by Amila Tola–
Virginia Tech has been recognized for years as a research based university, constantly dedicated to exploring the unknown and pushing educational horizons. Professors, students, and researchers are the people who set this reputation. One of those people is Dr. Timothy Long who recently has been selected as one of the three Virginia Outstanding Scientists for 2015.
Long has been an active researcher and professor at the university for over 16 years and has accumulated over 41 million dollars for research funding. In addition to that, he has created a 20-member research group that emphasizes the importance of macromolecular structure and polymerization processes for the development of advanced technologies. Technologies that improve drug and gene delivery, adhesives and elastomers, and biomaterials for health and energy.
Long spent almost a decade conducting research at the Eastman Kodak Co. before returning to Virginia Tech, in hopes to become a professor. When it comes to one of kind professors like Long, the obvious questions is how the passion started? What inspired this person to become an inspiration to others? When asked this, the answer for Long was quite simple, “teachers, definitely. I have been more intrigued by what different professors and teachers show to their students than other ‘famous’ scientists.”
The mere fact that Dr. Long has been influenced and inspired by other teachers to dive into the unknown and become the reverenced scientist that he is today is truly remarkable. It just comes to prove that it doesn’t take an Albert Einstein or a Sir Isaac Newton to influence a great a talent. Regarding the power science played in his life Long said, “I absolutely love this field. It is forever changing, nothing is redundant. I’m constantly asking more questions, and seeing the unknown.”
Dr. Long’s admiration and dedication to the art of scientific research has granted him one of the most honorable titles. He was honored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during a ceremony held at the Science of Museum of Virginia. Science has not only pushed Dr. Long to surface his discoveries, but it is also the basis of Virginia Tech’s initiative to ‘invent the future’.
This field is so prevalent in the Hokie community that there is a very active Science and Technology Society. According to the original STS website, “the graduate program in STS at Virginia Tech prepares students to be productive and publicly-engaged scholars, advancing research and making a difference.” Between science and technology, Virginia Tech to this stands as one of the most progressive universities in the scientific movement.