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

Erica Corder Photo, Video, Writing 0 Comments

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 …

Two young girls smile and laugh as they work on a small, robotic "robocraft" together while seated at a table.

Inspiring thousands of K-12 students to invent (VT Engineer Magazine)

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Crafts and tools line the walls inside brightly painted rooms at the end of the first floor hall in Virginia Tech’s Falls Church campus in the National Capital Region. It’s here in the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech that, since 2016, more than 5,000 students and teachers, primarily from underserved and underrepresented communities in the D.C. area, have wired, …

A portrait of Fred Lee in his office, in front of full bookshelves.

World-renowned power electronics expert Fred Lee retires after 40-year career (VT News)

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Fred Lee, a University Distinguished Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and founder and director of the internationally known Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), will retire from Virginia Tech in September 2017. After 40 years at the university, Lee, who is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, has made immeasurable contributions …

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In memoriam: Thomas J. Grizzard Jr., professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering and urban water cycle expert (VT News)

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Thomas J. Grizzard, Jr., professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech and former director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory, died unexpectedly on June 24. He was 70. “Our hearts are heavy with the news of Tom’s passing,” said G. Don Taylor, the Charles O. Gordon Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and interim dean of …

In the photo, a young woman (Abigail Smith) smiles for the camera in front of a field and building.

Abigail Smith named Virginia Tech Undergraduate Student of the Year (VT News)

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Abigail Smith, of Cleveland, Ohio, says she lives by the words of renowned cellist Pablo Casals: “To live is not enough; we must take part.” It’s a mentality that the 2017 Undergraduate Student of the Year carried through her four years at Virginia Tech, and one she plans to maintain after graduating in May with a bachelor’s in industrial and systems …

A man, Marc Edwards, poses for a portrait. He is in a lab, wearing a white lab coat.

Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards honored as University Distinguished Professor

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Troublemaker Scientist. Heroic Professor. Accidental Ethicist. Those are just a few of the national media titles given to Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards over the past quarter-century as he exposed problems with potable water in Washington, D.C.; Flint, Michigan; and other areas of the country. Most recently, Edwards was recognized by the university with a new title: University Distinguished Professor. The Virginia Tech …

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Bobby Hollingsworth embarks on lifelong pursuit of mentors and cures (Virginia Tech Honors College)

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When Bobby Hollingsworth thinks of his childhood years in Botswana, he thinks of the scenery and of a seven-year-old named Prosper. The son of Hollingsworth’s nanny, Prosper was Hollingsworth’s first childhood friend. In the late 1990s, Prosper died of HIV. Not long after, Prosper’s parents also died. At the time, five-year-old Hollingsworth didn’t know much about the virus that weakens …

A posed photo of a young man in glasses standing in front of a building and fall foliage.

Class of 2016: Tobin Weiseman will graduate in December — and again in May (VT News)

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Coming to Virginia Tech was an easy decision for Tobin Weiseman, a Blacksburg native. Figuring out what he wanted to study wasn’t as simple. Weiseman spent his freshman year studying business before having a realization: He wanted to study science. He quickly found a home in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he picked up his primary major, human nutrition, …