Meet the MEPE Faculty! Prof. Don Baird

This fall, MEPE launched its  updated curriculum, which includes two new core courses EPD 640 Introduction to Polymer Rheology and EPD 650 Introduction to Polymer Processing. For both of these courses we have brought in prominent experts in these areas as instructors. One of the benefits in having an online degree is that not only can our students be located around the world, but so can our instructors.

We would like to introduce the designer and instructor of the new EPD 650 Introduction to Polymer Processing course, Prof. Don Baird.

Prof. Don Baird

Prof. Baird is the Alexander F. Gianco Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, where he has recently retired from the Department of Chemical Engineering. Prof. Baird is also a Badger, having received his Ph.D. from U.W. Madison in 1974. Although retired, Prof. Baird maintains professional life through consulting, research, working with technical journals, and now teaching.

We are very lucky that Prof. Baird has decided to further his connections to his alma mater through teaching online for MEPE. He fondly remembers studying fluid mechanics under Prof. R. Byron Bird back in the 70s, and is bringing us some of that legacy and rigor from his home in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Prof. Baird’s career as a researcher in polymer and polymer composite processing spans over 4 decades and includes roughly 360 peer-reviewed publications and an important textbook, “Polymer Processing: Principles and Design.” This is the book used in EPD 650. Prof. Baird also served as the co-director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Composite Materials and Structures. In addition to studying more traditional polymer processing methods such as injection molding and extrusion (including analytically and through modeling) his more recent research interests include recycling and 3D printing.