Last updated: 9/3/2013

Robert J. Ribando



  • Faculty, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
    Assistant Professor, 1979-1985.
    Associate Professor, 1985-Present.
  • Director for Academic Outreach Programs, School of Engineering and Applied Science, UVa. September 1999 - August 2001. Responsibilities included:

    Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). This program allows practicing engineers around the Commonwealth and beyond to earn Master of Engineering (M.E.) degrees in six different disciplines. Delivery is via videoconferencing and reaches about 20 sites.

    Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities (VCES). Through this program four state universities offer M.S. and Ph.D. programs in the Hampton, Virginia area, primarily for NASA Langley employees.
  • Development Associate, Advanced Reactors Systems Section, Engineering Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, September 1976-July 1979.
    Developed computer codes, analyzed experimental data from thermal hydraulic testing of electrically-heated nuclear fuel bundle simulators.
  • Aircraft Maintenance Officer, 89th Military Airlift Wing ( Special Air Missions), Andrews AB, Maryland, May 1970-May 1972.
    Supervised 160 enlisted men performing organizational maintenance on aircraft used to transport the First Family and other VIPs of the U.S. and foreign governments. Designed and implemented interior renovations on Jetstar and VC-135 aircraft. Received approximately one year USAF leadership and management training at Lackland and Chanute AFBs prior to this assignment.



  • Ph.D.(Mechanical Engineering) Cornell University, 1977
    Major: Thermal Sciences, Minor: Geophysics.
    Studied single and two-phase flows in porous materials numerically.
  • M.S. (Mechanical Engineering) Cornell University, 1974
    Designed and built large (60' long) boundary layer wind tunnel for studying the effects of buildings on local wind patterns.
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Princeton University, 1968-69 ( drafted)
  • B.S. (Mechanical Engineering) Cornell University, 1968
    Co-oped three periods with Anaconda Wire and Cable, Harrisonville, MO (Manufacturing) and Sycamore, IL (R&D).





  • 2004 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Curriculum Innovation Award A "Hands-on" Approach to Teaching Undergraduate Heat Transfer, with L.G. Richards and G.W. O'Leary, Dec. 2004.
  • University Seminar (USEM) Summer Research Grant (1997)
  • UVA Teaching and Technology Initiative (1995-96)
    Selected as one of the initial 12 fellows. Under the fellowship converted ME 329 (Heat and Mass Transfer, now MAE 314) to a partial studio format. Nine self-contained modules incorporating modern numerical and visualization techniques were developed. These materials are also very appropriate for a graduate-level heat transfer course and have been used extensively in a televised master's level heat transfer course. Heat Transfer Tools, a book and CD containing all materials, was published by McGraw-Hill in July 2001.
  • Lucien Carr III Professor of Engineering Education (1992-95)
    This three-year chair was established to recognize and promote use of technology in instruction.
  • Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi
  • Eagle Scout







  • Chair, MAE Advising, Awards, Rules and Courses Committee, 2004 - present
  • Academic Advisor, MAE Class of 2006.
  • Curator, Faculty Art Collection, MEC 215, 2004-present. So far this collection includes three original works by retired SEAS faculty.
  • Chairman, MEC 205 Space Art Project. Worked with Virginia Engineering Foundation and committee to endow, select, purchase and hang 23 prints from the NASA Space Art Collection to decorate this newly-renovated classroom. Completed Spring 2002. Click here for a QTVR tour of MEC 205 showing the new collection.
  • Advisor for Mechanical and Aerospace Department, Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, (CGEP) - Responsible for faculty staffing of two courses/semester and advising of some 70 off-grounds Master of Engineering students, 1997-2004.
  • Member, Mechanical & Aerospace ABET/Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 2001-Present.
  • Developer, MEC 345 Videoconferencing Facility. Worked with SEAS Dean's Office, Provost's Office, Facilities Management, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and architect to create a state-of-the-art videoconferencing facility, which was completed in January 2001.
  • Chairman, MEC 339 Aviation Art Program. Worked with Virginia Engineering Foundation and committee to endow, select, purchase and hang 21 limited-edition aviation art prints to decorate classroom. Worked with Robertson Media Center to create online gallery of the collection, including panoramic virtual tour of the room. This work is featured in the Robertson portfolio of their projects, 1998-99.
  • Chairman, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Mechanical Engineering Self-Study Committee, 1997-1998.
  • Member, SEAS Computing Environment Committee. Our committee's proposal and my continuing service on related committees at the University level resulted in over $600,000 in classroom technology-related improvements to the MEC building. This "technology classroom cluster" was implemented during the 1997-98 academic year and added three "hands-on" classrooms ( MEC 214, MEC 215, and MEC 216) and one more lecture room MEC 205) to the two technology-equipped classrooms I had already spearheaded in this building. The MEC cluster is fully staffed and supported by the University administration, and all equipment is replaced on a three-year cycle, 1989-1992, 1993-1996. Chairman 1995-1996.
  • Consultant, MEC 339 renovation. Based on experience with Morse Room renovation and feedback, worked with project manager and architect to develop specifications for renovation of this substandard classroom into a state-of-the-art interactive TV receive site/multi-media classroom, 1994.
  • Discussion Group Leader, First-Year Common Reading Experience, 1997-Present.
  • Member, Lucien Carr III Chair Selection Committee, 1995, 1996, Chair 1997.
  • SEAS Teleconference Coordinator - arranged downlink of live teleconferences for faculty/student viewing, 1994-Present.
  • Faculty Advisor, Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, 1993-Present. For the past two years ours has been one of only approximately 30 chapters nationwide in good standing. For the past three years our members have done a service project each semester at Camp Holiday Trails, a camp for children with chronic illnesses located a few miles from the University.
  • Chairman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering ABET Self Study Committee, 1992.
  • Established Morse Room Multimedia Facility in Mechanical Engineering Building, 1986-1990. This five-year-long effort resulted in the establishment of a first class, high-tech classroom with the capability of projecting computer output, videotaped materials, and broadcasts from outside. Approximately $70,000 was raised from nine funding sources originally. Wrote proposal for 1995 Morse Room upgrades, funded at $30,000.



  • Member, Board of Directors and Finance Committee, ARC of the Piedmont, Charlottesville, VA, 2002-present
  • Volunteer, Computer Support, Albemarle County Fair, 2002-2003.
  • President-Elect, Charlottesville Kiwanis Club, 1985-Present.

Board of Directors, 2003-present

Sponsored Youth Chair,1988-99

Kiwanis Advisor, Charlottesville High School Key Club, 1994-2000.

Faculty Advisor, Circle K at University of Virginia, 1988-Present.


OUTREACH/WEB Statistics:

(Includes syllabi, software downloads, web essays, etc.) Over the last few year hits have been recorded from 124 of the member states of the United Nations. About 7000 distinct visitors per month download approximately 4 Gigabytes per month of materials from my personal website.