John Little, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was reappointed the Charles E. Via Jr. Professor in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.
The Via Professorship is funded through an endowment established in 1987 by Marion Via Bradley in honor of her late husband to recognize excellence in faculty research. Recipients of the professorship hold the title for a period of five years.
Little has held the title of Via Professor since 2012.
Little has brought significant visibility to Virginia Tech with his research on the indoor environment and the management of oxygen in lakes and reservoirs. Both areas deal with mass transfer processes in environmental systems, and he is recognized as one of the world’s experts in both areas.
He has published approximately 140 peer-reviewed papers, most of which have been published in the leading journals in the environmental and water resources fields. He has collaborated with experts in China, Switzerland, Taiwan, Australia, and Spain and has participated in more than $12.8 million in funded research with a personal share of $4.9 million. In 1996, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.
At Virginia Tech, he played a central role in securing a $3.1 million National Science Foundation IGERT award, serving as director for half the project period. He also served as co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Environmental Biogeochemistry, a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program funded for $1.1 million. The grant supported 12 Ph.D. students in three different Virginia Tech departments and colleges.
Little has been the advisor for 11 Ph.D. students, seven postdoctoral scholars, and 22 master’s degree students and is currently advising three Ph.D. students, one postdoctoral scholar, and one research associate. One of his Ph.D. advisees was awarded the best dissertation by the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and another was awarded the Yaglou Award from the Academy of Indoor Air Sciences for being the most promising young researcher in the indoor air sciences.
Little received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.