James H. Aylor, dean of the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science, was recently inducted into the Theta Tau Hall of Fame in honor of his services to engineering and his continuing contributions to the school.
Theta Tau is the largest and most prominent fraternity for engineers. Founded in 1904, more than 30,000 members have been initiated since its creation. Every year, up to five Theta Tau alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or the fraternity are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Aylor is a three-time graduate of the University, receiving his B.S. in 1968, his M.S. in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1977. In addition to serving as dean, he is the Louis T. Rader Professor of Electrical Engineering and has been a member of the faculty since 1978.
He chaired the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1996 to 2003, and later was appointed associate dean of academic programs. In 2004, he was appointed dean of the Engineering School and was reappointed in 2010.
Aylor has served as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society, division director of IEEE and as editor-in-chief of IEEE Computer.
As dean, Aylor has funded new faculty positions through a partnership with Rolls Royce, Virginia Tech and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under his leadership, the Center for Applied Biomechanics gained greater support and was able to move in to a state-of-the-art research facility, the National Center for Hypersonic Combined Cycle Propulsion was established through a partnership with Rolls Royce, and he established the International Programs Office to facilitate international study opportunities for engineering students. He also oversaw the building of the Rice Hall Information Technology Engineering Building and the completion of Wilsdorf Hall. Another building, for student experiential activities, is currently in the planning stage.
In 2011, the Engineering School completed a strategic planning process, which Aylor initiated. The plan led to formation of a new mission and vision, identified research strengths that address pressing societal issues and set strategic goals.
"It is an honor to be inducted into the Theta Tau Hall of Fame," Aylor said. "It is an excellent organization, made up of people I highly respect and who I rely on as colleagues."
– by Rebekah Bremer