I recently attended the annual CAMX Conference [October 17-20, 2022] where I had the honor to present Hota GangaRao, West Virginia University Wadsworth Professor and Director of Constructed Facilities Center – Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Academic Pioneer Award. The accolade was created to recognize original, visionary and innovative ideas that have been scientifically investigated, tested and demonstrated for the advancement of composites technology.
I have been fortunate to celebrate a lot of highlights and successes in my 33-year-career in the composite industry with Creative Composites Group. It was a special privilege to present this award to Dr. Hota who is a remarkable individual and a true friend.
Dr. Hota has been instrumental in the development of numerous products. I have also coached a lot of successful athletes over the years. They all share a common trait that Dr. Hota has always exhibited in his work and his relationships. He is humble when promoting success for the good of others. That’s why I would like to take a few minutes to try and capture the impact he has had in our industry.
In his efforts to advance state-of-the-art Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials and their applications to infrastructure systems, he has taken his work from the university to the field. Dr. Hota has implemented his research results and technical innovations for the construction and rehabilitation of a wide spectrum of engineering systems in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alaska and other states. He has used FRP composites for highway and railroad structures, corrosion-resistant buildings, economical modular housing, naval vessels, prefabricated pavements, utility poles, sheet piling and high-pressure gas pipes to name a few. He has received fourteen patents and published over 400 technical papers. His work has been covered by CNN, ABC Evening News and other media outlets.
As an educator, he has guided over 300 masters and Ph.D. students as thesis advisor and collaborated with several university and industry professionals to advance the state-of-the-art composites for field implementation, including recycling of thermoset polymer composites. Additionally, he developed over 100 educational programs as a keynote speaker, session moderator, and chairperson and provided technical support in terms of presentations for student chapters.
Dr. Hota will continue to be the benchmark for success in our industry and a pioneer helping to pave the way into the next decade of development. I cannot thank him enough for his commitment and drive to elevate composites in our infrastructure markets. Thank you, Dr. Hota and congratulations on your well-deserved accomplishment!