In memoriam: Reza Mirzaeifar, associate professor of mechanical engineering | VTx

One such student, Jonathan Charleston, worked with Mirzaeifar for five years.

“The graduate school journey can come with unique personal hardships that stand to derail the process from the very first step,” said Charleston. “In my five years as Dr. Reza’s student, I was fortunate to see how he thoughtfully created an atmosphere that facilitated the growth of each student so they could face those challenges head-on. Whether academic, financial, or emotional, Dr. Reza showed he was an excellent advisor, mentor, teacher, and, most importantly, a great friend. He demonstrated the importance of pursuing goals with the highest level of quality and humility. I am thankful that I can be part of his legacy and for his impact on my life.”

Ravi Kiran Bollineni, for whom Mirzaeifar was a doctoral advisor, echoed Charleston’s comments.

“Dr. Reza is one of the kindest professors I have ever met in my life. He is one of the best advisors any graduate student can have for his or her studies. He always tried to help the student in every possible way he could. His hardworking nature motivated me a lot,” said Bollineni. “I enjoyed working under his guidance throughout the three years of my graduate studies. I carry his qualities of hard work and kindness while going forward in my life.”

A memorial service for Mirzaeifar was held Oct. 22, with many friends and family attending. The family wishes to express their deepest thanks to Nicholas and Rebecca des Champs Professor and Department Head Azim Eskandarian and Professor Mehdi Ahmadian, who supported them throughout Mirzaeifar’s illness and assisted with many of the memorial arrangements.

“Reza was a true and accomplished scholar, a gentle friend, a kind advisor to his students, and an exemplary citizen of our ME Department and university,” said Eskandarian. “He always had a calm and humane demeanor with a staunch sense of responsibility, dedication, and commitment to his academic duties. His science was outstanding, his character was exemplary, and his kindness was boundless. He was a gentle soul and a beloved colleague and friend. His early passing certainly broke my heart and that of our colleagues. He is sorely missed.”

Ahmadian looks back on the decade in which he worked with Mirzaeifar with fondness and admiration.

“I had the pleasure of working with Reza since he joined Virginia Tech in 2014. We collaborated on several projects together,” said Ahmadian. “He was one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and responsible collaborators I have known. He always impressed me with his deep scientific knowledge in his area of ​​expertise. Although he was not an experimentalist, he could always relate his scientific findings to engineering practice. His care and respect for students was exemplary, and he was certainly a favorite of my graduate students. We will dearly miss his friendship, mentorship, and professionalism.”

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University.


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