- ECE launches new industry-sponsored capstone design projects (2014 Annual Report)
- Students pursue passion projects in the AMP Lab (2014 Annual Report)
- Outfitting astronauts: Students tackle NASA design challenges (2014 Annual Report)
We actually got to see how a car is built. From building the engine, to installing the battery—it's very hands-on. What I found most rewarding is seeing this thing come together.
- Alexander Keller (BSEE '13), software team leader for the 2013 HEVT car
By completing design projects,
ECEs are able to develop an understanding of the system as a whole. It's very impressive because it shows practical experience, attention to detail, and time commitment. It's almost like a job itself.
- Brandon Vella (BSEE '13), electrical team leader for the 2013 VT Motorsports Formula car
Design projects are often the most remembered, most fun experiences for engineering students.
Course-Based Design Projects
For EE and CPE students, design projects are woven throughout the curriculum. Following the introduction of simple design problem solving in the first ECE courses, students design increasingly complex devices and systems. EE students are required to take one design-intensive "capstone design" course during their senior year. CPE students are required to take two "design technical electives."
Integrated Design Courses
Under the new integrated design model, ECE seniors can enroll in two-semester, project-based courses. Options include: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team, IEEE Robotics Team, satellite design, and radio frequency spectrum sensing.
Autonomous Mastery Prototyping (AMP) Lab
The Autonomous Mastery Prototyping (AMP) Lab provides space for ECE students to work on personal projects. The lab offers mentorship, soldering certification, and free materials. Students' recent projects include an autonomous ground vehicle, a laser harp, and a smartphone facial recognition system.
Extra-Curricular Design Projects
The ECE faculty encourages all students to complete extracurricular design projects. There are many opportunities for ECE students to participate in electrical and computer engineering design competitions or join multidisciplinary engineering teams.
Design Project Examples
The VT IEEE Hardware Team designs and programs robots to participate in obstacle course missions at the annual IEEE SoutheastCon hardware competition.
The Virginia Tech Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team (AUVT) designs autonomous submarines to compete in missions at the annual RoboSub Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).HEVT
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future Advanced Vehicle Competition Series. Read more about the team in the 2013 ECE Annual Report.Design Build Fly
The Design Build Fly team constructs radio-controlled aircrafts to complete missions at an annual competition sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
ECE student teams participate in the International Future Energy Challenge, a biennial electrical system design competition that focuses on innovation and energy efficiency.VT Motorsports Formula SAE
The VT Motorsports team designs high-performance formula-style racecars to compete in the annual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series. Read more about the team in the 2013 ECE Annual Report.
The Battery Operated Land Transport (BOLT) team designs electric motorcycles to compete in the TTXGP international electric motorsport race series.
The Human-Powered Submarine (HPS) team designs, builds, and races submarines that are propelled solely by human power for competition at the International Submarine Races.