Joseph G. Tront


Dr. Tront began teaching engineering distance learning courses over 20 years. Currently, he serves as a program advisor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for prospective and current CGEP students.

Dr. Tront earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978 and has been a faculty member at Virginia Tech since that time. Dr. Tront's research and teaching interests include various aspects of computer design, embedded system design, and Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuit design. One of his research projects involves collaboration with the Veterinary School at Virginia Tech to create a chip to perform as a biomicroelectronic sensor.

He is very active in developing course modules for classes such as Intro to Computer Engineering that provide various mechanisms to help students better understand difficult material. Dr. Tront has collaborated with five universities to establish a virtual community of contributors to create these modules and has taught workshops all over the world including workshops as far away as Taiwan , as well as three workshops recently in Australia. He is the co-editor of the Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware, which evaluates and acknowledges the creation of "high-quality, non-commercial courseware designed to enhance engineering education." The Premier Award is in its tenth year of existence. Dr. Tront is also co-editor of a collection of over 3,000 individual teaching/learning objects called the National Engineering Education Delivery System (NEEDS), which continues to grow. Additionally, he is the co-editor for the engineering collection of Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), a collection of over 900 individual learning resources for engineering education.

In fall 2005, Dr. Tront earned the XCaliber award for his exceptional use of wireless Tablet PCs by his students to create an impressive active learning environment. Dr. James Thorp, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head said that Dr. Tront's work can be visualized by "the actual engagement in the classroom of the students and their eagerness to have their solutions shown on the screen for class discussion. Dr. Tront has taken the extra time to develop slides that adapt to this technology, allowing him the opportunity to add information on the fly and adjust his lecture with the flow of the class for that particular day." The XCaliber award recognizes "exceptional, high-caliber contributions to courseware development."

On Saturdays in the Fall, Dr. Tront officiates college football. He enjoys traveling, volleyball and the beach.