Two young men sit at a table and pose for a photo. On the table is a white mannequin head and neck, wearing a black helmet that looks like a baseball cap.

Engineering students take lifesaving concept to market with help from university environment and donors

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A little seed money and a lot of advice goes a long way for a budding entrepreneur. Take it from the two Hokie engineering student founders of Park & Diamond, a young startup that makes collapsible, sleek bike helmets. After winning seven pitch competitions last year, many held by the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs, the company took off in a major way, earning …

A small white car sits at the starting line on a road that leads to a navigation course.

Despite bumps in the road, engineering team places third in North American autonomous vehicle competition

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After a journey that involved a crash, a dead battery, and late-night coding sprints, a Virginia Tech engineering team took home a third place finish in the first year of an autonomous vehicle competition held by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and General Motors. Student-led Victor Tango AutoDrive was the sole team — out of eight total collegiate design teams …

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$5 million gift from alumnus and family creates pathway for 60 first-generation students per year

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When electrical engineering alumnus Joe T. May ’62 was in high school, he says he wasn’t exactly on a successful path. After a suspension for smoking cigarettes — something that today, May said, “wouldn’t raise an eyebrow,” but did then in the small Mennonite community he lived in — May’s principal allowed him to graduate only if he promised “to …

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 couple embraces and smiles at each other while standing in front of their white house with blue shutters.

Alumni couple whose wedding reception started with ‘Enter Sandman’ still show their alma mater love

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When Damien and Krystal McCants entered their wedding reception to “Enter Sandman,” the other Hokies in the chapel knew what to do: they just started jumping. At the May 2008 reception, the newly married couple cut a cake embellished with a sugary Virginia Tech athletic logo, drank from embossed Virginia Tech champagne flutes, and danced in a room filled with …

Screenshot of a cover image for a story in a digital magazine. In the old photo, Joe Ware gives a speech at a podium while wearing a hat that reads "Ware Lab."

The little-known backstory of one of Virginia Tech’s most popular labs (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Ask any Virginia Tech engineering student about the Joseph F. Ware Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory, and odds are they’ve stepped foot in it. Arguably the most popular lab on campus and hallmark of the Virginia Tech undergraduate engineering experience, the Ware Lab is a 10,000-square-foot facility, split into nearly a dozen bays full of tools, materials, and student design projects. It’s …

Screenshot of the cover image of the magazine story on Dean Julia Ross, with a photo of Julia Ross smiling while sitting in a chair in an empty, airy hallway.

Meet the new dean (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Before Julia M. Ross became dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech; before she became engineering dean at University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and before she pursed her Ph.D. and bachelor’s in chemical engineering, she was a girl inspired by astronaut Sally Ride. “I remember reading in magazines about her and her mission, and I thought that was the coolest thing,” Ross said. …

Screenshot of a cover image for a story in a digital magazine. In the photo, several members of the Hyperloop team are pulling and pushing along a pod on the sidewalk.

From Reddit to racing with Elon Musk

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On a Sunday night 15 minutes before midnight in early November, a group of undergraduate engineers is still wide awake. They’re stationed at TechPad, a local coworking space, trying to figure out how to not catch their Hyperloop pod on fire. “So, could we find a more efficient way in a triangle configuration?” asks Bobby Smyth, a senior from Yorktown, …

Two students look to the sky, colored purple and light blue by the sunset, as they watch their drone fly overhead.

Autonomous robots in the desert (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Last winter, a team of engineering graduate students regularly ventured out to Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm. They’d drive past fields of cows and farmland until they reached a small garage and strip of asphalt. It’s here they’d unload a set of autonomous vehicles: several drones and a ground vehicle. They’d place markers made of tape and tarps on the concrete …