I have always been proud of Virginia Tech’s motto. It reminds us of a greater purpose for our education and research and for overcoming their associated challenges. Both as individuals and as a university department we must strive first to obtain a sound education and then apply what we’ve learned in theory and research to improve our community and ultimately our world.
In this annual report, you will see many great examples of field-leading research being applied to address all sorts of issues and to improve people’s lives. The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s (ECE) faculty and students have been doing their part to continue the department’s tradition of academic excellence with practical results.
Improving the energy situation at the local level and at the global scale is an area of interest for me as well as an area in which I believe the ECE department is well-positioned to contribute. With benefits ranging from reducing individuals’ utility bills to enabling worldwide sustainability, this area of research is notable for its many technical challenges and for potentially huge benefits to society: an exemplary fit for our academics and research.
Two trends that continue to require the department and the university to be adaptive are the increased emphasis on application-oriented research (driven largely by the continued shift to direct research funding, now 48 percent of the College of Engineering funding) and the increased need for multi-disciplined research and development in order to successfully address complex problems. These are two areas in particular where members of the Advisory Board, as well as others in industry, should be well positioned to lend their expertise, professional connections, and funding support. There are many ways to get involved. Please consider ways you can contribute. Personal contributions and service to others, coupled with strong education and technical know-how, are a powerful combination that makes the Virginia Tech community exceptional.
Chair, ECE Advisory Board