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For years, the International Humanitarian Capstone Design program has brought undergraduates in mechanical engineering and other fields to countries in Africa and Latin America. Students have designed well-pumping systems, neonatal incubators, and other community-driven projects capable of being sustainably built and maintained locally for years to come. Call it Virginia Tech’s not-so-secret formula–through transformative research and teaching opportunities, Hokies can be a force for positive change in communities around the world while opening up new possibilities and capabilities within themselves. Click here...

A Virginia Tech mechanical engineering professor and his team have been invited by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, to be among the first to use a new humanitarian drone testing corridor opened by the government of Malawi and the aid agency. The team will test a new autonomous drone designed to fly to remote locations and collect dried blood samples for HIV testing. Kevin Kochersberger, an associate professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, is an advisor to senior design project...

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $400,000 to Virginia Tech as part of an initiative to build the theoretical and experimental foundations of scalable, 3-D printing at the nano-level. Rayne Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, will use the award for Additive Nano-Manufacturing of Resilient Materials to develop technologies to allow researchers to 3-D print at the nano-level and scale up their creations. “Current commercially available additive manufacturing technology doesn’t include a printer of the resolution and scalability needed to...

A Virginia Tech student engineering team has created a customized 3-D printed golf grip that uniquely conforms to individual golfer's hands to guide correct placement each time they pick up a club. To create this game-changing golf grip, the team made a clay mold of hands in the correct grip position, scanned the mold, and converted the image to a 3-D CAD model before printing. The result is a grip that can be slipped onto golf clubs and used as a...

Virginia Tech researchers have created a novel way to 3-D print the type of high-temperature polymeric materials commonly used to insulate space craft and satellites from extreme heat and cold. Previously, the polyimide could be made only in sheets. The material, formally known as Kapton, is an aromatic polymer composed of carbons and hydrogens inside benzene rings, which provides exceptional thermal and chemical stability. Click here to learn more....

Srinath Ekkad, the Rolls-Royce Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been selected as the new head of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. He will take over the new position Sept. 18. Ekkad came to Virginia Tech in 2007 as an associate professor. In his decade in Blacksburg he has been the Director of the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems, an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering,...