Throughout his teaching career, Prof. Vandiver has stressed the importance of hands-on learning. He has worked to enliven the mainstream curriculum, incorporating more and earlier opportunities for students to solve real-life problems, engage in research, and develop relationships with faculty. In 1998 he was the recipient of the MIT President's Award for Community Service for the Edgerton Center's work with the Cambridge Public Schools. In 2001 he was honored as a MacVicar Fellow for excellence in teaching. In 2005, he received the Offshore Technology Conference Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals. In 2006, he received the ASME A. Lubinski Best Paper Award for the Offshore Technology Conference. In 2011, he was honored with the Arthur C. Smith Award for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate student life at MIT, and in 2012 he was honored with the MIT Gordon Y. Billard Award for special service of outstanding merit.
A member of the Ocean Engineering Department, now Mechanical Engineering, faculty since 1975, Prof. Vandiver chaired MIT's faculty from 1991 until 1993. His research focuses on the dynamics of offshore structures and flow-induced vibration. He teaches dynamics and mechanical vibration at the graduate and undergraduate level. Prof. Vandiver received his bachelor's degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College of Science and Engineering, his master's degree in Ocean Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Oceanographic Engineering from the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. He is a Registered Mechanical Engineer in the state of Massachusetts and is an active consultant in structural dynamics with the offshore engineering industry. He is also a certified flight instructor for gliders.