“As faculty members, they have been accountable for making substantial contributions to three elements of the mission of Virginia Tech: teaching, research, and service,” said Robert Walters, vice president for research. “As entrepreneurs, they have taken their passions, dreams, time, and effort to create products and services to improve the quality of life for our citizens and for the interests of the nation. They have enhanced our local and regional economies and created high-quality jobs, particularly here in Southwest Virginia.”
He was responsible for the creation of VTLS Inc., the first tenant of the Corporate Research Center. The company is an international leader in integrated library automation, digital imaging services and radio frequency identification technology, and provides state-of-the-art library automation systems to more than 1,800 libraries worldwide.
Today, it has more than 70 employees and has as its customers NASA, defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, as well as major chemical suppliers, rubber industries, and electronic companies. Claus has won international awards for research from professional organizations and government agencies, including the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Instrument Society of America, SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering, and NASA.
Lee has served as president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, was a member of the board of directors for Zytec and Artesyn, and was chairman of the board for VPT Inc. He currently serves on the board of directors for Delta Electronics Inc.; Cyntec; and the Delta Environment and Education Foundation. Lee was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011.
Arvid Myklebust (photo not available) is professor emeritus of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. His research expertise is in the fields of computer aided design, computer aided aircraft design, geometric curve and surface modeling, computer graphics standards, kinematic synthesis and dynamic response analysis of non-linear mechanical systems. Myklebust co-founded three companies at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center: Phoenix Integration, AVID Aerospace, and Theta Tech Solutions.
Tracy D. Wilkins (photo not available), an internationally recognized expert in anaerobic microbiology, served as faculty member and director of the Anaerobe Lab, was director of the Fralin Biotechnology Center (now Fralin Life Sciences Institute), and was the initial Stroobants Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology at Virginia Tech.
In 1989 he founded TECHLAB Inc., a company focused on enteric disease and microbiology of the intestinal tract. Wilkins was also the founder of TransPharm, a company focused on the production of human proteins in the milk of transgenic animals. TransPharm eventually merged with PPL Therapeutics.