Spotlight on the Student Engineers’ Council

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By:  Glen Elwood  Every year, over 5,000 eager students attend the Engineering Exposition in hopes of finding employment. Organizing this career fair is no small feat, and it takes the combined efforts of the entire Student Engineers’ Council (SEC) to make it happen. The Engineering Exposition hosts over 250 companies and provides an incredible opportunity for students to engage with company representatives. The Expo is three days long; two days for the fair and then one day for interviews. While the Engineering Expo is by far the largest event for…

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Sink or Swim: A Concrete Example

By: Christine Mapili The job of an engineer revolves around solving problems, from calculating the maximum load on a structure to planning out the timeline for a major project. Sometimes the key issues are obvious from the beginning and the solutions need to be planned out well in advance, while in other instances, obstacles pop up later down the road and must be surmounted on the fly. Both of these types of problem solving are called for in conquering one Virginia Tech design team’s objective: to build and race a…

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Supercomputing at Virginia Tech

  By Sarah Stewart, a senior in industrial and systems engineering Because of movies like Transcendence and Lucy, the public is becoming more acquainted with the idea of supercomputing. Supercomputing, or high performance computing (HPC), is the use of a supercomputer to perform advanced calculations that cannot be solved on a regular computer, or would take an infeasible amount of time to solve — perhaps months or years. With this resource, researchers, students and faculty no longer have to limit their problems and simulations to only what one computer can…

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Ware Lab Correspondence

    Hello all, Welcome to the start of a new year at Tech! The majority of you already know the ropes, but with each year comes a new segment of our Hokie population that do not. I’m talking about our beloved freshman, of course. For those of you who are new to the Correspondence, what I have generally discussed in past issues has been the status of the various teams and projects in the Ware Lab here on campus. However, I’d like to dedicate this month’s Ware Lab Correspondence…

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Introducing the Future: Scieneering

Problems in the real world have become multi-dimensional and require the collective efforts of both scientists and engineers alike. In the wake of the BP oil spill, prizes were awarded to experts and entrepreneurs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields that could develop a method to efficiently clean up the Gulf Coast. To keep pace with further challenges, Virginia Tech and other noteworthy universities – Stanford, UC Berkley, and Purdue – are leading a new push towards the interdisciplinary studies of engineering and science. Scieneering program was…

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Interview with Dr. Erik Westman

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Erik Westman, the new Interim Associate dean for Academic Affairs at Virginia Tech. He spoke to me about the events that brought him to where he is today, and about what advice he would like to give current students. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you live and study, and what previous jobs have you held? I was born in Denver, but moved to Iowa in my childhood. I ended up returning to Colorado, where I lived in…

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So You’re Considering the Ph.D.?

A light fog settles over the Virginia Tech campus at 7:58 in the morning and the cool air reminds students that winter is coming but isn’t here quite yet. Vibrating off Hokie Stone buildings, classical music from Burruss Hall attempts to uplift the spirits of the students who haven’t made it to their classes. As you take in this beautiful yet often-overlooked scene, you notice the time on your watch and remember your professor promised a quiz at the beginning of your 8 am class. Happy feelings freshly vanquished, you…

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VT Human Powered Submarine: A Glimpse of Phantom 7

Set apart from the everyday foottraffic on Stanger Street is a large gray metal door that reads “Virginia Tech: Human Powered Submarine.” Push it ajar, step over the basement threshold, and you’ve now entered the Sub Lab, inhabited by the last remnants of a coalition of super-villain engineers working tirelessly to create a submarine of diabolical capabilities. In reality, it’s a friendly, easy-going family that meets to dream up underwater vehicles. But it’s easy to let your imagination wander when it comes to submarine design, especially with the project goals…

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