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)

Erica Corder Photo, Social Media, Video, Writing 0 Comments

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 …

A screengrab of a video still featuring a young woman gesturing toward a house.

Facebook Live: Tour the FutureHAUS in Dubai

Erica Corder Social Media, Video 0 Comments

While in Dubai covering the FutureHAUS Dubai team’s attendance at the Solar Decathlon Middle East, I hosted a Facebook Live tour of the house just before the beginning of the competition. The tour was met with enthusiasm and thousands of views, reaching over 44,000 people — far beyond the team’s followers (which, at the time, hovered under 1,000). Another Facebook …

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 …

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 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

Erica Corder Photo, Video, Writing 0 Comments

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 man sits at a computer and works, wearing a maroon polo shirt that bears a logo from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

From structural engineering to software, this Hokie’s career success compels his giving

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The very building in which Bruce Bates’ structural engineering software company was located was designed — entirely by chance — by the same software the company created. That’s an example of the ubiquitousness of software by RISA technologies, which was founded, owned, and operated by Bates, an alumnus of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering. “We’ve been in this building since …

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

Erica Corder Photo, Video, Writing 0 Comments

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 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, …