Brendan Chan (PhD ’08) has been named a Distinguished Alumnus by the National Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi. This award that recognizes members who have continued to live up to the ideals of Tau Beta Pi as stated in its Eligibility Code and foster a spirit of liberal culture after their college years. The award also includes a scholarship given in Chan's name to a deserving student for their final year of engineering study.

In his nomination, Chan was recognized for “his efforts in mentoring the next generation of engineers, research contributions, and a commitment to STEM engagement.”

He obtained a B.S in electrical engineering from the Michigan Tech and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech. Currently, he is the senior chief engineer of autonomy and active safety for Oshkosh Corporation, where he leads all business and technical development related to the core technology.

Chan was inducted into Tau Beta Pi as an undergraduate student in Michigan. When he initially received the invitation to join Tau Beta Pi, he recognized that this was an opportunity for him to learn to network outside his discipline, practice service, and improve as a leader. Hence, even when he continued his education at Virginia Tech, he regularly volunteered with FIRST Lego League as a volunteer and judge as part of the activities organized by the Tau Beta Pi Chapter in Virginia Tech. Today, in the spirit of the motto of Virginia Tech, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), he continues to contribute to STEM engagement programs and coaching and mentoring of engineers at work.

During his time as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, Chan worked with researchers Corina Sandu and Mehdi Ahmadian in the area of vehicle dynamics. His dissertation work focused on the improving the area of real-time off-road tire modeling for vehicle dynamics simulations.

Since completing his PhD, Chan has been involved primarily in the development of Active Safety Systems for commercial vehicles in various capacity leading up to his role today. In addition to this award, he was also a recipient of the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award in 2012 and the SAE Foundation/Denso Young Industry Leader Award in 2019. He joined Oshkosh in 2019 as a Chief Engineer for Autonomy and Active Safety, then was promoted to Senior Chief Engineer. In his current role, he leads a team that specializes in deploying autonomy and active safety technologies in defense, commercial, fire and emergency products and cross-segment strategy supporting the same technology at the enterprise level.

"I am humbled and honored to be recognized as a Tau Beta Pi Distinguished Alumnus for my mentoring efforts and achievements in delivering autonomy and active safety to commercial vehicles," Chan said. "The mentoring that I received from Corina Sandu when I was at Virginia Tech was one of the critical factors in shaping the collaborative style of work that defines what I do and my drive to bring out the leader in my team members. It is my hope that the work I do can continue to serve to inspire the next generation of engineers to create a diverse and equitable environment where everyone can feel inclusive in the journey towards advancing technology.”

Brendan Chan at work at the Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Corporation.
Brendan Chan at work at the Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Corporation.