Professor Kevin Granata was a man with a sharp intellect who answered a call to serve the cause of scholarship and higher education. He died protecting students after he shepherded them into his office in order to safeguard them, and after he went to investigate and intervene.
Professor Granata was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio and received undergraduate degrees from Ohio State University in electrical engineering and physics. He later earned a Master's degree in physics from Purdue University. Thereafter, he worked in the Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. He received his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Ohio State University and then worked in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Virginia, where he was the director of the Gait Laboratory.
Professor Granata was recruited to ESM to continue his teaching and research interests. He had numerous publications and research grants and lectured both nationally and internationally. He distinguished himself by making many outstanding scholarly contributions. In particular, he developed innovative methods to quantify low back stability that are considered cutting edge by other leaders in the field. He served as mentor for numerous students and junior professors. When Dr. Granata was promoted to the rank of professor, one of these professors conveyed, "Countless times he has provided me with valuable guidance on research-related matters such as student advising, experimental issues, and manuscript preparation."
Leaders in the field of biomechanics called him "among the top five biomechanics researchers in the country working on movement dynamics in cerebral palsy", as being "nationally recognized for his research", "as an internationally outstanding scholar and educator", as "often finding themselves quoting from Dr. Granata's papers".
Professor Granata's greatest passion and pride was his family, especially his wife and children. He was also an athlete. He rowed crew at Purdue, participated in biathlons and triathlons and was an avid runner and cyclist. He loved coaching his sons' Lacrosse teams.
He served Virginia Tech with pride and dedication. We became better because of him. We will recover, rebuild, rejuvenate and excel in his memory. He will not be forgotten.
A trust fund controlled by his family, which will contribute to the support of his wife and three children, has been established in honor of Dr. Granata. Contributions can be made to:
Kevin P. Granata Memorial Trust,
2280 Kraft Drive Suite 1000
Blacksburg, VA 24060
-- His colleagues and friends from Virginia Tech
VStudents from the department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics along with Dr. Nicole Abaid are conducting a Senior Design Project titled "Controlling Crowds Through Human-Robot Interactions." The goal of this project is to study how we can use a human-robot interaction to influence the movement of a group of people. To test our study, we will be performing an interactive experiment using a mobile robot and human participants in The Cube Lab at Moss Arts Center.
We are looking for student volunteers! Students will have an opportunity to participate in university research, and gain exposure to robotics, dynamics, and motion capture analysis in a state of the art lab.