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In announcing the award, the Adhesion Society credited Dillard as "a practitioner of truly innovative approaches to fundamental questions in adhesion science. Over the last 25 years, Prof. Dillard developed a broad-based research program in order to gain an understanding of the inter-relationship between fracture mechanics and chemical characteristics of bonded systems."
A major thrust of Dillard's research work is the development of appropriate test methods for evaluation of adhesive bonds, analysis and design procedures for adhesive joints, and studies of the durability of such systems when exposed to a variety of environmental conditions. Recent efforts include durability of fuel cell materials and behavior of adhesives under impact conditions.
Dillard served for five years as director of Virginia Tech's Center for Adhesive and Sealant Science. He also served as founder and interim director of the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech.
Dillard recently completed a term as president of the Adhesion Society, and is a Robert L. Patrick Fellow of that organization.
Dillard has co-authored more than 140 referenced journal articles and several book chapters, and has received best paper awards from the Society for Experimental Mechanics and the Society for Wood Science and Technology. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly the University of Missouri at Rolla) in engineering mechanics in 1976 and 1978, respectively. He received his doctorate in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech in 1981.
Dillard received the award in February at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society Inc. in Daytona Beach, FL.