If you ask Dr. Vijay Goel why he received the prestigious Borelli Award, he’ll say it’s because they look at whether or not you have gray hair, but colleagues say it’s because of his tireless efforts in the bioengineering field.Goel, UT Distinguished University Professor and the McMaster-Gardner Endowed Chair in Orthopedic Bioengineering, is the recipient of this year’s Borelli Award, the most prestigious honor given by the American Society of Biomechanics. It is awarded to those who mimic the qualities of Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, a Renaissance Italian physiologist, physicist and mathematician.
Since Goel came to UT in 2000, he has been part of several high-impact bioengineering research and education initiatives at the University.
In 2006, he played a key role with the creation of the Engineering Center for Orthopedic Research Excellence, a collaboration between the colleges of Engineering and Medicine. Goel and his colleagues also have secured more than $10 million in sponsored awards for research at UT through the state of Ohio, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other sources. In addition, he was among the contributors in establishing a doctoral program in biomedical engineering, which involved collaboration between the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
“I have received such great support from this institution,” Goel said. “From the dean, the president, my colleagues — they have really encouraged me to work the way I want to.”
He has an internationally recognized 34-year academic career in bioengineering work on spinal diseases and mechanics. He was a pioneer of three-dimensional finite element modeling of orthopedic implant-constructs and in predicting their load-displacement behavior.
For his work, he has received lifelong achievement awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering — Bioengineering Division, the North American Spine Society and the International Society of the Study of Lumbar Spine.
“I am glad that it’s not just one society that thinks I’m making contributions; four different societies feel the same way,” Goel said. “That makes me feel good — humble, also, at the same time, because my joy is to work with the students and staff.”
As this year’s recipient, Goel will present the Borelli Award Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, which will co-host its meeting as part of the World Congress on Biomechanics that will take place July 6-11 in Boston.
His lecture is titled “Design, Development and Evaluation of Innovative Fusion Augmenting Spinal Hardware.”
“Dr. Goel is truly a role model with his tireless efforts and outstanding contributions in research and technology transfer and is most deserving of the Borelli Award,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering. “This award represents laurels not just for Dr. Goel, but also for our college and our university. We are honored to have Dr. Goel as a member of our distinguished faculty.”