achievement Award of the American Institute of Steel Construction, and his being named a Fellow of both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute.
Easterling is well respected and sought out as a graduate advisor, having completed 54 master¹s degree students and six doctoral students.
At Virginia Tech, Easterling has served as department head for the past seven years and assistant department head the prior 11 years. He has served on the Faculty Senate, including terms as president, vice-president and secretary.
He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. from the Iowa State University.