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 0 Comments

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: …

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 …

Screenshot of a cover image featuring Joe May and the title, which reads "Gift creates a pathway for first generation engineering students."

Gift creates a pathway for first generation engineering students (VT Engineer Magazine)

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When electrical engineering alumnus Joe T. May ’62 was in high school, he says he wasn’t exactly on a path to success. 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 …

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 man smiles and poses for a photo in a brightly-lit hallway.

$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 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 …