Screenshot of an image of a drone hovering above corn stalks. The words "The future of farming" appear below.

The future of farming (VT Engineer Magazine)

Erica Corder Photo, Video, Writing Leave a Comment

The week that would change Terrie Webb’s life is one she doesn’t remember. In that week, the then-57-year-old orthodontist clinic admin from Prince George County, Virginia, was rushed from a doctor’s appointment about her swollen, purple hand straight into emergency surgery. Where her memory picks back up, she recalls being informed she’d suffered a blood clot that traveled to her …

Screenshot of photo of a woman stands in front of a window. Behind her stand tall buildings with large glass windows in a modern cityscape. The words "The woman bringing Virginia Tech's power electronics to D.C." are written over the image.

The woman bringing Virginia Tech’s power electronics to D.C. (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Electrical engineering professor Dushan Boroyevich made a point of sitting next to Christina DiMarino during a dinner in spring 2012. As the then co-director of the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), Boroyevich was on a recruitment mission. He saw promise in DiMarino, who’d been offered a competitive Webber Fellowship to study at Virginia Tech. There was only one problem: …

Screencap of a photo displaying a shaker table close up. The words "Shaking up a lab" are written over top of the image.

Shaking up a lab (VT Engineer Magazine)

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When you buy a mobile phone, you might not think about how far it’s traveled to get to your pocket. You might think even less about the vibrational forces that acted upon it during its journey to you. But in the Advanced Vibrations and Acoustics Lab (AVAL), founded and directed by mechanical engineering professor Pablo Tarazaga, researchers are poised to …

Screenshot of a photo in which two men pose in front of solar panels in a field. The words "The transformers" are written on top of the image.

The transformers (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Rob Wallace ’00 and Walter Barnes ’00 first met the summer before their freshman year at Virginia Tech, in 1996. Ask them to tell you how, and they both laugh. “He used to rollerblade,” Barnes says. “I still rollerblade,” Wallace interjects. “I went rollerblading last night.” “He still rollerblades,” Barnes says, laughing. “Which I thought was very odd.” That first …

Students in orange team polos smile on a stage while one woman holds a trophy.

Home of the future takes first place at international competition (VT News)

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After years of research and development contributed by over 100 Virginia Tech students and faculty, the FutureHAUS Dubai team has officially built the world’s best solar home. The lone American team earned a first-place victory over 14 other selected teams and more than 60 total entrants of the 2018 Solar Decathlon Middle East, a competition launched by the United States Department …

People wearing safety vests and hard hats walk toward a trailer bearing a large portion of the house draped over with black tarp.

House of the future and team that built it head to international competition (VT News)

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The home of the future is en route to a temporary residence in the desert — and the Virginia Tech students and faculty who built it are following. FutureHAUS Dubai, an innovative, interdisciplinary, and ambitious project to design and build a futuristic, modular smart home, is the lone American team competing against 14 other university teams at the Solar Decathlon Middle …

A young man poses for a photo in front of a gray building.

Alumnus tackles young alumni engagement with grassroots efforts

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Dan Surber is a problem solver. But the Virginia Tech alumnus, who graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering, saw a problem he alone couldn’t fix: he thought more young alumni should be engaged with the university. So when Eileen Van Aken, interim department head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, approached …

A man wearing a yellow hard hat flashes a smile for a photo taken inside a rock quarry.

One engineering alumnus’ 36-year giving streak helps transform a university department — and an industry

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Bryan Smith stands at the edge of the high ground at mining company Luck Stone’s flagship location just outside Richmond, Virginia. He’s looking out at a massive quarry — one that’s about 37 stories deep and more than a half-mile wide. “So this is our Boscobel Plant. It was begun about 1879,” Smith begins, sweeping his arm across the panoramic …

A woman smiles for a photograph in front of a house.

How one engineering alumna keeps the door open for future Hokies

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Every year in the small agricultural town of Walkersville, Maryland, the high school’s graduating class writes their post-graduation plans next to their name on a wall. Susan Kolbay, who’d lived in Walkersville all her life, took a pen to the wall and filled in “Virginia Tech.” In 1997, she packed up and headed to a town with a population about …

A man wearing a white hard hat and a red sweater reaches toward the ceiling, where he adjusts orange wires linked to a data acquisition system.

Making buildings smarter, starting with Goodwin Hall

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There’s still much work to be done before our buildings are smart enough to talk to us. But from a lab located in the most accelerometer-instrumented building in the world, Rodrigo Sarlo is doing his part to get us there. Sarlo, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, was recently awarded a research fellowship from …